Is this cooling vest the start of heat-controlled fashion?

Cool fashion just got literal – and dressing like an astronaut just got stylish. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced a limited edition “cooling underwear vest” will go on sale this year, which could be the start of a heat-controlling fashion trend.

Utilising the same technology as its space suits, the vest reduces body temperature by circulating cooled water in a tube routed inside. It’s machine washable, with a germ-control and soil-resistant finish, and is touted to be useful to prevent heatstroke.

Have we mentioned it looks great? Made of soft, stretchy navy polyester, the vest has an androgynous military look with sharp clean lines, and the raised material concealing the tubing is a unique visual feature. Retailing at a cool 60,000 Yen (£350) it’s an exclusive but not entirely unaffordable piece.

Designed to be worn next to the skin to make full use of the cooling technology, it looks fairly subtle to say it’s packing so much inside. However, the water pump unit, worn jauntily to the side in the press shots, may require some additional explanation and will need to be drastically reduced if heat-controlled fashion is going to catch on in the future.

Laura Kidd