Wearable warmth

    It’s no shock that winter can be a cruel bitch. But technological advancements are trying hard to fight back fashionably. Here are some practical and fantastical clothing items that promise a warmer winter this year.

    Uniqlo HEATTECH Skinny Jeans, $49.00

    Sure, snow pants may get the job done, but try something a little less bulky for a sleeker look. Uniqlo has a whole line of warm clothing, from knit shorts to strange tube skirts to pants that are made of a special rayon fabric. When the fabric absorbs moisture created by the body, it generates tiny droplets that create heat. The clothing boasts perks such as heat retention (with fibers that capture air to prevent heat from escaping), and odor control, and it’s also quick dry and anti-static. So as a base or outer layer, Uniqlo’s HEATTECH products help you create your own warmth in the dead of winter. 

    ModCloth Texting Gloves, $16.99

    Almost everyone has a smartphone, and with that heat sensitive touch screen, winter means sacrificing your poor fingers to the frigid winds to send a text or answer a phone call. Jabbing the screen desperately and futilely with a gloved finger will only lead to you look rather pathetic, and maybe drive you to use your nose to type out “see you soon.” No longer, with this stylish pair of gloves. They have special fabric on the thumb and forefinger that allow you to text and maintain warmth. Plus they evoke a time when people actually wore fancy driving gloves with regularity.

    Weinberg senior Caroline Raul rocks the MuseMuffs. Photo by John Meguerin / North by Northwestern.

    Nordic Gear Lectra Battery Heated Socks, $29.00

    Battery-powered socks seem kind of stupid, admittedly. But when you’re waiting for the Frostbite Express and your toes are slowly but surely going numb from cold, you’re going to want these heated socks. Sure, they might not be the most fashionable, but when they’re hiding beneath your Frye boots, does it really matter? These Nordic Gear socks are designed to bring your toes hours of maintained warmth and are even safe for those slushy days when your feet get wet.

    CuteCircuit Hug Shirt, not yet available

    This may not solve a winter-related problem, but who couldn’t use a hug in -10 degree weather? CuteCircuit, a London-based design company, created an innovative long-sleeved hooded shirt filled with sensors that “feel the strength of the touch, the skin warmth and the heartbeat rate of the sender.” It sends that sensation to your long distance loved one or far away family member also wearing The Hug Shirt. The Hug Shirt basically works hand-in-hand with your mobile phone, using Bluetooth sensors to send the data to the recipient’s phone, which then transmits it to their shirt. Isn’t science cool?

    Ecouterre Subtitle Scarf, not yet available

    While this may not be useful to everyone, it’s a beautifully simple design that tackles an everyday problem for some. Calum Pringle, an interactive-media student at University of Dundee in Scotland, created Subtle Subtitles. This scarf’s pocket houses a smartphone with an app designed to convert the wearer’s speech into subtitles for those listening. Pringle designed this specifically to help those affected by dysarthria, a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury.

    MuseMuffs, $24.99

    Earbuds don’t fare too well in the winter — whether you’re looking for warmth or sound quality. These MuseMuffs will plug into any of your music devices and keep the phat beatz going all winter long. You can either stick out against the frosty white of snow or blend into it with MuseMuffs’ variety of colors. They are also ideal for runners who may not be able to wear those big hipster headphones while on their brisk morning jog, but still want warm ears. To take it one step further, just plug a microphone cord in to your smartphone and attach the other end to the MuseMuffs. Remember those gloves? These earmuffs could make for a great complement.


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