One of the most unique and edgy fashion trends has got to be spikes and studs. From spiked collars to studded bras, this intimidating-looking hardware is a part of fringe society that has never really gone out of style. Now more than ever we’re seeing a resurgence of all things spiked, with the motif popping up in almost every accessory and clothing piece you can think of. Where did this trend start, and why is it so popular?

To trace the roots of this, we need to go back- way, way back. Far back enough to the time when armor was a must for anyone who fought. One of the earliest forms of armor was something called a brigandine- a complex garment that consisted of metal plates, pressed between layers of leather that made it more difficult for bladed weapons through the hides and into the wearer beneath. It also helped to absorb some of the blow from heavier, bludgeoning weapons, redistributing the shock to keep its wearer alive. Often mistakenly referred to in modern fantasy games as studded leather, only the metal studs that held the metal plates in place were visible.

This gives us a piece of clothing with a similar look to the studding seen on leather punk jackets. It is, therefore, not an unlikely jump to say that the studs employed in clothing are a nod to their protective properties, as well as to the fact that only fighters wore a brigandine. Therefore, the person wearing such studded clothing was not to be trifled with lightly, as a fight could ensue that could leave you very much the worse for wear. It’s no wonder, then, that the underground cultures of goth and punk adopted studded clothing and accessories as staples.

You don’t need to get quite so extreme to incorporate spikes into your wadrobe, though, if you want to be a bit more toned down. New styles have emerged that have long, slender spikes that almost look like fringe and cast spiked jewelry in a sophisticated, edgy light. So while spiked and studded jewelry may have started off being brash and definitive, the newest incarnation retains some of their menace while adding in a bit of subtlety.

It is true that many people simply like the aesthetics of spikes and studs, and therefore don’t put so much thought into what these items mean. But, as with so many other things, what we wear says a great deal about us whether we know it or not. The cultural subtext displayed in clothing and accessories is quite fascinating, and now we associate new pieces of cultural information with objects worn. So wear your spikes and studs with pride, and know they stand for all kinds of amazing things.

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A little edge. A little...danger

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