Fashion Forward: 9 Wearable Technology Trends For Your Closet

wearable technology dress

What we wear defines us…and may save our lives, or at least, charge our phones.

Clothes serve a function. They protect us from the elements, keep us clean and warm, and oh yes, as far as Anna Wintour is concerned, the most critical reason: they keep us looking fabulous, which has become a near necessity of the modern world. We identify with what we wear as much as the world identifies us by our garments, particularly urban fashion. But what about clothing that say, charges your iPhone or detects cancer? What does that say about who we are? Meet wearable technology.

Technology has long been a part of clothing—from the creation of synthetic fabrics, to everyone’s favorite: Velcro—science is no stranger to style. Our foray into the futuristic gadget-driven hi-tech era is now seeing innovation become a driving force in fashion. You can get lost in the Pinterest boards for wearable tech, which I most certainly did. Somewhere between Tron and Lady Gaga, you have wearable technology. Here’s a glimpse…


Hearing dress
image: treehugger

1. Flutter Dress: Wearable technology isn’t just about getting online faster. The Flutter dress is designed for the hearing impaired. Created by Halley Profita, Nicholas Farrow, and Professor Nikolaus Correll at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Treehugger says the Flutter dress, “gives vibrotactile feedback in the direction of a loud sound or alarm to help those with hearing loss respond more intuitively to their external environment. The team also says that development of this wearable technology would also cut down on e-waste created by discarded hearing devices.”

First Warning Bra
image: first warning systems

2. Breast Cancer Detecting Bra: With a 90 percent success rate, it’s definitely a miracle bra. A Reno, Nevada medical technology company has created a bra that detects temperature changes in breast tissue, which can help discover tumors years before some mammograms.

wearable technology dress
image: ecouterre

3. Air Quality Detecting Dress: How about a dress that can tell you how clean the air is? This designer works with dyes that respond to subtle changes in the environment which will change the color of the dress.

LED dress
image: ecouterre

4. LED Dress: Here’s a double whammy: Emily Steel’s “Little Slide Dress” is recycled from old film scraps and lit with LEDs that highlight the film images.

iphone charging boots
image: ecouterre

5. Thermoelectric Galoshes: Charge your iPhone with these galoshes while working or relaxing.


Pebble watch
image: pebble

6. The Pebble: It’s a smart watch you synch with your wireless devices to see text messages, email alerts, phone calls. Oh yeah, it tells time, too.

Google Glasses
image: google

7. Google glasses: Wearable computers that can record videos and take photos. Not available yet but Google plans to have them out this year.

image: everpurse

8. Everpurse: Don’t fumble around for your car or desk charger—just drop your iPhone into your Everpurse and it charges it for you.

portable washer
image: designbuzz

9. Portable Washer: All your wearable technology will need a good warshin’ while you trek it around the globe and this little portable washboard is pretty darn nifty.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger



Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.