I think leather is perfect for vampires. Men don’t get away with wearing much leather beyond the acceptable leather jacket. To do so, you are still seen as a rebel, someone outside the norm. That seems perfect for a vampire. There is the everyday look and then there are the vampire parties, to which the outfits will vary. For a night out at the gay bar, leather pants work, but for the main event, something more is needed.
I love leather. It’s not about full-body leather (not always), or BDSM, it’s about making a fashion statement. While wearing leather is connected to my greater love of vampires, I’m probably out in public in leather more than my fangs. Hell I’ve written about my vampire fetish and how it relates to the leather & fetish scene (which I’m not a part of), but I don’t think I’ve shared enough. Hopefully this doesn’t turn everyone off, after all this is about fashion for vampires.
Watching the Paris and New York catwalks you see designer introduce leather clothes, innovative and unique, or fresh rethinks of standard items (the t-shirt or hoodie). I had always wondered if the outlandish and semi-practical items seen at fashion shows made it to shops, well most do. Paris and NYC seem in particular to be places where men can get away with leather. Of course the prices are not very practical, so unless you’re making 6-figures or have a sugar daddy you probably won’t own any DSquared2, Rick Owen or Gareth Pugh (and neither will I).
Hands down the best leather company is Northbound Leather in Toronto. The owners care about the quality and style. Maybe the limited choice of styles in European shops has made me biased (I’m not familiar with many US retailers), but the quality and price just don’t match what Northbound offers. It comes down to the quality of the leather: the texture, thickness and smell, but also how well made the garment is. Style is also important, and I think the items at Northbound can rival any high-end fashion house such as DSquared2 or Jitros.
When I first mentioned the Endless Night balls I also included photos of a new “gothic” jacket from Northbound. I still want this jacket to complete my vampire ball outfit. Check out the photos from the last Endless Night Vampire Ball on Facebook. Those vampires put in a lot of effort and it shows. Sadly I wasn’t able to make the Paris ball, but I’m going to make one of the US balls next October. Obviously leather is not the only solution, and through a few upcoming articles I hope to share with you the various other styles that exist, including one vampire I’ve come across who uses futuristic rubber/latex clothing made in Berlin.
The jacket I want has matching trousers though they are actually breeches and need long socks to cover the calfs or tall boots to complete the look. You can see from the above images that the breeches have a “button up bib front”. They end just below the knees with buttons on the side seam for easy entry, and a lace for adjustment at the back waist. (Shown in white they are also available in black leather. The jacket is only available in black but there’s another style without the tails available in red leather).
After a tiny bit of research, this look is likely from the pre-Victorian early 1800s, also called the Regency era, and this look is typical of a dandy. One famous dandy, Beau Brummell, is credited with establishing the wearing of full-length trousers and ties but this outfit would be right for him. And such a look, even in a traditional fabric, would be the perfect attire for a vampire ball, yet using leather to achieve the look is rebellious and modern, which seems very fitting for a vampire.
Let’s be practical
The jacket and even the breeches are too impractical for outside the vampire scene (of course only a gay would be able to justify spending $2000 on a single-night outfit, even for halloween). So let me share with you some high-quality photos of my favorite pieces, the trousers I own (yes, I really must do a photo shoot with my outfits all together).
The latest additional to my wardrobe from Northbound, these trousers have ample room in the crotch and an exposed silver zipper to highlight the pouch. Best of all is the saddle stitch in the rear which allows for the pants to sit nicely on your ass. There are also no regular pockets, just a small hidden pocket on the right with the opening just at the waist band, enough room for some money and a key. They came lined (which I altered) and straight boot-cut legs, fitting nice against the skin, though I’d prefer them tighter to the calfs like the ones below.
These super-tight leather trousers from Northbound Leather feature a triple-zipper codpiece crotch (two on the sides and one behind that helps keep the pants tight to the waist, and there’s a convenient hole so your junk sits inside the codpiece for when someone wants easy access). What you can’t see are the matching silver zippers on the outside ankles that pull the lower legs tight to the calfs. And they come unlined so that leather is against the skin. These are by far my favorite, but the double-zipper gives a more sexual look to the garment, so they are probably not for more formal use.
I have another pair of trousers, from Black Body Leather in Amsterdam, and while they are your basic 501-jeans style leather pants they are more practical (if boring) for the casual bar scene. The styles available from RoB Leather (a chain of shops around Europe) is very much the same and limited.
I haven’t mentioned tops much, and I know I can also explore alternatives to leather for those on a budget or just not risquÃ© enough. Let’s save that for another article.