B-b-b-but I’m scared…

After my recent latex 101 article (which seems to be popular!) I thought I’d now do a “coming out shiny” article off the back of it as there are a lot of people out there who really really want to wear shiny clothing, be it leather, latex, PVC, but they’re absolutely terrified of what their friends and family might think.

Let’s get started with my story…

I was rather young when I first got leather trousers. I’d started working, got my own income, and even though I had wanted some all through my childhood my parents, rather wisely, had told me no. I look back now and agree with them – I was growing very fast and leather is expensive.

It all started at Laser Quest. A guy came in (looking rather cool for the time in full leather, bandana, cowboy boots). He was with a female who I thought might be his girlfriend and he certainly acted straight – being pretty much straight myself I felt a little lift!

My only previous experiences with leather, and trousers in particular, had been associated with gay culture and gay imagery; motorbikes; and rock bands. Yes I’d had a bike, but a 50cc FS1E might look a bit silly being straddled by a fully leathered up dude, and at that point my bass playing was strictly bedroom only.

My first bike was one of these.

This guy, though (I even remember his name was Marc) was a different look for me and I liked it. I felt slightly jealous of his confidence as at that time I was quite meek and quiet.

I plucked up courage, went and spoke to him, said “nice trousers, where from?” and I’m not sure whether he thought I was a bit weird or not, but he told me they were from Meadowhall – Street Leathers to be precise.

It was 6pm… Meadowhall closed at 8… I could get down there and get some and be like Marc in less than two hours!

So it happened. I went down to Meadowhall, paid a ridiculously high price for a pair of very average quality leather jeans; went home; and hid them in the wardrobe. Only to wear them when I was in the house on my own.

Confidence boost gone. Drat!

The first time I wore them was…

In 1996 I started a degree with the Open University. The first course (S101) had a summer school which was a week at Keele University.

I was learning bass and getting much better at it, I was wanting to join bands, but my image really didn’t say “Musician”. I looked a bit geeky!

I went away to summer school with a bit of stubble and blue jeans on, arrived at summer school, and the first evening after lectures I changed my image. I shaved my first goatee beard, put on the leather trousers that had been hiding in the wardrobe, gelled up my flat hair into some cool spikes, and gave myself an image makeover!

That night I went to the Union bar with my new image and it felt great. Nobody really knew me. Nobody really knew what I was about, and I could play at being whoever I wanted.

Do you know what happened?

Nothing. Nobody commented. Nobody said a thing. Nobody pointed and laughed.

And that, my friends, is the biggest step to going out in leather for the first time.

They’re not out there, they aren’t weird, and when you are seen for the first time in your new leather jeans nobody will actually care!

I thought I’d have people making village people jokes but nope. I didn’t end up running back to the room crying. I just sat in the union bar, talked with my fellow science group, and nobody said a thing about them.

Breaking them in to friends

Family and friends are the next big hurdle.

My next step was more distant friends (my prog rock music community).

I went to see a band in Bury. Traveled in blue jeans, changed in the car into leather jeans, went to see the band. Again… Nobody noticed. Nobody cared. My apprehension was going very rapidly.

So… On to closer friends. One of my biggest worries.

It was Christmas. We used to go down Swinton for a drink just before Christmas. I’ve never really done the alcohol thing though! I did it again. Headed out, changed trousers in the car, and looked rather nice in my fluffy sweater, leather jeans, black leather boots. When my friends saw me nobody mentioned the trousers… Until later 😲

We went to one of their houses after. One of the group, Mark, commented on my leather jeans – saying if he’d have known I was going to wear mine he’d have worn his! (Ironically, the year after he did wear his but I didn’t wear mine!).

All in all, positive responses all round and every single anxiety I had defused.

I also wore them to meet friends in Cornwall in the 90’s. It’s the first photo I have of me in them. I look very very different!

Family

This was the most difficult of the lot for me, and it did involve a white lie… But it did coincide with me joining bands.

Rather than saying I’d bought them from Meadowhall a couple of years previous I said I’d only bought them there and then. They were to be stage wear, but actually, they ended up being regular wardrobe clothing.

First time my mum saw me in them she said “cool” and then bought some herself. She even wore them to one of my gigs!

Me with Deadline (2000).
My mum rocking her leather trousers (2000)

Since then leather has become more and more a part of my wardrobe.

I’m now doing the same process with latex. I’m at the stage of close friends with that… Let’s see how that goes eh? After all latex is a bit more “out there”

Latex jeans to a wedding

BMI normal.

Whilst I don’t actually trust BMI as a way of indicating health, I do understand that it can be used carefully as a guide.

Today I weighed myself and at 86.8kg I now fit within the weight range of normal (although I’m still at the top end of the range).

I’m now fitting into 36″ waist trousers, including these rather amazing leather ones which look rather stunning if slightly dapper mixed in with this beautiful waistcoat.

…although this would be more my general office wear.

Absolutely no editing!

Taken using my new Huawei Watch 2 as a camera remote.

Android wear (Wear OS) has really come on since last time I had a device (Moto 360).

Leather to a wedding?

I was asked a few days ago if, should the right time and place arise, would I wear leather to a wedding?

Well I can tell you, it’s arisen thrice already! Well twice… The third involved latex!

Both events were in 2009, the first I wore leather jeans with a leather jacket…

Adam, a friend, was fascinated…

The second was a wedding up in the Northeast. This time it was rather nice pleated front leather trousers and a waistcoat… No jacket though.

I also had my sunset coloured Mohican at the time. Nobody messes with you when you’re over 6′ and have a Mohican!

The third event was in 2015… This the the latex jeans came out. Andy thought they were… Strange. But then I’m strange, so nothing new there.

So in answer to the question, of course I’d wear leather to a wedding… Or latex.

Perhaps next time I wear leather to a wedding I’ll go for a three piece… Hmm…

Why I wear leather

Following on from one of my online friends, Rock in Rubber I thought I’d do a little about my leather wearing history (nothing about latex yet… But keep following me and we’ll get to that).

All though my childhood I’d always liked the look of leather. My school disco era was a time when the New Romantics were around and I used to see bands like Duran Duran, Aha, Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode all wearing leather in various guises. I had jackets and coats in the 80’s but always wanted a pair of trousers!

I started work, started earning my own money, but I’d never really known where to buy leather trousers from – for men anyway.

It wasn’t until the mid 90’s when I was at Laser Quest when a guy was in a game with me. He had leather jeans and leather “denim style” jacket on. I couldn’t believe it! I though leather was a thing of the past…

I must have sounded really creepy but I asked him where he got them from. It turned out they were from a local large shopping centre, and the shop was open until 10 o’clock!

I went straight down there, found the shop (Street Leathers) and found the leather trousers in question! I tried them on. The fit was amazing! I bought them there and then… and later realised I’d paid almost £100 over the odds – but I had leather trousers.

I sneaked them into the house (I still lived with my parents at the time) and didn’t wear them out for a few months… They stayed hidden away!

My first outing in them was to an open university summer school. I took them with me and when I was there, on neutral territory, I wore them out to the student union bar one night. They felt amazing and I felt good. I was hooked!

A couple of years later (1998) my life changed very markedly, and leather transitioned itself into my wardrobe on a regular basis.

I’d always liked rock and metal music, hence the name of my site! But I’d only dabbled in my instrument – Bass Guitar. I had spent a couple of years in a pop band (as was the scene at the time), but when that split up in 1998, my musical interests turned elsewhere.

I was also at that time aiming to get my motorbike licence as I had plans to bike to Cornwall for the total solar eclipse in 1999.

Late 1998 came, and I was called out of the blue by the drummer of a rock band. I was auditioned, got the job, and I started gigging not long after. It was an excuse to buy and own more leather!

1999 came. I passed my bike test on a cold January afternoon, and my leather owning and wearing went into overdrive!

My CB600F Hornet. My summer biking gear usually consisted of jeans and a paddock jacket.

My leather jeans transitioned from stage wear, to regular clothes. I was wearing them out and about, and people became used to me in various amounts of leather.

It was shortly after this when I first met my future wife to be… But that’s a whole different story of fights, swords, and archery.

Anyhow, here’s some of the first photos of me in full leather – I had much longer hair back then…

My Honda CB600F Hornet and my usual leathers. They are black and very well waxed as I wore them through the winter biking season.

I still wear leather to this day. There’s something ego boosting for me about wearing it, whether it’s just a basic pair of jeans or a full three piece suit. I also transitioned into latex and PVC but the basic leathers are what still come out on a weekend when I go out shopping, or even on nights out!

Modern day. I’ll often wear leather jeans with an Oxford shirt.

Folk Train

So yeah, the folk train was a thing we did, and I was really surprised by how good it was. Not only was the back carriage much fuller than last time (only a single band played last train) but it was a very appreciative crowd.

I think it was a good call!

Sadly, though, the next gig on Tuesday next week is not happening any more due to a mix up, but we’ve just managed to pull a support with a known band later in October so all is good really!