In the future, clothes will not only monitor and adapt to a person’s vital signs or warn the wearer of the presence of a hazardous material, they will even notify the authorities in the event of an emergency. They will work to continuously contour the material surrounding a person into an aesthetically pleasing form. The fabric of tomorrow will also loosen or stiffen as the situation requires and lengthen or shorten to suit the occasion. This will automatically give flexibility or stability and allow for reactionary alterations of the sleeve and hem. As cybernetic augmentations of the self, the garments will serve as a kind of second skin, linked to our thoughts and the environment, responding as much to the way we appear as the way we want to. Modern athletic wear can already regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance and control muscle vibration. Just imagine what it will be capable of in the next few decades. Man-machine interface in the clothing industry will undoubtedly take everything to a whole new level in so many ways.
The garments of the future will inevitably replace the devices of the present, not that long from now. In the years ahead, pliable lightweight exoskeletal suits will give people superhuman strength. This will provide much needed endurance to the over-worked and the disabled, among others. Hilfiger’s phone charging jackets will become an obsolete thing of the past. Soon, kinesthetic energy will power anthropometric outfits that can do all sorts of things. E-textiles are going to revolutionize the fashion industry in inconceivable ways. Conductive threads, embedded electronics, and smart cloth will replace modern materials, in no time at all. The clothes of the 22nd century will perform all the technological functions we use our phones for in the 21st, like taking photos and texting. Nearly every piece of high tech clothing and accessories in the future will have internet connectivity built right into it. Everything will serve multiple functions. Nanotech fabrics already consist of stain-resistant, anti-wrinkle, and odor-controlling materials, to name but a few. There is nearly unlimited potential in the fabrication of futuristic textiles.
The change will become more and more widespread, at an ever-increasing rate, as this all gets normalized over time. In the blink of an eye, bio-couture and techno-couture will become staple products in mainstream fashion. Very soon, the vast majority of fabric will be grown or printed in a shop, not sewn in a factory. As part of this innovation in fabrication, the clothes of tomorrow will be outright magical compared to what people wear today. A shirt will be able to seamlessly transform into a hoodie or even become a cloak of invisibility. The material will automatically change texture and color in response to one’s feelings, in numerous different ways. Some clothes will even turn more and more transparent the more intimate the wearer becomes with others. In the future, the things that people adorn themselves with will be a genuine reflection and extension of who they, inside and out. Performers like Lady Gaga and designers like Anouk Wipprecht are helping to usher in this kind of innovation through full-blown revolution. So, prepare for the coming fashion trends and the changes they will bring, the clothing of tomorrow will soon be upon you.