Category: Style

Smart Fashion Clothing

Smart Fashion might be still something that’s still developing but smart fashion clothing, not watches, are going to be the future of wearables. Of course, smart clothing has actually been around for a couple of years now even though the wearable tech market is more associated with fitness-obsessed products for working out.

Rather than wearable technology attached to our wrists, it needs to be part of our clothes that we wear every day as part of our lives. It is therefore likely that the wearable tech of the not too distant future, will not be about smartwatches or wristbands but the clothes that we wear on a daily basis, and the idea of smart clothing is that it’s really only the wearable medium we have already been wearing our whole lives.

Another use for Smart Fashion Clothing could possibly be for wellbeing or a form of self-management that can be used as a way to measure, monitor and manage stress. There is definitely some potential for smart garments to be used this way. Stress could possibly be measured both consciously and unconsciously, and this would have the ability to make you aware of your personal stress or make you aware of any potential patterns of your stress. There are many causes of stress such as financial stress, study, family/friends/partners stress issues, coping with everyday life, and then there are some of us lucky enough not to have any stress in our lives. There are also behavioral and emotional effects of stress that can affect our lives such as a change in sleep patterns, negative thoughts, feeling anxious, loss of self-esteem. It would be useful to wear smart garments as a way to measure, monitor and manage stress, such as a smart hoody or jacket.

Incorporating smart tech into your clothes to let you know how stressed you are could be done in a number of ways. Haptic technology or Haptic feedback is one way, and this concerns the application of forces, vibrations, gestures, that is used the recreate the sense of touch with a given piece of technology. This was discussed in an earlier blog entitled Fashion for the Digital Age specifically Google with their conductive fabrics or smart fabrics that are embedded into Levi’s smart jacket using Project Jacquard. 

Alternatively, other ways of incorporating this technology could be the use of single or multiple LED light, a combination of light, sound, and vibration, for your clothes to let you know how stressed you are and that can be indicated on the smart garment. Any data on your stress could be collected in ways preferred by the user, such as private or where this data or information could be made available to a trusted person, such as a family member or friend. However, it would be more beneficial if the smart garment that you wear only requires little or some effort to support your wellbeing or stress management, and that overall the smart garment would enable you to be more proactive in the monitoring of your mental wellbeing.

Using a smart garment this way would just be an alternative way of managing your mental wellbeing as opposed to web information or counseling, and perhaps the use of a smart garment of this nature would help give you a greater understanding of patterns of your mental wellbeing or personal mental health. This data would be supported or displayed to the user through the use of a mobile application or app and as to how you could connect to the app could be squeezing or touching the sleeve of your smart garment, gesturing over or touching your wrist or arm or some other way.

The positives of smart clothing are that they are more customizable than other wearable techs, and the tech could be incorporated more easily into many types of clothing, with different styles and colors. Perhaps its only a matter of time before wearing smart fashion clothing becomes the norm and we will wonder why we would even buy a piece of clothing if it isn’t smart.




The Pattern Cutter


ehind the creations of any designer lurk individuals who get little recognition for the essential and vital work they contribute to the fashion industry – the pattern cutters! These are the hard working, behind the scenes, an invisible team of people, who inhabit the design department of a manufacturing company. Their skill and ability will ultimately bring into existence the finished clothes worn by the buying public, from the simple skirt, the trousers, the casual shirt, the sheath dress to the prom dress or the sharp man’s suit.

Sweetheart Long Prom Dress on Pennzer
Sweetheart Long Prom Dress.

The designer produces the original illustrations, but these usually give little indication of how the pieces of a garment fit together, if at all, and may even be unworkable. The pattern cutter must then work his or her magic and translate a ‘pretty sketch’ into workable pattern pieces or templates. These are cut in calico, sewn up to create a toile and fitted over a tailors dummy to give an idea of what the garment will look like.

A pattern cutter will work closely with an expert machinist so together they can do the necessary alterations needed to the toile, before machining the final sample clothes. Only then will the fashion designer analyze the samples before deciding what pieces are wanted for the collection or should be put into production.

Other methods used by the pattern cutter include (1) draping pieces of material over a dummy, shaping and pinning them around this ‘body’ until they fit correctly (termed as draping), then cutting out a pattern from the pieces.

(2) Taking a flat standard pattern block and altering and shaping it to the desired style (3) Using an existing pattern base from a company’s pattern bank, and then modifying it as is necessary. Alternately, some pattern cutters will use computer-generated models, CAD, to get a sense of how the patterns will look or importantly see how the different shapes can best be laid on a width of fabric to make an outfit cost effective.

A pattern cutter will work with a diverse selection of fabrics, from cotton, linens, silks, wovens, jersey, knitwear and synthetics, which will be used in the manufacture of tailored garments, lingerie, casual wear across the broad spectrum of womenswear, menswear or childrenswear.

The designer may achieve fame and recognition, but the pattern cutters have the necessary talents to produce wearable, beautiful or functional garments out of a ‘sketchy’ idea. Their vital talents will encompass an interest in fashion and trends, the ability to interpret a designer’s drawing, team-working skills and be able to work quickly and accurately. Additionally, math’s skills are needed for measurements and calculations, and a good eye for detail, shape, and proportion. Finally, technical drawing skills, either those of computer or hand are needed.

The pattern cutter certainly is a person of great talent and someone to be lauded!

Off White X Jimmy Choo

Off -White’s collaboration with Jimmy Choo is classy, colorful, dramatic, and according to Vogue “the most exciting new thing to happen between the ankle in quite some time”.

Off White Jimmy Choo Spring 2018 Paris launch
Off-White x Jimmy Choo collection. Spring 2018 Paris.

Off-White have been on the collaboration circuit for a while now, and have created collections with Nike, Vans, and Converse. It seems collaborations and partnerships are the way to go these days. The designer Virgil Abloh of cult fashion label Off-White is now moving towards interior design and has announced an upcoming partnership with IKEA. But it’s all about his teaming up with luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo on a spring collection, that’s causing ripples.

Jimmy Choo was perhaps an interesting choice for Off-White to add to its long list of collaborations, but Jimmy Choo embraces shoe designs that comprise of (very pricey) conceptual plastics, tulles and bold floral prints.

Shop for clothes online

There is a lot to be said for shopping for clothes online such as convenience, but going online to find the perfect fit can be a nightmare – especially if you have to send everything back. While online shopping can be risky, not being able to try on clothes before you buy them can become a real annoyance, dresses that can be too long or too short, or fabric that you can see your underwear through. But when you do dare to shop online, there are some good tips for buying clothes online – from working out what size ruffle skirt you want to the perfect size bag you need.



Faith Connection ruffle skirt on Pennzer

Checking the measurements

One of the best ways to check the height measurement of any model is to notice if she is wearing heels or flats. This helps to judge the length of skirts, trousers, and dresses. Online fashion platforms such as Farfetch have Fit Predictors to help you gauge your fit compared to a similar designer that fits you, and you can also get information on the height of the model. A skirt that sits above the knee for a model who is 6ft could sit around your ankles if you are smaller. Cropped trousers that look calf-length on a model, might end up full-length on you if you are petite in size.

ASOS Design skirt on Pennzer

Watching a video

If there is a video of a model wearing the item that you want to buy – watch it. The video can give you a really good idea of not only the quality of the fabric but the weight of the fabric as she walks around. Asos have catwalk videos of almost everything on their site.

Chloe ruffled printed mini dress on Pennzer

What’s my size?

If you are shopping on sites like Asos you can use their How to Measure function, and this will help you to choose the correct size for you. Zara have “What’s my size?” function and you can enter your height and weight, and select your preference for clothes that are tighter or looser. This will then tell you what size garment that people of similar dimensions buy – but also the percentage of sales that were successfully kept by them, and not returned.

Theory Classic Parka on Pennzer

Trust Classics

It can be hard to keep up with the latest fashion trends or the next forward-fashion item, and classics are a good option if you are sale shopping. Consider classic tailored jackets, shirts, and trousers that won’t date easily. Although some non-classic offers that are on sale might be hard to pass up, there is often a reason why they are on sale, and it’s possible that a particular trend might not actually be that hot by the time the next fashion season starts.

Stella McCartney Classic Blazer on Pennzer

Judge a garment by it’s laundry label

It is always a good idea to check washing instructions, if there are any, on the site. Buying something that’s discounted or a bargain could cost you throughout the year if the item is dry clean only.


Casadei Blade Pumps on Pennzer

How high should you go?

If you are buying heels, consider measuring the height of shoes that you already own, and that you can comfortably wear. Don’t be tempted to buy anything bigger even if they look like the perfect party shoe. There might be a good reason that they are on sale, and that’s because they will be completely useless to walk in when you get them.

Michael Kors crossbody bag on Pennzer

Your dimensions

It’s a good idea to check the dimensions of accessories before you buy them, and most sites will supply product measurements to check the dimensions of your make up bag or whatever else it is you want to buy. Items like bags can be much smaller in reality than they look online, and the depth is really important if you want to know how much room you will have for your purse, keys, and phone. Shoulder bags and crossbody bags can look big online but in reality are a lot smaller than they look.

Returning items

Sies Marjan creased trench coat on Pennzer

Buying in bulk

The majority of sites offer free returns so that’s something to take advantage of when you are considering buying online, and rather than making lots of little purchases, think about buying once and in bulk. This is a good idea if you are sales shopping, and try doing this early so you don’t have to worry about items selling out. You can also try on items in various sizes and send back the items that don’t fit you the way you want them to. Always be sure to check the sites returns policy before you fill up your shopping cart.

Closed camouflage shirt jacket on Pennzer

Options for deliveries and returns

There are some options to help take the hassle out of returning items, and sites like Doodle can help make this process a little less painful. Their returns service is quick – you just drop your package in, and then you get an email from them with your tracking receipt. Some of their partners are Asos, Amazon, Missguided, and Farfetch. You can Google to find out where your nearest branch is to drop your package in. Asos offer a fantastic delivery and returns service and offer Premier Delivery (in the UK) for only £9.95 a year for unlimited next-day or nominated-day delivery with no minimum order value for a whole year.


Fashion Goes for a Ride

Quite liking the Tom Ford edgy spring-summer 2018 campaign as captured by fashion photographer Steven Klein. With a vintage car and scenes of day and night well captured by Steven Klein’s intimate camerawork.

Dark Doings in a car trunk with Tom Ford’s spring-summer 2018 campaign.
Tom Ford’s spring 2018 advertising campaign with Fernando Cabral, Joan Smalls, Karen Elson and Imari Karanj.

Suddenly reminded of a song from a long long time ago by The Specials – Ghost Town, as they drive around day and night. It’s funny how certain things can provoke a memory.

The Specials – Ghost Town.