Custom Tips Shopping for Harnesswear

By: Abby DivDate: June 29, 2020

Abigail Div
Hello everyone and welcome. We're going to be talking today about how to shop and wear harness wear. I'm your host Abigail Div, founder of the Le Sex Lab, an experimental Media Lab exploring sexuality. Today's interview will satisfying the following. How do you shop for harness wear? What do you look for in a product? How do you know your size? What are common fit problems? What's the difference in the materials? And how do you choose them? And finally, how do you incorporate harness wear into your everyday life? Today with me to talk all about the world of harness wear is creator and founder of Love Lorn Lingerie, Jessica Ding. Welcome, Jessica.

Jessica Ding
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here today.

Abigail Div
Yes, welcome to the Le Sex Lab adult product podcast. To start with, I thought we'd discuss who you are and why you're a great person to talk to about the custom world of harness wear and fetishwear.

Jessica Ding
Great. Well, my name is Jessica Dang, I run Love Lorn Lingerie. I do everything behind it. I am the maker, the designer. I'm the merchandiser. I'm the product packer. And I'm the one you see at shows. So I've been doing this for about six years now. I started in January of 2014. So I've been doing it for a while, explored a lot of things. And I've been I've done a lot of learning and changing along the way, which is good because I think harnesses have changed a lot since I started in 2014.

Abigail Div
Great, yeah, I'll add a bit of history to that and that I discovered Love Lorn Lingerie many years ago working in the boutique lingerie industry as a lingerie model. Following Love Lorn Lingerie's multiple social media feeds and product lines, I could tell from the outset that this was this one woman brand has something that sets them apart from other creatives. So onto our first topic, Jessica, when it comes to shopping for harness where there are many options. Can you tell me in general, what you look for in one? What are the primary features that you look for?

Jessica Ding
So a lot of it depends on what you want the harness to be for. Is it something that you're going to be wearing every day? Or is it something you specifically want to wear out to some sort of huge party or an event where everyone else is going to be dressed up also. But ideally, I would look for something that is leather, black, because black you can wear everywhere. And if you're new to it, and if you want something versatile, I would go with something that kind of highlights your waist in your shoulders. Like I think that's the key thing between what is when something can be worn outside and when something is specifically sexual. So a harness that has like suspenders straps and like a wide waist bit waist belt, which is super simple. But that's the kind of thing you can wear it with everything you wear it over a dress, you could wear over a dress shirt, a t-shirt, all of that. But it's something that you'd also layer on top of other things if you're going out to a party. So I would do that for one. So black and leather just because leather is longer lasting, even if you know, you don't get a chance to go out to go out to a party or anything or you don't have the opportunity to wear it. You can let it sit in your closet for like couple years as long as it's properly stored. And then you could pull it out and it will still be fine to wear whereas certain other materials might not kind of stand the test of time that way.

Abigail Div
Yeah, I'll be honest and saying that I've experimented personally with making simple harnesses from elastic that I've sourced from the fabric district here in New York City. And while it's not been a total failure, it has been illuminating in respect to the fact that deconstructing a piece of apparel is not an easy or trivial endeavor. There's many considerations when it comes to the construction and manufacturing.

Well, shopping for lingerie, especially online can be a nightmare. When it comes to determine your fit and your size. Brands use different fit models and even the specs for measuring the body can be different. How do you know with harnesses what is your size?

Jessica Ding
Oh, honestly, the beauty of harness wear is most of the time they're adjustable. So that's very important. Make sure that it's adjustable by a couple of inches either with like, if it's not buttons, they have different snaps and if it's you know if there's a buckle multiple holes that you can adjust the size with. I would say definitely measure yourself, make sure you know your measurements of your bust your waist and your hips, and then check the websites. Fit chart, every website, I think should have one. If they don't, it's a little bit of an issue because that's the best way to tell where you fall within their sizes. And then from there, I would say, keep an eye on what kind of style you're buying. And like I said before, check out where the adjustment points are. So if you're buying a bra, you know, it doesn't really matter what your hip size is. So if your hip size says you're size medium, but your chest and your waist size says you're size small if you're buying a bra buy a small because that's where it's actually going to hit on your body and that's where it's going to actually matter. And then it's kind of the same way. Like if you feel like you have problem areas like if you don't fit into a specific specific size range. If your waist is a little bit bigger if your shoulders a little bit wider. Keep that in mind when you're looking for styles because certain ones you'll see there'll be adjustment points at the shoulder, you'll be able to adjust the waist and then other ones, you it'll just be like, kind of a one size fits all deal at certain points. So just be aware of where you don't fit in where you've had issues with fit in the past so that you are buying the right kind of style for you and that it will fit with adjustment points.

Abigail Div
And that makes a perfect segue into the follow up, which is, what are the common fit problems that you find with harness wear?

Jessica Ding
Mostly fit problems come down to what your measurements lie in and whether you fit into the proportions of the size chart and the proportions that make the harness looks good. Does that make sense? Because turn harnesses well, essentially the bust or the waist or the hips, or the shoulders, and if any of these areas you feel don't really match, like kind of the standard sizing is when you're going to run into problems because styles are designed, most styles, are designed so that they're adjustable around the bust, the waist and the hips. A lot of the other, I call them floating measurements, which is like your shoulders, the length of your torso, the length of your neck, things like that. Those are, you don't really have like standards for them. So you just have to keep that in mind when you're buying harnesses because sometimes, a lot of them won't be long enough or they're not adjustable where you need them to be.

Abigail Div
Any tricks of the trade for determining your side insider knowledge on the red flags when it comes to measurements and fit?

Jessica Ding
Like I said before, definitely measure yourself with a tape measure, figure it out in inches or centimeter like you can just convert it to make sure you have an accurate reading of your measurements at different times of day. Because your waist measurement could change one to two inches depending on when you're measuring it, whether it's after you've just woken up in the morning or after you've eaten a meal. And you want to make sure that whatever you're buying is going to be able to accommodate those changes throughout the day. So that you're going to be able to be comfortable, you're not going to be like squashed after you've eaten five burritos or something you know. So keep that in mind. I would really make sure to check the brand's size chart, see where you fall along it. A lot of times there'll be, they'll kind of be following the standard body and standard proportions. So there'll be an eight, eight to ten inch difference between the bust the waist and the hips. By which I mean the eight inch difference between the measurement of the bust versus the hip, the waist, and then the hips will be about eight inches bigger than the waist also. So that's kind of your like your classic hourglass figure for women. A lot of women don't fit into that I don't fit into that. So a lot of times I go based off of the measurement of my body that is out of the size range. So for instance, my bust and my hips fit into the medium size range. But my waist is a size large for a lot of brands. For my brand to like I'm right on the edge of a medium large. So I would just make sure that whatever style you're buying, I would, you know, in cases like that I would go a size up. And just make sure that you can see that there's enough adjustability that you can cinch down and when you're where you're where you're smaller. So for me, I would go with size large and make sure that when whatever design that I'm buying that there's buckles at the waist at the bust in the hips, so I'll be able to adjust those if needed.

Abigail Div
That makes a lot of sense.

Jessica Ding
Yeah, because like you're never going to be able to like, make something bigger than already is but if it's like figure you can always make it smaller, even if you run out of holes you can always punch extra holes in for yourself.

Abigail Div
You can make it as I say quasi adjustable on your own.

Jessica Ding
Exactly.

Abigail Div
There's some custom tips for you on how to modify your harness where if it doesn't fit 100% as measurements dictate

Jessica Ding
Yes. And I would also be aware of your, I guess you would call them your length measurements, because a lot of these aren't adjustable length wise, or at least a lot of size charts don't really have kind of a standard for the length of your torso. They usually don't have that measurement on there. So if you find yourself particularly long in the torso or short, just make sure whatever you're buying can accommodate for that.

Abigail Div
Ah, that's interesting. So you're saying that when looking at size charts, they are not accommodating to body proportion in terms of your torso length versus the width?

Jessica Ding
Yeah.

Abigail Div
That's fascinating.

Jessica Ding
Yeah.

Abigail Div
Well, perfect. Let's talk now then more about materials. Love Lorn uses some unconventional materials when it comes to underwear like PVC and leather. But let's just say you're brand new to the lingerie scene and you're starting a new line, or you have an existing line and you're branching out your collection into new territory. How do you go about choosing the material you're going to use?

Jessica Ding
So I think a lot of that depends on your experience, like, how much experience have you had working with this new material? And what do you feel comfortable working with? And if this is a completely new material, how much equipment and new tools are you going to have to buy to work with this new material? So if you spent your time just working with elastic, you've got a sewing machine for it, you've got needles, you've got thread, but if you want to switch to leather, you're gonna have to buy a whole slew of new machines, so you're gonna have to buy whole punch, leather, scissors, knives, rivets, something to set those rivets with potentially heavier and bigger equipment if you really want it. So it's like, do you have the money to invest in it? And is that something that you want to do at this moment? If you want to like, yeah, go go straight ahead. But I would just be aware of all of that. And I think what's also important is, how do you feel with that against your skin? I think it's very hard to really design for something that you can't eat. If you can't stand the feel of it on your own skin. Like how are you going to be able to design and create something beautiful if it's not comfortable for you?

Abigail Div
Yeah, that's a perfect segue into the follow up, which is, what are some common pitfalls when it comes to using unconventional materials like PVC and leather for intimate wear. For instance, a lot of underwear wraps around your body parts that can easily become chaffed or it comes about uncomfortable when you wear for a long period of time, especially, you know, when you're going down into your nether regions of your body. Yeah, I wanted to be wearing something that's uncomfortable.

Jessica Ding
Yes, That's why I tend to always make leg harnesses or crotchless panties. I am a big proponent of hygiene. Like I love things to be clean. So the idea of having something that is potentially going to be dirty and every time you wear it, but it's not so easily cleaned is something that kind of squicks me out. So because like leather, you can't really wash it. When it's just against, you know your skin, it's not really that big of a deal. In fact, it's better because the oils of your skin will actually help keep leather conditioned and soft. But you don't necessarily want that rubbing against your groin or anything like that. Especially if you don't know where the source of the leather is and what kind of chemicals have been used on it to dye or seal it so I would say avoid things like that that are going to be in a very moist porous region. That's all I'll say about that.

Abigail Div
Has there been any pitfalls and in regards to sourcing or creating a harness wear that has been using unconventional materials like leather and PVC and I know that you have also other sets of lines that source different fabrics in order to create the aesthetic that you're going for? Have you found anything that to be a no go when it comes to fabrics and materials?

Jessica Ding
Well, I found that vegan leather actually really doesn't work for me. People have requested vegan leather before and I've looked into it and they tend to be very thin and soft, which doesn't really work by itself as something that needs to be stripy and harness he is just too flimsy. And I've noticed that I don't know if anyone if everyone else has had this experience, but I've felt that vegan leather tends to chaff more than real leather. You feel like real leather is weirdly more breathable, I think maybe because it was skin, you know, at one point so far sense. So it's a lot more comfortable. And then otherwise, one of my biggest issues is actually just keeping the right leathers in stock. I have this bad habit of picking leathers that I like and designing product lines based on them. And then a few months later it's been discontinued and I can't create those designs anymore, which is very, very frustrating. But you know, after a couple years of sourcing I've actually been able to find like, pretty good sources for leather as well. I no longer use one off leathers or anything that's particularly like special or unique because the chances of that running down are way higher and they're not as replaceable. And then for PVC, the problem is I've always had is finding the thick, like the thicker, ones because the very thin ones are very thin, like, like paper thin and like that some work and it's been, for me weirdly hard to find the quality of lead of PVC that I need things I found one for now, but I'm always on the lookout lookout for something heavier that I can use.

Abigail Div
So it's always constantly changing. So folks, if you're looking for the thing that you see now by now is really the takeaway to sourcing materials and and a sustainable fashion. Wonderful. Well lastly, I'd like to delve into the application of actually using this lovely handcrafted made to measure harness wear. As this is being recorded, we are here in New York City, both myself, and Love Lorn Lingerie and we are still in the throes of the corona virus pandemic, unfortunately. But as an avid lingerie collector myself, I found a way to wear my lingerie every day as quote workwear as I don't have to wear anything else while I'm in quarantine. Excellent. But this is somewhat of an exceptional circumstance. So my question is, is this just me or is it really difficult to make an investment with few hundred dollars in harness wear and then find a way to wear it. So I want to close the question of what kind of ways have you found to incorporate harness wear into everyday life?

Jessica Ding
Yeah, I'm definitely especially for an investment as you said about a couple hundred dollars, that's a lot. That's a lot and you want to be able to use it. I think a lot of it is just kind of biting the bullet and building outfits around it. You see people wearing really fantastic, fantastic outfits out there and I think he just kind of needs to be brave enough to throw on that harness anyway. And it doesn't have to be like on full display. You know, you could layer a harness on underneath something underneath a jacket underneath the shirt so only like the edge of it like pops out like if you're wearing something that has a high neck and has a lot of detail on the neck. You could throw it on underneath the shirt that you're wearing. you kind of just see like the edge of it over the neckline or like the edge of it underneath. The shirt and sometimes that's all you need. Like, it's just a little bit of something for your everyday wear. And then I would also say, sometimes you just have to make your own opportunities. Like you say you, you've been wearing your lingerie at home. I've kind of been doing the same I'll just wear harnesses sometimes, sometimes just to test them. That's a fun way to do it too. And then hopefully, when the world essentially opens back up, if you want to wear your harnesses, find events to go to, there's especially if you in somewhere like New York City, there's a ton of events and parties, and just special things that you can wear them to. It doesn't have to it doesn't have to be like this crazy, rave party or something where everyone's like scantily clad, which you could do that too. No problem with that. But I mean, if you're going to, I can totally somewhere and stuff like a really awesome outfit, with a harness out to, like a poetry reading or something like that or a night out with friends. You just kind of have to make your opportunities and wear it and be happy with it.

Abigail Div
Fantastic. And thank you for joining me today to talk about the fascinating and often mystifying world of harness wear if you like what you hear, join me in the Le Sex lab again next week for another adult product feature. And I will be linking also inside of the podcast to check out Love Lorn Lingerie's most recent summer edition. Thank you, Jessica, for joining us.

Jessica Ding
Thank you!