Wearables that don’t look like wearables

The 1989 film Back to the Future II made impressive predictions on what life in the future would be like. Drones, hoverboards, flat-screen TVs — all have come to fruition. And while the film didn’t totally nail it, it did anticipate how wearable technology would be designed to look more utilitarian than classic. Fitbits, Apple watches, and Google Glass all are reminders that we’re living in a digital age. But what if our wearables didn’t have to look that way? What if we could take our own time machine back to when classic style was everything? We kind of can. Companies are making wearables or technology-driven clothing and accessories inspired by designs of the past. Here are some items that hold true to workwear classics but are built with techy features. Past, meet the future.


SpectaclesStylin’ Shades

Spectacles for Snapchat are certainly not the first tech-savvy sunglasses to hit the market. But dare we say they’re the first tech-savvy sunglasses that look cool? The glasses allow Snapchat users to stream their lives with the click of a button. Everything is recorded from your perspective. They’re wireless, and they charge in the case. But really, the coolest thing is the design. The color options, the thick ’60s-style frames, and the yellow camera circles — a subtle nod to the mother brand — make these glasses a stylish fit. But you might have to wait in a long, long line to get them. They’re only available via Snapbots (yellow Spectacles-dispersing bots) and online.

$130, spectacles.com


CufflinksStore Files on Cufflinks

Carrying a flash drive on your key ring is so 2010. The future is now. It’s time for cufflinks that also are flash drives. That’s right; these are more than just shiny jewelry statements for men. They’re wearables even James Bond might accessorize with. While you likely won’t be dismantling a bomb like Agent 007 anytime soon, carrying 8 GB of storage on each wrist could come in handy.

$50, procuffs.com


EverpurseThe Perfect Purse

Everpurse and Kate Spade have partnered to build what might be the greatest bag to date for working women. It charges your phone. We know; a lot of bags do that. But, you never have to plug anything into this purse. When you get home, simply place your bag on a mat and it will charge.

Prices vary. everpurse.com


1VTraditional Meets Tech

On the outside, this 1 Voice cotton canvas messenger bag looks like it could be a family heirloom. The traditional style, the subtle colors, the buckles — c’mon; it’s a beauty. But what sets this bag apart from lookalikes from decades ago is the smartphone battery built into it. This subtle bag has the power to charge your smartphone up to six times. There’s also a padded laptop compartment so your gear doesn’t get scratched.

$159, 1voicenyc.com


WithingsWatch Out

Withings makes a high-end, Swiss dial watch that tracks movements, steps, and calories. Wear it to bed, and it will track your sleep. But this time machine looks far from techy. Designed in Paris, it’s made of scratch-proof domed sapphire glass and has a water-resistant case, and the strap is made of soft grain, high-quality Barenia leather.

$450, withings.com


 RainforestA Self-Heating Coat

It’s like an electric blanket but well-tailored and water-resistant, and it has arms. This Rainforest Quilted Walking Jacket has a heat system built in. The jacket comes with a battery pack that can warm the jacket to three temperatures. The battery also can be used to charge your phone via a USB. The jacket is made of waxed nylon with recycled polyfill lightweight insulation. And, it’s pretty classic-looking. The leather trim is a nice touch, too.

$495, rainforest.com

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