Lots of people are thinking about the future of fashion these days, and this has been popular for decades now. In a lot of the old speculations about the future that people will find from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, people seemed to still believe that humanity would wear the fashions of the day a hundred years hence. While people often made that same mistake in the science fiction of the mid-twentieth century and later, people at least made more of an effort to imagine the fashion of the future.
What did they imagine? I guess a lot of people fifty years ago didn’t think that we would all be dressing like the young people of their day. In the 1960’s, jeans were a ‘young person’s’ clothing item. Today, people ranging from two years old to ninety-two years old and older wear jeans. Wearing suits and dresses everywhere was common back in the 1960’s and 1950’s and started to disappear around the 1970’s. That’s one of the modern world’s contributions to the world of clothing: we’re very casual about it in a way that would have been odd at different points in time. Our idea of fancy clothing has changed with time.
I would say that our idea of fancy clothing and clothing, in general, will change. When it comes to the shape and cut of the clothes, it is really hard to say. In the 2010’s, tight, form-fitting jeans are popular, leggings are popular, long shirts or crop tops, and scarves and dusters are all popular. Many of these clothing items were previously popular in different eras, and they have all made it into the same era today.
As recently as twenty years ago, jeans with baggier legs, higher waists, and lighter coloring were all more popular, and they’re regarded as jeans for older people today. Shoulder pads were massively popular in the 1980’s and into the 1990’s and they’re regarded as laughable relics now. The people of the 1980’s, who loved pastels, would have considered the dark colors and monochromatic coloring of today’s wardrobe melancholic. This is just the late twentieth century as well: going back even further in time would leave the people of the past progressively more confused.
It’s hard to predict how outerwear and innerwear will change since fashion trends are somewhat arbitrary. The 1980’s fashion trends actually were products of the resurgence of consumer culture in the day. The 1990’s fashion trends were largely characterized by a backlash against the 1980’s. Still, fashion does not perfectly reflect all of these economic and social changes, which people should recognize. As such, predicting the future of the mid-twenty-first century is tough from an aesthetic standpoint.
However, there are certain things that people can expect: outerwear and fashion will be affected by technology. So far, the narrative of the twenty-first century is basically a record of all of the different ways in which mobile technology, social media, and the Internet have changed our lives. Almost everything that people do today is an effect of the fact that we live in the Information Age and the world of mass human connection where everyone is connected. This has an effect on all we do, and it is going to have an effect on our clothes.
One of the big things about the clothes of the near future, in all likelihood, is that they are going to be more resistant to contamination. They’re going to be made of materials that retain bacteria less effectively, so they will stay clean more easily. They’re also not going to be as odorous as a result, even after you wear them for a long period of time. They’re not going to have to be treated with chemicals to achieve this effect: you design the fabric in a certain way, and you create a surface that is not even favorable for the bacteria. People will stay cleaner and healthier this way, and the bacteria-repellent outerwear of the future is going to be more pleasant for all of us.
Of course, one of the most important parts of outerwear is temperature control. We’ve all worn a jacket that wasn’t warm enough even if we tried to make it warm enough, and now we’ll really be able to do so. Outerwear that is temperature-controlled is going to be available, and that will give people the opportunity to really stay comfortable. Heated car seats use the same basic technology, and that is what people will be able to use in order to control the temperature of their jackets. We’ll be able to cool them down, heat them up, and get them in line with our own shifts in temperature all at the same time.
Wearable technology was something that futurists of the 1990’s were talking about all the time. They actually weren’t wrong about it from a technical perspective: we have a lot of the technology now. They were just wrong from a cultural perspective. It isn’t here yet. It will be, and there are lots of implications for technology that people can wear.