Coats and jackets typically require bulk to create warmth, which often leads to excessive heft to keep up with temperature swings. But we might not be doomed to wearing veritable sleeping bags and sacrificing aesthetics all winter long: Designers are searching for better ways to keep us warm and stay stylish by rethinking the technology that goes into jackets and coats.
Emel and Aris, a British startup, has a compelling offer: an Italian cashmere smart jacket that heats up for an extra boost of warmth.
This is no electric blanket masquerading as an overcoat. The battery-powered system uses panels made from a special polymer that are sewn into the chest, waist, and back, and the design uses far infrared heat to ensure the coat can't overheat or burn wearers. There are no circuits—and save for a cable that connects the coat to the battery, there are no wires.
On the lowest setting, the coat is able to provide about eight hours of warmth, but its most compelling feature—apart from its sharp tailoring—is its ability to be used over multiple seasons. Since the coat itself is lightweight, it's perfect for crisp autumn weather. The heating technology makes it usable in winter, too, and then and it can transition through spring. Emel and Aris is betting that city dwellers who don't want to look like they're about to hit the ski slopes will fork over the $645 to $940 for the designs (there are two styles each for men and women). The jackets are currently on Kickstarter and shipping is expected in September 2016.
Photos: via Emel + Aris