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What are the best alternatives to latex clothing? PVC and Wetlook?

So you have a Latex allergy, but want to wear clothing with the same allure? There are alternatives so don’t worry - here we’ll go through the similarities and differences between Latex, PVC and Wetlook so you can choose the best material for you. Even if you don’t have an allergy it’s always helpful to know the differences and what the limits of each material are.

Let's start with the main differences between Latex and PVC;
What are they made of?

Latex is a natural polymer made from a rubber trees' sap, while PVC is a synthetic material made from a thermoplastic base derived from oil. This plastic coating of PVC is laid over a fabric base, and is worn with the fabric side inwards, shiny side out. Latex, however, is the same texture and feel, inside and out.

What are the differences when wearing them?

One of the more noticeable differences between the two is that PVC is nowhere near as stretchy as Latex. Whilst it has a little give, the synthetic material is no match for the natural stretch rubber can provide.
Neither materials are particularly well known for being breathable, however PVC comes out on top as it tends to be not as tight to the skin and offer a little more ventilation.

How about allergies?

Latex can cause allergies, which are unfortunately pretty common, causing itchy skin and irritation, varying in severity.
PVC is generally considered to be hypoallergenic and is often chosen as a Latex alternative because of its kindness to skin and shiny appearance.

What are the other differences?

PVC is not very biodegradable and can exist for long periods of time due to its synthetic makeup, however this does mean it is often more chemical resistant and a sturdier material.
With Latex being natural, it is more environmentally friendly and biodegradable, however it is not as resistant to PVC and can be easily damaged by contact with certain oils and other household products.

If you'd like a little more choice for alternatives to Latex Clothing, read on below for a brief look into wetlook, an incredibly soft and stretchy alternative.
What is Wetlook?

Wetlook is a brilliant alternative which combines the best of both worlds, made from synthetic PU coated polyester. Depending on the kind of wetlook and exactly how it’s made, it can be a more matte finish or an incredibly shiny one, which gives a wider variety of choice than Latex or PVC.

What does it feel and look like?

Wetlook is generally a very soft, very stretchy material, allowing it to cling to your shape and accentuate your curves in the same way Latex would. It is also much more breathable than its alternatives, and hypoallergenic, meaning no issues for those suffering latex allergies.

Which material is right for me?

Each material has its own unique properties and look, which should be taken into consideration when purchasing. Hopefully this simple guide will help you decide which of these wonderful options will best showcase you.