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Technology is taking over our dresses, and the results are amazing

I admit, there are days when I’d like to feel a little less like Steve Urkel and a little more like Stefan Urquelle. But with the surge in wearable tech fashions only getting stronger, my penchant for geek chic style is suddenly socially acceptable.

“Tech-inspired fashion is becoming all the rage,” says Ali Levine, stylist and fashion expert from Fox’s Hollywood Today Live. “Luxury fashion is getting smart with LED and tech-inspired couture. Designers and brands are — literally — seeing their name in lights. We’re seeing everything from Tron-inspired suits to inflatable garments that change shape when you walk.”

If clothes that meet technology are on your must-have list, you’ll probably be as excited about these cool styles as we are.

1. Climate dress

Climate dress

Photo credit: Diffus Designs

The Climate Dress by Diffus Design is an interactive dress that senses the CO2 concentration in the air. Based on the level of pollution it senses, it creates diverse light patterns with its over 100 LEDs — varying from slow, regular light pulsations to short and hectic. (Similar to how I feel after eating too much Mexican.) This is one of my fave dresses of the bunch, since it’s an aesthetically pleasing reminder that when it comes to the environment, we really need to get our shit together.

2. A little black (solar) dress

A little black (solar) dress

Photo credit:  Wearable Solar

The only thing better than a little black dress is a little black solar-powered dress that can charge your cell. I mean, we multitask a good 23 hours a day, why shouldn’t our clothes? Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen incorporated 72 flexible solar cells into the dress, which generates enough power to charge a phone by 50 percent with an hour of sun exposure. Cha. Ching.

3. Sophisticated dresses

Sophistimicated dresses

Photo credit:  Moon Berlin

There’s only one word to describe MOON Berlin‘s line of wearable tech fashion: Dayuuum. Specializing in fashion and accessories for evening, business and special occasions, its first ready-to-wear collection will be launched internationally this year. The lighting effects in their clothing line are subtle and sophisticated, yet uber-bold.

4. Thunderstorm dress

Thunderstorm dress

Photo credit: Rainbow Winters

Up next is the Thunderstorm Dress by Rainbow Winters, aka badassery at its finest. It’s made with bespoke holographic leather and sound-reactive, animated electroluminescent panels. As the volume rises, the dress illuminates to create “visual music.” Grrr, baby!

5. Petal dress

Petal dress

Photo credit: Rainbow Winters

Also by Rainbow Winters, the Petal Dress is not only super cute, but super versatile: The fabric is screen-printed with a color-changing ink. When it’s exposed to the sun, the molecular structure of the ink changes to a new color. Once it’s dark out or you’re back indoors, BAM — the fabric’s back to its regularly scheduled programming.

6. Paparazzi dress

Paparazzi dress

Photo credit: Ying Gao

Perfect for celebs who just want their damn privacy, this dress by designer Ying Gao knows when you’re being spied on. It uses complex sensory technology that makes the dress move, change shape and light up when it’s being looked at. The idea is that when a photographer’s trying to steal a shot of you, the dress morphs and glows in an attempt to ruin the photo. (I’ll take two!)

7. Skirteleon


Photo credit: CuteCircuit

The Skirteleon (skirt chameleon) by CuteCircuit is like a mood ring for grown-ups. It’s a skirt that adapts to the mood and activities of the wearer by changing color. The only drawback to this look? Forgetting you’re wearing it as you’re trying to win a fight with the boyfriend. Womp, womp.

8. Twitter dress

Twitter dress

Photo credit: CuteCircuit

No tech-dress roundup would be complete without mentioning the Twitter Dress by CuteCircuit, especially since they’re the Grand Poobah of wearable tech. Created for Nicole Scherzinger, the dress’s popularity triggered CuteCircuit to roll out this functionality into many of the pieces within their couture and ready-to-wear lines — all run from a single app. The “Q” app by CuteCircuit allows the user to change the color patterns and animations of their garment so you can make the look truly one of a kind. Say it with me now: Oh. Em. Gee.

9. Personal space dress

Personal space dress

Photo credit:  Urban Armor

Introverts of the world, get ready to dance a jig of glee: Not only is this dress what we’ve always dreamed of and more, but we can make it ourselves! Like, for real. The Personal Space Dress by Kathleen McDermott is a mechanical dress that helps to create more — you guessed it — personal space for its wearer. It uses sensors that detect when someone is interfering with your bubble and expands its hem using a repurposed umbrella mechanism. Genius, no?

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