With the 27th annual Folsom Street Fair happening on Sunday, the big question is, "What are you going to wear?" Folsom is one of the largest fashion events in San Francisco, and whether you're a spectator or a leather aficionado, you're undoubtedly going to plan your outfit before you go. With almost no knowledge of proper leather attire -- my closest frame of reference is Alexander McQueen's Fall/Winter 2009 collection -- I turned to some buff babes in the leather community to show me the ropes (and other kinky gear).
My guides were leather pro and booking manager EJ (Gehno) Sanchez, go-go dancer Jason Urso, and porn star Leo Forte of Kink.com and Raging Stallion fame.
Click through for some valuable dos and don'ts from the boys.
My first important lesson was the difference between "old guard" and "new guard." "Old guard" is the more traditional version of leather, as captured by illustrator Tom of Finland. Inspired by 1940s gay motorcycle gangs and drawing on military and police influences, the look comes with lot of history and traditions that are a little complex for a beginner. "New guard" is slightly more lax, allowing for mixing-and-matching different aesthetics and incorporating other masculine style icons, like wrestlers and boxers. If you're a Folsom first-timer, this is the way to go. You don't have to be an expert to put together a "new guard" look, and the prices of PVC and spandex pieces are considerably lower than those of leather.