You can try to run from your mirror but you won’t get far, at least not in the tragic shoes you’re wearing. Upgrade your wardrobe for the new decade with WIRED’s pick of stylish outerwear, sneakers with 4D soles and online styling services for even the most hopeless of dressers.
Finisterre has mastered the art of making sustainable surf-inspired clothes that perform well beyond their modest pricing. The simple silhouette of the Windward Jacket is made using a combination of durable organic cotton, finished with a fluorocarbon-free water repellent finish, and stuffed full of its own recycled polyester insulation. Lightweight and warm without looking too outdoorsy, and thanks to a collaboration with Aquapak, now comes in a 100 per cent water soluble plastic bag which breaks down harmlessly.
Price: £175 | Finisterre
Aether Dolomite boot
Aether designs clothes for city folk who long to spend more time in the great outdoors. They combine stylish tailoring, urban colour palettes and the most technical fabrics – nowhere better illustrated than with the Dolomite boot. Made in collaboration with century-old Italian shoemaker Fracap, each boot is handmade with 100 per cent vegetable-tanned leather and suede, and finished with robust metal eyelets and lacing hooks. The vulcanised Vibram sole, however, designed to provide excellent traction on the widest range of surfaces, will keep you on your feet whether tacking on city slush or serious summits.
Price: $400 | Aether
Serac Bergen Coat
Brainchild of ex-Helly Hansen technical designer Tore Mortvedt, SERAC manufactures clothes that can survive the harsh unpredictability of our planet’s weather systems. The Bergen coat features three layers of luxuriously soft cotton and a layer of lightweight recycled Thindown, a new insulation material that offers exceptional levels of warmth without bulk, all made from 100 per cent recycled down and polyester. The outer has been treated and will remain impervious to downpours.
Price: €1,700 | Serac
Nike VaporMax FlyKnit Gaiter ISPA
VaporMax kicks are famed for their revolutionary barely-there woven uppers – making them a shoe so unsuited to British weather, it’s staggering that you can even buy them over here. Thankfully, Nike has an elegant solution for this summer staple – one that’s inspired by a previous age: the FK Gaitor ISPA. A product of the apocalyptic-sounding “Improvise, Scavenge, Protect, Adapt” design philosophy that’s driving the more outdoorsy offerings, these shiny, packable slipovers are like spats from a far-flung techo-jazz future, weatherproofing your beloved lightweight sneakers and letting you trudge the sodden streets in Air Max comfort.
Price: £240 | Nike
adidas ZX 4000 4D
When adidas debuted its digitally printed 3D Futurecraft soles in 2017, they cost around £400 – and would end up on eBay for thousands, such was the clamour for this rare manufacturing technique. It seems adidas has sped things up somewhat since then, and the 4D sole can now be found on an increasing number of feet, at a less eye-watering price. This iteration gets its rave on with a retro neon Primeknit upper, sat atop a mint-green three-dimensional waffle sole that’s “grown” out of a puddle of resin by zapping it with light. The original ZX first appeared in 1989, and its grandchild definitely wouldn’t look out of place in a field in Hampshire.
Price: £230 | Check price on Adidas
Styling services: Let tech dress you better
Powered by its Thimble algorithm, Thread takes your vitals and a rough idea of what styles you like and the size of your pockets and selects clothing from over 500 partner brands. The more information you give it, the more tailored the results. Pitched at the person who has outgrown ASOS but not resorted to M&S, it also assigns your own “stylist”, who attempts to make sartorial sense of your input data.
Free | Thread
Finally launched in the UK, the US personal styling service works in a similar way to Thread, with an initial interview garnering all your details, before a stylist selects five items for your fashion “Fix”. Styling costs £10 per delivery, but the price is deducted from any items you decide to keep (and returns are free). The company says that after three boxes and subsequent changes and returns, the algorithm kicks in properly and the hit rate should increase.
Price: From £10 | Stitch Fix
The fashion megabrand has been adding smart features to its app for some time, including the reassuringly accurate Fit Assistant that suggests sizing based on your previous purchases (and returns), which can be invaluable if you’re typically between sizes. They’ve also started trials of the Virtual Catwalk, which uses AR to bring the catwalk into your living room. An essential tool if your dress has to match the drapes.
Free | Asos
Available to Android-only users, Google has just announced that its image-recognition tech, designed to bring up info on objects it identifies, can now be used to offer outfit recommendations. The new feature, available in the US for now but undoubtedly coming to UK, is called “Style Ideas”, and supplies outfit inspiration from around the web. See a leopard-print hat you like on Instagram, take a screenshot, and Lens will display how others have styled similar looks. Got an old sweater you haven’t worn in years? Lens will offer similar advice, and then find you pieces that might match it.
Free | Google
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