Wearable Technology is Coming to Our Clothes

Wearable technology will soon plus size shapewear mean much more than just a smartwatch(Reuters)The term ‘wearables’ is about to mean a lot more than just smartwatches and fitness bands, as the market is set to explode with smart garments laden with sensors sewn into them, tracking our every move.

Research  from Gartner predicts shipments of smart garments will soar from 0.1 million this year, to 10.1 million in 2015 and past 25 million the following year.

These garments will at first be aimed at runners and sports professionals who want to track their performance, but will quickly spread to help anyone who wants to keep tabs on their health.

Sensors sewn into clothing will scan for heart conditions. Smart socks will help those recovering from injury to restore their balance, and alert family members when an elderly relative suffers a fall.

“Smart garments are an interest to clothing manufacturers, even in the fashion world, and sensors will be woven into all types of clothing,” Gartner research director Angela McIntyre told IBTimes UK.

“We’ll see them in underwear and socks and regular shirts and coats for gathering data about the environment around us.”

More medical device than fitness trackerLooking further ahead, beyond the shipments predicted by Gartner in a report out this week, McIntyre sees a future in which wearables are medical devices more than fitness trackers.

“Looking out even further, to 2017, 2018, and 2019, we’ll be having more garments like smart shirts getting medical approval, when the data from them is accurate enough to be used to monitor someone’s heart over a period of time… their doctor could tell when the data is indicating a heart condition.”

McIntyre believes economies of scale will make such sensors cheap enough to sew into a whole range of clothes, and for them to be durable enough to be washed.

In a report out this week, Gartner predicts that shipments of smart wristbands, such as fitness trackers like the Jawbone Up, will fall from 20 million units globally this year, to 17 million in 2015, before recovering again to 19 million the year after.

The research firm believes the quick recovery will be prompted by fitness trackers being offered in settings other than retail, such as with health insurance, gym memberships and diet plans. Gartner forecast that between 2018 and 2020, a quarter of all smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will be offered through non-retail channels.

Casual clothes a complete no for Beijing marriage licence applicants

Chinese authorities plus size womens clothes have asked prospective couples to show respect and seriousness towards marriage and dress properly when they come to register their union. The new rule comes in the wake of rising divorce rates in the country and will be effective from 1 July.

According to the Civil Affairs Bureau’s plus size womens clothes new rule, couples won’t get their wedding licence if they come in informal clothing or dressed in shorts and T-shirts. It also states that couples would not be banned from getting married, but they would have to go through “special counselling” sessions.

It is believed that formal clothing will “strengthen plus size shapewear the sense of ritual and authority” for newly married couples as they apply for their marriage certificates.

“It is not unusual to see couples registering in shorts and slippers. It shows their carelessness and disrespect for marriage. From one glance you can see that marriage registration is being treated as a casual affair and this is prone to many problems,” Han Mingxi, the bureau’s marriage registration director, told Beijing Daily, as reported by BBC.

China’s divorce rate has been growing steadily for more than a decade. According to a report by the Ministry of Civil Affairs published in 2013, around 3.6 million Chinese couples got divorced in 2014, with Beijing having the highest number of divorces.

The director added that his department is currently analysing a large number of divorce cases. He has also asked specialists to “propose methods and ways to promote marriage and family happiness”.

The new rule has evoked a mixed response from the Chinese public. “Marriage is not child’s play, it should be dignified,” one post on the Sina Weibo micro blogging site said. While another one said applying for a licence shouldn’t have to be a big issue, “What if a young couple wants a low-key event?” and believes that applying for a licence is “simply a boring and tedious process”.

Female Entrepreneurs Are Finally Taking Control of the Lingerie Industry

There’s this unbelievably crazy statistic floating around: 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. It’s a widespread phenomenon so rampant that it has led to another rather interesting fact: The best selling bra size in America is 34B when, in fact, the average cup size is a DD. Which raises the question: How are we so off the mark about one of the most essential garments in our wardrobe?

But listen, it’s not our fault, so don’t leap from your chair and rush to the nearest lingerie boutique to get fitted (at least, not yet anyway), because there are many, many factors at play here. Long story short, the bra industry is designed to set us up for failure—and it all starts with the first time you ever bought a bra.

“Most women discover their bra size in their late teens and then never check back—the body is constantly changing, whether you’re exercising, if you have children, are stressed; we’re constantly checking our dress size, but never our bra size,” said Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the CEO of start up intimates label Lively. “So many women believe they’re a 34B because they start there.”

A large part of the problem, too, is where women are picking up their first bras. Chances are, it’s from one of the major players in the bra industry, like longtime market leader, Victoria’s Secret. “In most cities, in most towns in America, Victoria’s Secret is where women go to buy their first bra,” said Jennifer Zuccarini, CEO of Fleur du Mal and former design director at Victoria’s Secret, who’s been in the lingerie business for about 11 years. “What I’ve noticed is that women are attached to a certain size that maybe they were in high school or college.”

This attachment possibly womens lightweight jacket points to a grappling with change, or grasping to a vestige of our youths. On top of that, there’s still a stigma tethered to larger cup sizes—much like the way it is with apparel. But whether you’re knowingly or unknowingly wearing the wrong fit, it doesn’t change the fact that ill fitting bras are straight up uncomfortable: you’re spilling out, there’s gapping, wires are pressing against your breast tissue, straps are painfully digging in, the band is riding up, and so on.

Let you exchange your clothes if you change sizes

Finding a great new piece of clothing for your wardrobe can be a daunting task. From financial concerns to physical concerns, dropping your hard earned cash on new clothes can either be a joyful experience or one met with trepidation. Thankfully, a clothing line in the US is taking some of the stress out of splurging.

Universal Standard started with designers Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman who were tired of constantly comprising style because of size. They decided to launch their own online clothing retailer and sell classic items ranging in sizes 10 28, helping women who were unable to find anything stylish and fashion forward in their size.

Now Universal Standard, who have one showroom in New York City that’s available for personal appointments with their stylists, are making shopping even easier for their customers.

With body size fluctuations a reality for many shoppers, Universal Standard is now letting customers exchange their products for new items in a different size if the item no longer fits. Calling it their ‘Universal Fit Liberty’ or UFL program, Universal Standard are tagging some of their items with the new label that allows customers up to one year to replace their item should they need to. Lose weight or gain weight, the UFL program will keep customers looking stylish without having to say goodbye to the gorgeous maxi dress that no longer flatters your body.

The new UFL program includes any products in the line’s Core Collection that Universal Standard regularly stocks, which includes dresses, skirts, pullovers, tees and jeans priced between 60 – 130 USD.

A statement on the brand’s website says “We believe your clothes should always fit, feel, and look good. And, women deserve to live their lives without feeling bullied by their size. With UFL, our goal is to lead with big, bold innovations based on insight and a deep understanding of our customers’ needs. As a brand, we intend to create real, lasting, and much needed change in the fashion industry.”

Items returned to womens lightweight jacket Universal Standard will be laundered and donated to charities that support women in need. Hopefully Universal Standard’s new initiative will inspire other clothing retailers to follow suit.

Tommy Hilfiger Is Launching Clothing for Adults With Disabilities

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Can you name any big-name designers — the kind who stage blowout runway shows, invest deeply in celebrity marketing, and make huge ad buys — that sell clothing created specifically for men and women with disabilities? Didn’t think so. Starting tomorrow, Tommy Hilfiger will.

After releasing multiple adaptive clothing collections for children last year, the brand is adding a range for adults: 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles with modifications like Velcro closures, magnetic flies, and adjusted leg openings to make it easier for people of all abilities to get dressed. From the photos we’ve seen, the line is typically Tommy in its dedication to denim, stripes, and a navy, red, and white color palette.

Van Heusen, which is owned by the same parent company as Tommy Hilfiger, currently sells button-downs that are fastened by magnets — the product of a partnership with adaptive shirting brand MagnaReady. For its first adaptive children’s collection, Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with MagnaReady and Runway of Dreams, a nonprofit that works to broaden clothing options for people with disabilities. (A rep for Tommy Hilfiger says the brand didn’t work with any external organizations to create its adult collection.)

Runway of Dreams, which has held adaptive fashion shows, was founded in 2014, the same year that MIT and Parsons launched the Open Style Lab, a program for developing accessible clothing. In 2015, Nike released a sneaker featuring a zippered, wraparound closure that was engineered with the disabled community in mind, and Parsons graduate Lucy Jones grabbed headlines for her student collection designed for people who use wheelchairs, winning attention from the fashion industry at large. That year, model Jillian Mercado, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, signed to IMG Models — one of the biggest and most powerful agencies in fashion.

Despite this progress, and despite a widespread call for greater inclusiveness of size, race, and gender in fashion, diversity of ability tends to be forgotten when it comes to casting models and designing clothing. Tommy Hilfiger is smart enough to recognize the opportunity to make its clothing available to a wider range of people. And if it’s really smart, it will be listening closely to feedback from customers tomorrow.

The hottest trends in workout wear this fall

There you are, suiting up and showing up for barre or yoga class, an early-morning run, spin, or hike. And then it’s off to brunch, work, kids, dates … life.

The athleisurewear trend particularly suits Southern California, where so many of us swear by clothing that can transition from workouts to the rest of our lives.

The retail apocalypse is hitting many clothing categories and shopping centers. Sales of “active apparel” totaled just more than $45 billion in the 12 months ending June 2017, up slightly compared to the prior 12 months, according to NPD Group’s consumer tracking.

And if you need head-into-the-holidays, get-in or stay-in shape inspiration, there is evidence that what we wear really does affect us psychologically. Researchers even have term for it: “enclothed cognition.” So, yes, that new racerback sport bra and crop leggings just may help you go the extra mile.

We headed out to the Active Collective trade show at the Huntington Beach Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa to see the trends many are going to be spending money on to crisscross town. Luckily, there are still the mesh, cutouts, moto-chic and bold geometrics that we love from Onzie and Electric and Rose. Here are a few other notable trends:

Sweet, floral patterns are giving way to lush botanical, even jungle, patterns as seen at brands Jala (SUP Yoga Leggings in Tropic Thunder, $82), Live Clothing (Ultimate Neon Leaf Legging, $98), Lorna Jane (Amazonia Core Ankle Biter Tights, $106.99, Wild Botanical Sports Bra, $62.99); Wear It to Heart (Rapa Nui Sports Bra, $45), Noli (Enchanted Leggings, $88) and PopActive (Banana Leaf Aurora Bra, $65, Leggings, $68).

Just ensured our pre-worn clothes go to a great home

In the latest womens light weight jacket of sustainable fashion collaborations, non-for-profit company I-Manifest has partnered with Country Road in an aim to to close the donation loop.

The collaboration is part of I-Manifest’s The School of Sustainable Fashion program, which aims to reduce the impact of fashion-based landfill and raise funds for the Red Cross.

The outcome? A unique visual merchanding installation demonstrating how old can be new and sustainably cool again.

Under the creative direction of Lola Jagger and Lara Hutton, and featuring art by Lauren Webster, photography by Darren Luk and many other creative mentors, pre-loved Country Road fashion, accessories and homewares donated via the Fashion Trade program were salvaged and reused to form the installation.

Country Road has been donating pre-loved items in support of Fashion Trade for over seven years, with thousands of items collected and resold through Red Cross stores each year.

Providing a pathway for young people to puruse a real, sustainable career in creative industires, I-Manifest hosted a two day workshop for students who were asked to reimagine the possibilities of recycled fashion.

“As an iconic Australian retailer, we are conscious of the ever changing fashion cycle and how this impacts on the environment. Our partnership with Fashion Trade and new initiative with I-Manifest, strives to close the loop and show that good quality items can be loved again. Our customers recognise the importance of giving back to the community while also saving thousands of items from landfill,” said Darren Todd, managing director of Country Road.

The installation will be on display in the windows of Red Cross stores in Paddington and Newtown from Saturday October 28th.

Why we need to stop shaming women for wearing Spanx

 A couple of weeks ago, Sarah Hyland had a minor wardrobe malfunction: Her black Spanx showedthrough a cutout on her dress.

Hyland had a good attitude about the whole thing, laughing it off. However, many commenters pointed out that a body like Hyland’s doesn’t even “need” Spanx, because she’s already skinny.

There’s nothing inherently bad about wearing shapewear, whether it’s to flatten our stomachs or make our butts look smoother or make our arm jiggle less prominent. As evidenced by Hyland, people of all shapes and sizes can and do wear Spanx — not just curvy or plus-size women.

Some celebrities, like Queen Bey, wear Spanx to keep everything in check. They don’t roll down, are totally opaque, and ensure no one has a chance to sneak a peek if you don’t want them to.

Hey, guess what? I love my body AND I wear Spanx whenever I wear a tight dress. SUE ME.

We asked plus-size bloggers about shapewear and body positivity before, and literally not one of them thought wearing it meant you weren’t body positive. It’s your body and your choice, and if you choose to wear shapewear, wear shapewear.

Shapewear doesn’t have to come at the cost of loving your body. The two don’t go hand-in-hand. A lot of people who wear Spanx do it to keep their pantylines from showing or to keep clothes from awkwardly bunching.

Really, it’s no different than choosing to wear black because it’s slimming or cinching a belt around your waist — both are styling tricks, and don’t detract from loving your body in any way.

It’s all about what you want to do for your body. If you want to wear shapewear, wear it. If you don’t, don’t. No one can tell you what to wear or what you look good in. It’s that simple.

Besides, assuming everyone who wears Spanx is only wearing them to look slimmer is a disservice and a lie. We don’t think Hyland was wearing Spanx to appear skinnier, nor do we think Jenner wears hers to make her waist appear smaller. Whatever your reasons for wearing Spanx are, they’re your reasons — and even if they include looking slimmer, that’s totally your thing. You do you, always.

The people who claim Spanx is perpetuating a “lie” are usually the same people who claim women who wear a full face of makeup are “liars.”

Saying Spanx-wearers are “hiding” their true selves or aren’t being totally honest about their bodies is just ridiculous. It’s like wearing high heels — you’re accentuating what you like about your body.