Suiting up is a great feeling, especially if you’re heading out to an important conference, a wedding or even for an extra special date night. We feel our best when we look suave, and suits have been facilitating this since their first introduction in the early 1800s by Beau Brummell. Suits serve many people all through the working week, but for others they’re reserved for special occasions.
The materials that we use for suits have advanced notably already, and innovations are wide ranging from temperature control to self-heating technologies. It can be irritating when we feel either too hot or too cold, and many modern buildings use intense air conditioning which proves troublesome especially in office environments. In recent years, fabrics have been developed to alleviate this, with garment materials that can alter their thermal properties allowing them to adapt to the surrounding environment. These smart features could revolutionise suits, making them a more comfortable choice in any climate.
Being slowed down on the morning commute is often the case if we’ve swerved the ironing pile for too long, but non-iron shirts have allowed businessmen and others to omit this faux-pas from their morning routine. These shirts are woven using fabric which is resistant to creasing, so snooze your alarm for an extra ten minutes and don’t worry about having to assemble the ironing board while eating your cornflakes.
Looking good while wearing a suit might be the first priority for most people, but it’s also important to feel comfortable in your jacket and trouser combo. Suits have adapted over the years to become more flexible, while maintaining that all important solid silhouette. If you wear a suit every day, you are bound to want to be able to move freely in it, but this is also helpful for those who are donning a suit for a wedding or work conference — when the suit will be worn for a considerable amount of time. Over time, elastane has been incorporated into suits which has helped to make them more comfortable and less rigid. Enjoy that special anniversary dinner, a day out at the races or your 9-5 in a suit which moves with you.
Paying via contactless or a smart watch really is all the rage right now, but we could be experiencing an advancement on this in the near future. As the demand grows, other options are set to be explored and wearable payments could take a step towards becoming even more futuristic. In 2018, it was revealed that thousands of Swedish people have opted to insert microchips beneath their skin, acting as a contactless payment method that will remove the need for cards or physical gadgets for payments. Although it sounds slightly dystopian, the reasoning behind it is a lot more practical: consider the fact that heavy wallets will no longer be required and losing a debit card will be an issue of the past.
Deciding which colour suit to opt for was often a thought consuming process for shoppers looking to expand their collection of smart attire. However, scientists in Florida have devised one of the most interesting potential solutions to resolve this indecision. Their studies propose that it could be possible to change the colour of a garment with a smart phone app, which collides with the ever-growing popularity surrounding personalisation. The fabric is with threads composed of metal microwire, and an electric current is then passed through the wire which causes a rise in the temperature of the thread. Even the colour and pattern of the thread could be changed using the app, connecting people to their garments in an entirely new way.
Fabric might even be developed to heal itself, perhaps one of the most interesting developments and a potential way to help shoppers save money. Catching your sleeve on the car door or simply noticing a hole after your trusty suit has served you well can be annoying, so imagine if the fabric could rectify itself to its former glory? Studies have uncovered a fabric which can repair itself with the addition of water, a development which could be used in protective clothing against toxic materials.
The future of fabric innovations could make clothes smarter, more useful and longer lasting, meaning that your favourite suit could become far more than just a suit.