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This Whole Pierced Clothing Trend Is Making Me Hot

Oh hello! Can we talk about piercings for a minute?

Not those kinds of piercings. I mean, sort of those kinds of piercings. I mean, okay, I’ll start here: When I was little, I mutilated multiple Barbies by sticking pins into their heads. Specifically, in places where one might actually have piercings (I think I was influenced by some of the edgier looks on The Real World at the time). I chopped their hair to the root and colored it with markers, too. My Barbies were kind of like Halsey, only pre-Halsey.


In high school and college, I tried out several piercings, often without my parents’ approval and occasionally via a safety pin in my bathroom. They were not always the best decisions. They were fine. Whatever.

Anyway, all this is to say that while I think my years of wanting skin piercings may be over, I still find myself excited about the pierced clothing and accessories that I keep seeing all over the place. And since I know Straddlers like a little pain with their pleasure, I thought you might be curious about them too.


Want to start small? Pick up R. Shemiste’s black baseball cap ($95) or Forever 21’s simpler olive version ($12.90). For cooler weather, snuggle up to Steve Madden’s pom pom beanie ($30) in black or white, or Don’s burgundy Mirtha brimmed hat ($180). Or, if messing with your hair isn’t an option, try a bag like Phillip Lim’s mini backpack ($495) or RED Valentino’s curved barbell clutch ($208).

Tops and Outerwear

Make the most of the not-freezing weather we have left with Philip Lim’s pierced side white tee ($175; sizes XS-L), Isabel Marant’s grey slub pierced tank ($220; sizes XS-XL), or City Chic’s plus-size barbell closure tank ($59; sizes 14-24). For fancier events, RED Valentino’s slim-fit button-down ($395; Italian sizes 36-44) or Neil Barret’s tux shirt ($447; neck sizes 39-42) might just do the trick.

Everyday sweatshirts this grey number by Phillip Lim ($295; sizes XS-L) and pink cropped hoodie via Charlotte Russe ($26; sizes 1X-3X) are made edgier with a barbell or two; against the soft knits of Neiman Marcus’ black ribbed sweater ($34.50; sizes XS-L) Forever 21’s white cropped sweater ($19.90; sizes S-L), or the company’s black plus-size sweater (0X-3X; sizes $27.90), the hardware is even better.

I think there’s a consensus around here that denim jackets are the best, so here are a few pierced ones. A sheer, skirt-length layer adds a delicate touch to Boohoo’s oversized Laila jacket ($46; sizes 2-10), while Topshop’s pierced panel jacket ($160, sizes 0-14) is pure tough stuff. Strateas Carlucci’s black hoodie ($538; men’s sizes XS-L) also looks like an excellent DJ alternative.

Bottoms and Jumpsuits

Why yes, executive lesbians, that is a deep-plunge neckline held together by barbells! Get your 2017 Bette Porter on with this formal jumpsuit by Zimmerman ($397.50; sizes 2-10) or Derek Lam 10 Crosby sailor pants ($495; sizes 0-10) in black or white. Outside the boardroom, Topshop’s denim miniskirt ($75; sizes 0-14) and Noisy May’s pierced pocket mom jeans ($57; waist sizes 25-32) are the move.


Fabianelli’s chunky leather loafers ($49; sizes 6-10), the heeled Everly mule by Rebecca Minkoff ($117; sizes 5-10), and Nine West flashy grey contrast brogues ($89; sizes 4-13) are good bets for the office or other conservative-ish event, while Katy Perry’s Cherri sandals ($83; sizes 5-10; also available in black) were, I’m pretty sure, made for kink parties.

Finally, I love these barbell-buckled Chelsea boots from Mango ($80; sizes 5-10)! My fellow large-footed people may take a liking to these desert boots ($530; Italian sizes 39-45) or combat bootsby Neil Barrett ($670; Italian sizes 39-45). And if you’re more into heels, Dorateymur’s Nizip side barbell suede boots ($525; Italian sizes 35-41) or Jaggar’s rear barbell leather version ($205; Italian sizes 37-41) are both super sexy options.

For real; those boots and I are in a throuple now. Anyway, what’s your take on all this?

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Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 52 articles for us.


  1. I really don’t understand the pierced clothing trend. ? Is it supposed to be edgy? But the only thing that makes piercings edgy in the first place is the fact that you’ve forced a piece of metal through your body in spite of the pain, annoying healing period and occasionally blood. Is it just supposed to be mildly ornamental? If so, why do they look like piercings, which only really look like that because of anatomy?

    /Confused old fart who’ll still prefers body piercings to pierced hats and heels

  2. One piercing glance was all it took for Nora and those booooots to fall in love.
    May their throuple reign forever.

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