The first Monday in May marks one of the biggest days in fashion with Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Annual Costume Institute Gala. This year’s theme was technology and the gala featured an endless array of eye-catching designs thanks to the help of futuristic fashion methods like laser cutting and 3D printing. Other technological show-stoppers included a gown woven with fiber optic threads as well as Czech model and actress Karolina Kurkova, who wore a gown with LED flowers that reacted to comments on her social media account, this thanks to a collaboration between Marchesa and IBM.
While these trends may seem too avant-garde for our everyday fashion, the wearable technology industry has already flexed its muscle in the fitness industry. But, is there really more to wearable technology and fitness than those little trackers we wear on our wrist? The answer is, yes. Even if your gym outfit is not lighting up when you complete a set at the gym, the industry has been expanding more than you may realize.
Smart watches and fitness trackers, like Apple Watch, Fitbit and Pebble have been around for years, each promising their users access to important metrics, like steps taken and calories burned in addition to counting heartbeats. As the desire for this technology has developed, so has its use. Now apps from companies like Fitbit include a social component that allows users to connect with and motivate other users. These companies are even putting fashion first thanks to collaborations with elite designers. Fitbit offers fun accessories from designers like Tory Burch which include a band and a gold logo cover. Apple Watch offers French artisan leather wristbands from Hermès to the tune of $1,250. www.apple.com/apple-watch-hermes
Now that you have your fitness tracker, how can you up your workout game? For those who are looking for a larger investment in wearable tech, Athos offers athletes the ability to look inside their muscle performance via embedded sensors and an integrated app. However, it is not cheap; packages start at $348 and can be in excess of $500 for the full body. www.liveathos.com
If you are looking to get some of the benefits of a fitness tracker but not sure it aligns with your personal style, consider DigitSole Smart Sole. These smart soles can be invisibly added to most of your footwear so you can take it with you from the gym to the office. The smart soles will track your calories and steps; it even has a warming function to keep your toes toasty. Upgrade your shoes for $200 a pair. www.digitsole.com
Bobby Says …
Fill up on the apps. Yes, wearable technology is one of the hottest things in fashion at the moment and it can be pricey. When new technologies are introduced they are often expensive but they become more affordable over time – just think of flat screen TVs. Our smart phones are a great resource for adding technology to our workouts and lifestyle. Whether you use your phone’s built-in health tracker or find great free or affordable options through some research, technology is definitely within your reach.
TopShop, a leader in mainstream fashion, recently announced an internal initiative to find ways to make wearable technology available and affordable. Until the day that occurs, however, you don’t have to sacrifice your style or bank account for a leg up in the gym – wearing technology is never going to replace your hard work and good taste.
By Bobby Ciletti, travel and lifestyle expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com. Twitter @BobbyCiletti
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