Tips on How to Wear Latex Garments
Pulling on latex clothing – which tends to be tight and fit snugly – can easily damage it, leaving permanent finger marks, stretching, or even rips and tears, in the material. Have patience, and use baby powder generously on the inside of your garments. Another option is to use a silicone-based shining product or a NON oil-based lubricant to make putting on your clothing easier.
Instead of grabbing the latex material with your fingers, which increases the likelihood of leaving finger indentations or causing damage to your clothing, use your whole hand to pull the clothing. Use your hand to shift the latex and gradually shift until the garment is in place properly and you are comfortable. Use as much baby powder or lube as you feel you need; excess can always be wiped off as needed.
Be sure to watch your fingernails and any sharp edges on jewelry or watches, as these will catch the latex and possibly cause a tear.
To remove your clothing, follow this same ‘pull and shift’ method to remove garments with care.
Washing and Cleaning Latex Clothing
Be certain to wash your latex garments after each use. When wearing latex, sweating is common and can be increased by the constriction of this type of material and snug fit. Washing your clothing after each wear will remove the sweat and odor from the latex material and will help the costume look it’s best for years to come.
Use a small amount of soft soap in lukewarm water to rinse your garments thoroughly. Do not scrub them, as this may damage the latex, but wipe with a soft cloth inside and out and rinse completely. Do NOT wring out your clothing; it is more than sufficient to gently shake the garment to shake free excess water, pat with a towel to soak up remaining moisture, and hang to air-dry in a room temperature setting. Any remaining water streaks can be gently wiped away with a soft cloth as your clothes are drying. You may want to lightly shake some baby powder or silicone based lubricant inside your garments as they are drying to prevent sticking.
Properly Storing your Latex
It’s recommended to store your latex clothing in a cool, dark, dry space. A garment bag is preferred to protect your clothing. Use a broad plastic hanger to help your garment keep its shape; wire hangers, thin hangers, or hanging an outfit from the straps may cause the outfit to lose its shape.
DO NOT store your clothing in direct sunlight; the sun’s rays will cause the latex material to rapidly deteriorate or even turn white. Though you may use silicone products to help cover this if it should happen, the best advice is to avoid storing clothing in sunlight from the start.
Want to Shine Your Latex Clothing?
If you’ve seen latex in photoshoots or clubs, it probably appears smooth and very shiny, latex requires shining and care in order to look its best and develop a bright sheen.
You can use a silicone spray or silicone-based lubricant made for Latex to polish and build the shine of your garment. Other products, including household polishes, are not recommended for use. The more often you spend time polishing and shining the latex with a soft cloth, the shinier it can appear.
Building a shine is as simple as three steps: first, spray one side of your outfit entirely. Let the silicone spray seep into the latex material, and do not rub, pat, or wipe it. Turn your outfit over once it has dried and proceed to spray the other side. Taking care to spread the silicone spray softly into areas you may have missed, make sure you have covered all areas. Once the garment is dry, pick it up and examine it carefully to ensure you have thoroughly shined the entire garment. After this initial application, you may notice a shine beginning to build within three to four thorough applications. Once you begin to notice a shine, do not stop polishing and maintaining your clothing! Though you may wish to step back the frequency of building the shine, your outfit does require maintenance in order to build and maintain the shine you worked so hard to create.
Some Words of Caution Regarding Care of Latex
Latex is a very sensitive material, which burns easily. For this reason, you may wish to carefully avoid storing or hanging your clothing near heaters or heat sources, avoiding fire, flame, and cigarettes/cigars. Similarly, avoid storing clothing in damp spaces or in direct sunlight or fluorescent light to avoid fading and deterioration of the latex material. Fingernails, watches, and sharp edges on jewelry can catch and tear your clothing. Metals such as copper, brass, and bronze will stain your clothing if permitted to come into contact with one another. Makeup and perfume may stain or even break down the latex material and should also be avoided. Lastly, avoid oil-based products when wearing your latex clothing and opt for non-harmful water-based ones.