Charge your phone with your dress? Solar powered clothes – the latest in wearable tech.

Pauline van Dongen is a Dutch fashion designer who aims to merge fashion and technology, “giving life to scientific creation,” as she puts it.

There is nothing natural in nature; technology makes our humanness gives form to our surroundings. The human habitat reveals a techno-morphed structure that can no longer be hidden behind the vestiges of a natural world; technology has to be naturalized. ~ Pauline van Dongen

I have a pair of gloves that have electrical thread in the fingertips so that I can use my smartphone in colder weather. I always thought these were pretty nifty but not exactly wearable tech or high fashion, especially when compared to these designs. These futuristic prototypes are a little “out there”, but if I’m serious I’d probably buy a few choice items if it would charge my phone while I’m out and about. In some of these pieces the solar panels are extremely visible and tend to be more of a statement that functional accessory.

Technology isn’t just tracking stuff, it’s also about expression. Fashion is a language that communicates identity and it’s important to create new expressions round the body. ~ Pauline van Dongen


One hour in direct sunlight will charge a smartphone to 50 percent. Personally, I’d like to stand in the sun for a maximum of 10 minutes per day and have a decently charged phone… So I may wait before adopting these solar powered clothes.


The jacket has 48 solar cells.


Electrical wire is woven through the garments and connects laser-engraved neoprene with leather.

While I like that this experimental solar powered clothes line is using materials such as wool and leather (I’m thinking ahead to the likes chunky knit winter jerseys and a sexy black leather dress), I do worry that the likes of wool and leather are already rather hot materials. Standing in the sun for an hour in that black leather dress could cause you to sweat. Not so sexy. I also wonder how heavy the clothes would be to wear. Right now? The pay off is just not enough for me. I’m voting practicality over high fashion wearable tech.

If you disagree with me and need a bigger fashion fix – this video breaks down the solar powered clothes and how they were designed:

Wearable Solar – a video by Hammond Images from Pauline van Dongen on Vimeo.

 So would you wear these items?

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