Fetish fashion is any style or appearance in the form of a type of clothing or accessory, created to be extreme or provocative. These styles are not usually worn by the majority of people on any regular basis. They are usually made of materials such as leather, latex or synthetic rubber or plastic, nylon, PVC, spandex, fishnet, and stainless steel. Some fetish fashion items include: stiletto heel shoes and boots (most notably the ballet boot), hobble skirts, corsets, collars, full-body latex catsuits, stockings, miniskirt, crotchless underwear, garters, locks, rings, zippers, eyewear, handcuffs, and stylized costumes based on more traditional outfits, such as wedding dresses that are almost completely see-through lace. Fetish fashions are sometimes confused with costuming, because both are usually understood to be clothing that is not worn as the usual wardrobe of people, and is instead worn to create a particular reaction.
Fetish fashions are usually considered to be separate from those clothing items used in cosplay, whereby these exotic fashions are specifically used as costuming to effect a certain situation rather than to be merely worn; such as the creation of a character for picture play. However, sometimes the two areas do overlap. For example, in Japan, many themed restaurants have waitresses who wear costumes such as a suit made of latex or a stylized French maid outfit.
The two photographs to the right are from the 2012 Los Angeles Fetish Film Festival.
Some type of garments that women wear to routinely improve their appearance are thought of as erotic and qualify as fetish wear: corsets and high heels. Most fetish wear is not practical enough for routine daily wear. A very common fetish costume for women is the dominatrix costume. Usually it consists of mostly dark or even black clothing. The woman usually wears a corset or bustier and stockings with high heeled footwear. High boots are quite common as they enhance the woman’s domination. Most women in dominatrix costumes carry an accessory such as a whip or a riding crop.