Charlie Byrne | Fashion Editor | 1,049 day ago

So Nipple Pasties Are Now Totally A Fashion Thing, But Would You Actually Wear Them?

The Debrief: Cara D stepped out with them, so did Miley, why are we going cray cray for glittery nipples?

Occasionally, a celebrity wears something so bonkers that we dismiss it as a weird fashion fail. Then the sheep effect kicks in and before you know it, we’re all penciling in scouse brows, buying neon Nikes - or the trend de jour we're going out semi naked and wearing sequins on our nipples as if they’re perfectly normal accessories. Don’t believe me? Well, the stats prove it - sales of nipple pasties are through the roof. 

It would be fair to declare 2014 as the year of the nipple, what with the popularity of #freethenippple, which has led to an upcoming movie, no less. So perhaps it's no surprise that we're now all about the nipple accessory. 

Ann Summers’ sales of nipple pasties are up by 280%, and I double checked - they don’t mean the nude plaster kind, they mean the jewelled, embellished, twizzly tasselled, kind. And just in case you wondered whether a rise of 280% means 280 times more than one lonely set sold, afraid not folks - an extra 200 sets were sold this year compared to last year. That’s four hundred extra teeny tiny sparkly and sticky blobs bouncing around the country.   

 

The Fashion Nips

Now you could also assume that maybe it’s kinkier sexual habits that have spurred on the trend (a 50 Shades Of Grey delayed reaction?) but it actually looks like it’s fashion that is responsible for the surge in sequinned bosoms. Tom Ford’s SS15 collection stole the headlines during September’s ready to wear shows, thanks to his sheer dresses and tops embellished with tinsel-like streamers over the nipple area, or the dress Rihanna wore to the AmfAR gala in October, and add to that the number Cara D stepped out in this week for the BFAs after party. FYI, in case you're wondering, Rihanna's floor length version costs £5290. That's some pricey boob embellishment right there. 

But whatever Ri-Ri does we want in on - and we’re now buying full on sparkling numbers with the intention of wearing them over or under sheer tops.

Coco de Mer report that sequin tassels are now their biggest seller. ‘We have had an increase in people buying and requesting more ornate designs instead of just plain pasties,’ says Ashleigh Levison. ‘We stock all sorts of materials, from Swarovski crystals,  to latex, patent leather,and some with chains and silk satin.’

Over at eBay, there are currently over 900 listings on a Buy It Now basis for nipple pasties, and they recorded a 100% increase in sales during September. Agent Provocateur, whose nipple pasties start at £30 and go up to £195, has noticed a 70% increase in sales for pasties compared to last year . It seems we’ve gone nipple pastie mad. 

A Nippy History

Of course  this isn’t the first time they’ve been in the fashion spotlight. Thierry Mugler sent some gold nipple pasties down his runway in 1986, and Lil Kim caused a hoo-ha by rocking up to the 1999 VMAs wearing a lilac jumpsuit that matched her hair and a single sea-shell shaped pastie over her exposed left boob.

 

A quick Google and I find they were actually invented in the 1920s so that burlesque girls and cabaret shows could get away with having their show-girls virtually naked without breaking any indecency laws, and have been adopted by red carpet regulars as the only remaining way to shock us.

With the power to pack a shock - it's no surprise that Miley Cyrus is basically a walking advert for the nipple pasty, having worn them countless times (who remembers the ice cream cones on her boobs?) and most recently wearing a silver sequinned style to a private gig at Art Basel this week. 

My Nips, My Tips

Ok, so I understand the fashion credentials but would I actually wear them? In the name of research, I asked the kind folks at Agent Provocateur to send me some to try. Unsure what the appropriate time to road test them was, I decided just to go for it and pop them on in my kitchen over breakfast this week while I fed the dog. My fiancé came down stairs to find me with Bakers Complete in hand, stripped to the waist bar two navy blue stars with dangling diamonds. Used to my 'weird fashion stuff', he hilariously barely batted an eyelid, until one fell off and the dog ran off with it.

I was surprised that while I automatically felt completely ridiculous sporting jewelled breasts while I buttered toast, that there was a part of me that also made me think were quite glamorous.

Being small boobed, I've never thought of my breasts as much of a feature before, but there's nothing like some swinging sparkles to up the ante. But would I actually wear them out of the house? No. It's freezing outside, I'm a wimp to the cold, and quite frankly I don't want to freeze my tits off. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't; teamed under a layer of  sheer (a big AW14 trend) and I'd say you might just have the perfect NYE outfit sorted. 

 

Pink Tasseled PastiesMinions pastiesChristmas Pudding PastiesStrawberry Pasties

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