How to Dress As Your Most Bionic Self
by Keziah Weir, 31st May 2016
The buzz on wearable tech is deafening, but does any of it actually work? The ELLE staff tries on the latest in smart fashion.
Even as fashion pundits question the success of the “wearables” market—beyond fitness trackers and smart watches, how much of this stuff are people actually wearing?—the ELLE office is bombarded daily with press releases on the latest and greatest: Caffeine-dispensing bracelets! Sleep-inducing headbands! Form-correcting yoga tights! When we called the companies to test-drive items for this story, we were quickly reminded that wearables are still in their relative infancy, excitedly touted on crowdfunding platforms and at idea-fests such as SXSW and CES, but still several key steps away from being put into the hands of consumers (or editors, for that matter). That said, the best of the products we did take for a spin were impressive. Nonagenarian fashion icon Iris Apfel’s gold- and palladium-finished WiseWear cuffs—press a spot on the bracelet to send a distress message to your emergency contact—look like a costume-jewelry Fitbit alternative for the ladies-who-lunch crowd. The steel-gray cashmere-and-wool blend wrap coat that British brand Emel + Aris sent over can only be described as heavenly: It’s shot through with heating panels and equipped with a small battery pack—none of which is visible to the naked eye, so no one needs to know you’re walking around in a very chicly cut electric blanket. And while ELLE staffers have yet to reap the “scientifically proven” cellulite-reducing benefits of Beija-Flor’s Emana jeans, which are imbued with microscopic crystals said to absorb heat and reflect back infrared rays to “promote biostimulation” and improve skin elasticity, we can report that they fit like they’re painted on and leave one’s legs feeling eerily but pleasingly silky upon removal.