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Wearable tech: this shirt lights up in response to music

New York-based company CRATED has teamed up with BotFactory, a circuitry and electronics start-up, to produce a shirt that incorporates some smart technology, allowing the shirt’s logo to light up in response to audio. The garish garment, named ‘Sync’, features a pulsating LED ‘+’ sign design that changes brightness according to background music – making it great for parties and festivals. What’s more, …

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Sadie HaleWearable tech: this shirt lights up in response to music
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Belaqise: Clothing brand changes S, M, L to ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fabulous

An innovative clothing brand from Holland wants to change the way we label and talk about the size of our bodies. The first step in making such a huge cultural shift? Do away with ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ and replace them with ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fabulous’. Sounds great in theory, but will these new labels really make a positive difference? …

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Becca CaddyBelaqise: Clothing brand changes S, M, L to ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fabulous
EE Kestrel

EE Kestrel review: A surprisingly good 4G Android for just £99

Handset supplied by EE EE’s first own-brand smartphone is one of the lowest-priced 4G handsets on the market. The Kestrel delivers a surprising amount for a super-budget Android device, but has some tough competition even at £99. Manufactured by Huawei, the Kestrel is actually a rebranded Huawei Ascend G6 with a downgraded camera – but with UK users relatively unaware …

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Holly BrockwellEE Kestrel review: A surprisingly good 4G Android for just £99
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UK launch – Toymail lets parents send messages to their kids through a toy

Forget emails and phone calls – parents can now communicate with their children via a toy. After a Kickstarter project which reached its fundraising target easily, Toymail has been successful in the States and launches in the UK today. It’s described as ‘a combination of voicemail and email, only infinitely more accessible, interactive and fun’. It works by recording a voice …

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Sadie HaleUK launch – Toymail lets parents send messages to their kids through a toy
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Temperley and Net-A-Porter create first shoppable fashion film: But is it just style over substance?

Temperley London has teamed up with the bright sparks at online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter to create the world’s first ‘shoppable’ fashion film. But is a dreamy video of supermodels frolicking in a field really likely to flog more dresses? We’ve come across a range of different ‘shoppable’ videos from fashion brands and retailers in the past, like these from French …

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Becca CaddyTemperley and Net-A-Porter create first shoppable fashion film: But is it just style over substance?
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Ask Zappos is giving you a personal shopper for all your online shopping needs

Do you sometimes feel that your online shopping experience is lacking a personal shopper to help you find exactly what you’re looking for? Well, it looks like that could be a thing of the past, as online retailer Zappos has unveiled a new service that aims to help shoppers find specific products by taking item requests in the form of …

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Hayley MinnAsk Zappos is giving you a personal shopper for all your online shopping needs
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3D measuring could mean we finally have bras that fit perfectly!

We all know that bra fitting can be a nightmare, especially when one shop tells you you’re a B, while another is telling you you’re a DD. How does that even work?! A new study by the University of Wollongong is planning to change all that, by using three-dimensional imaging to measure breast size and shape, collecting data that could …

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Hayley Minn3D measuring could mean we finally have bras that fit perfectly!
Window shopping at Simpsons, Toronto, 1937

Inspiration and perspiration: how to survive shopping in summer

Online sales growth has actually slowed this summer. And although the proportion of online retail sales has leapt up a whole per cent from last year, at 16.7% it’s still a surprisingly small fraction compared to all the shopping we do in real shops. Whether that’s because (despite all the tech at work to minimise misfits) we still don’t trust …

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Lauren BravoInspiration and perspiration: how to survive shopping in summer
Blue Yeti

Top 10 Vintage Gadgets: including Fuji X-M1 camera, Blue Microphones Yeti USB headphone, Sennheiser Momentum Ivory

Walking around the various ‘Christmas in July’ events, including those of John Lewis and Amazon, one of the trends for this year that definitely seems to be emerging is retro styling. In truth, some of the products that these companies are pushing for the forthcoming festive season have been around a little while. But then one of the beauties about …

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Chris PriceTop 10 Vintage Gadgets: including Fuji X-M1 camera, Blue Microphones Yeti USB headphone, Sennheiser Momentum Ivory
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New York shopping mall celebrates body diversity with different mannequins

A shopping mall in New York city is featuring mannequins with an array of body types in one of its window displays, thanks to the work of JCPenney. As part of its campaign ‘when it fits, you feel it’, the display in the JCPenney store in Manhattan Mall is a welcome contribution to ongoing dialogues surrounding body diversity in the media. The …

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Sadie HaleNew York shopping mall celebrates body diversity with different mannequins
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First Birchbox store uses Artificial Intelligence and iPads to make beauty shopping better

It seems we’ve all become a little, OK, a LOT, obsessed with online shopping. There’s something about the ease, the choice and the lack of ‘end-it-all-now’ changing room queuing dilemmas that make it so much more appealing than the real thing. But when it comes to beauty products, e-commerce often just doesn’t cut it. If you can’t swatch that make-up, …

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Becca CaddyFirst Birchbox store uses Artificial Intelligence and iPads to make beauty shopping better
Pierre Cardin 1967

INSIGHT – My vision for the future of fashion: smart tights, boob-specific tops, non-creasing clothes

Following on from the news that Cher’s computerised wardrobe from Clueless is now a real thing, here are a few more visions of fashion future that I’d like to see become a reality in my lifetime (or from my cryogenic freezer, at least)… In the future, every garment will come with an exact copy, virtually stored on a database, that …

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Lauren BravoINSIGHT – My vision for the future of fashion: smart tights, boob-specific tops, non-creasing clothes
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Metail has made Cher Horowitz’ Clueless wardrobe a real thing!

Did you, like us, grow up wishing you could have Cher Horowitz’ digitised and colour-coordinated wardrobe – checked co-ords and all? Well, Metail have sort of made it possible for the Clueless lifestyle to be a real thing. As if! To launch its digital fitting room, Metail is encouraging you to create your own ‘MeModel’ by inputting your height, weight …

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Hayley MinnMetail has made Cher Horowitz’ Clueless wardrobe a real thing!
Michaela Jedinak Fit.me virtual fitting room

INSIGHT – Smart shopping: How technology is making our clothes fit better

For anyone who has ever left a high street changing room sweating, weeping or with a partially dislocated shoulder, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon. Retailers are finally beginning to realise that they’ll sell more clothes if they have a better understanding of the way our bodies vary in shape and size (my boobs aren’t ever going to …

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Lauren BravoINSIGHT – Smart shopping: How technology is making our clothes fit better
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Test your vest: UNIQLO lets shoppers wear clothes outside before they buy

Clothing brand GU, which is part of the same retail group as UNIQLO, has launched a pilot scheme which will allow its shoppers to take clothes on a “test run” outside the store before they commit to buying anything. Potential buyers will be allowed to take away up to three items of clothing in a single day to help them …

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Sadie HaleTest your vest: UNIQLO lets shoppers wear clothes outside before they buy
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How fashion brands do social media: 5 great examples from ASOS, Topshop, Marc Jacobs

Retailers are starting to understand it’s no longer enough to simply stock the online shelves and invite us to the shop. We’re becoming a nation of communication addicts, and some of the best fashion brands are finding fun ways to become part of their customers’ everyday lives through innovative uses of social media. The following companies are examples of some …

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Laura KiddHow fashion brands do social media: 5 great examples from ASOS, Topshop, Marc Jacobs
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Selfridges’ Fragrance Lab will produce your own individual perfume, made just for you

Are you tired of meeting other people wearing the same perfume as you, and want to change your fragrance up a bit? Selfridges has created a Fragrance Lab where you can create your own individual scent, with the help of experts. Starting off in a doctor’s waiting-room-style reception in Selfridges’ Wonder Room, you answer a series of questions relating to …

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Hayley MinnSelfridges’ Fragrance Lab will produce your own individual perfume, made just for you
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H&M mixes fashion with music, but does it make shopping more fun?

Anyone with a minor online shopping addiction will know that H&M’s website is pretty easy to navigate. It stays true to its brand with minimal styling, big images and a few cool features – like being able to try your clothing selections onto models with weird-looking faces. But now the Swedish clothing company wants to mix things up, make online …

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Becca CaddyH&M mixes fashion with music, but does it make shopping more fun?