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10 Top tips for buying and wearing Plus Size Latex ..

I started creating and wearing latex in 2008, a very late starter indeed!! After being a Fashion Designer since I could use a sewing machine at the aged of 12, I had always hung my nose over women wearing latex in magazines and on pop videos. The closest I could get was to design and make using PVC, but it was just not the same sadly.

So, when I left my ex husband at the age of 40 (2008), I set my mind to finding out how to both make it and wonder if I, as a plus size woman could actually wear it too!! I was delighted to find out that, yes, we can wear it and look damn fine doing it!!

From that point on, I have created Latex garments for Plus Size Ladies, and modelled it myself, to prove that we can look good in it, contrary to what some latex-aficionados were saying!!

So, from that point on, I have a few tips for both buying latex and wearing and keeping it safe, as a plus size designer and previously having modelled it too.

1) Allergies:

Latex clothing is not cheap, its amazing to look at and to wear, but that comes at a price, so, with so many people having allergies, test to make sure you are not allergic to it. Although it is a natural material and is made from the sap of the rubber tree, there are other chemicals in the formula for latex sheeting, so test your skin with latex gloves first.

If you do not feel any tingling or your skin does not become red or inflamed, you should be ok.

If however you have a reaction, there is a way to still wear latex and that is using a process called *chlorination*. This is a chemical reaction that causes the latex to stop shedding spores and becomes static. It is also able to withstand sunlight without turning white etc. The process causes both sides of the latex to be permanently shiny etc so no need for silicone shiner or dressing aid.

However, if your allergy affects your breathing, you will be able to wear chlorinated latex, in your own home or even out and about, but you probably wont be able to attend latex parties, as other peoples latex will still shed latex particles into the air and may cause issues for you.

2) Pricing:

Prices do vary wildly in some cases, however, as with most things, the cheaper it is, the thinner the latex, the more chance of it ripping!! So, dipped items as I will explain below, will inherently be cheaper to buy. They may not last more than a couple of outings though, so be warned!! Buy cheap, buy twice, as the old saying goes!!

Pricing will also reflect the difficulty of the design, sizes available, thickness of latex and how unique the designs are compared to a basic range. You do pay extra for uniqueness in the latex world.

Most Latex Designers will work with you and your budget, so its best to have a figure in mind for your budget, so that the Designer can work to a limit etc and you don't get a massive shock when they price it all up!!

3) Construction Methods for Garments:

Latex clothing is made around the world, from:-

  • China

  • Australia

  • Europe

  • UK

  • America.

There are a few different types of manufacturing methods used across these countries too:-

a) Moulded Items:-

  • Gloves tend to be *dipped*, so using a glove hand mould, they are dipped into liquid latex and then allowed to dry.

  • Some mini or micro-mini skirts, knickers and stockings are done this way too.

  • However, this can cause the latex to be very thin , depending on how many coats have been used to dip.

  • The thinner the latex, the more it stretches, however, it is also prone to ripping, the thinner it is.

  • Bear this in mind when ordering, especially from China or the far east.

  • This is also the cheapest way of making latex, as latex is sold by weight not volume.

b) Glued Seams:-

  • The second way of making garments is by using latex sheeting.

  • This is probably the most popular way of making garments, in the UK, US and Europe.

  • It is also the most flexible way too, as each garment can be made to any size, shape, height or proportions.

  • However, the creators of latex garments also need to know how to construct the latex sheeting using patterns for the sizes they are going to sell. So this does restrict those wishing to make items and depends largely on their fashion construction experience etc.

  • Plus sizes tend to be the most difficult to construct patterns for, as anyone who is or has been plus size will agree, what is plus size in one area of the body, may not be plus size in the other areas.

  • So careful measurements need to be taken to construct the correct set of patterns for that size and individual client.

c) Sewn Seams:

  • This is the rarest way of constructing latex garments, as it needs specialist sewing machines and needles to enable the seams to remain intact.

  • Latex will rip very easily if it is punctured either by sharpe finger nails or by stiletto heels, so using a needle with latex is fraught with danger.

  • However, there are some manufacturers in the UK who successfully use this method of construction.

  • This is not a method I have tried as yet, but i will in the future, be trying this method for medium weight Jackets etc.

4) Designing for Plus Sizes

The best way of designing latex garments or in fact any stretchy fabric garments for plus sizes, is to understand and appreciate the problem areas for the different types of plus size bodies.

These areas will be different for each Woman, some don't like to show their arms, at all, some don't like their big tummy's, some don't like to show their larger thighs. All of this information is invaluable to the Designer, so that she can create designs, that will instantly show the areas your want to show off and cover those that you don't like.

So, don't be coy or shy in telling her all those secret insecurities you might have about your body. They will be kept confidentially and you will end up with a design that captures who you are, without compromising those areas that you dislike.

5) Measurements:

Most standard sized garments, not just Latex, use a system of increments, for each size. However, even standard sized women are not the same shape or proportions as those standard size measurements. Which is where my own bespoke made-to-measure service comes in very handy!!

I have already written a blog about high street sizing and online size issues, here. So you can see that its an international problem, not just a UK one.

Having had this problem myself as a very tall 5'9" woman, with enormously out-of-proportion boobage, tops would not fit me. My shoulders were too wide, my arms too long, legs too long too, but most annoyingly, my torso is a lot longer too, even with big boobs which only added to the problem.

So, in short, I understand the issues from that point of view and from working with different shaped Sponsored Models for the past 14 years, I have got a handle on most of the other issues related to plus size shapes and proportions.

Ok, so measurements are really important, but I have formulated a quick and easy method for measuring the main areas of the body to create a dress for example, remotely.

My final point is, when giving measurements to your chosen Designer, DO NOT GIVE SMALLER NUMBERS to the Designer, she will have her own method of maintaining the integrity of the latex, but also making the latex fit without overstretching it, potentially causing it to rip if it is too small. So, be honest with your measurement numbers, please


6) Zips and over the head methods of dressing in Latex:

Ok, so, you are chatting with your Designer, and she asks about zips needed, most designers will ask lots of questions before creating illustrations for you.

So, understanding why zips are used in garments:

  • they are used to make entry and exit easier;

  • they can be used as design details;

  • or they are used to make sure the latex does not rip;

However, there are some down sides to using zips too:

  • They create a weak point in the garment;

  • They can rip the latex if not careful;

  • Zips break too;

So, the decision really is yours, personally, as a plus size specialist, I try not to use zips for entry and exit, unless for wiggle dresses or catsuits etc, where there is no other way. I also feel that they detract from the artistic merit of latex, so if I do use them, I usually create a latex cover for them, unless the client likes them as a design detail etc, in which case I leave them on show.

My Phoenixx Dresses, as shown above here, go on over the head, so no zip needed; simple and easy. However, if a client has joint issues, I will advise her to have a zip installed to make it easier for her to get into and out of one of my dresses.

7) Colour choices

Colour choices can make a garment completely unique to the client. I am competent in Colour Theory and can advise what colours would be complimentary or contrasting.

The latex sheeting comes in various colours, but not shades of colours. So, sample colours are available to view here.

8) Timescales for Delivery of Garment

The busier the Designer the longer the wait for delivery. this is inevitable, due to workloads etc. Some Designer have employees and some work alone. This does impact the delivery times for made-to-measure items.

Sample Sale items are usually ready to ship, but only in that size and proportions.

This waiting time can be from 2 weeks up to 3-6 months, so order in good time for your event.

9) Care & Storage of latex Garments

I have already written a blog regarding this subject here. However, do not use talc before putting on a PDUK latex dress, otherwise you will find white sludge dripping down your legs at the end of the night!! Learn from my early mistakes wearing latex!!

10) Repairs to Garments

I offer free repairs on all of my PDUK garments. Some Designers do not however, so bear this in mind when something needs repairing.

I do offer repairs to other Designers work too.

I hope this answers some of your queries, if you have any other questions for me, just hit the chat button and I will answer asap.


Susey ..



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