There are certain inventions that really don't evolve, and most clothing falls into that category. Sure, styles and fabrics change, but the shirt has been using the same basic design for centuries. A hunk of fabric with holes for your arms and head. It works just fine.
But the world is full of designers and inventors who need to pay the bills, and so they are busy trying to apply the latest technology to items of clothing that really, really don't need it. Here are the awful fruits of their labors.
#5. The Defensible Dress a.k.a. The Stabskirt
One of the biggest hassles of modern life is people. They're everywhere! On the bus it's, "Is this seat taken?" On a picnic, "Melissa, will you marry me?" At home: "Mommy, can you tuck me into bed?" Arrrrrgggghhhh! If only you could stab them.
Well actually, you can, thanks to the Defensible Dress, or rather, the Really Pointy Girdle thingy. See, the Defensible Dress is actually a band that is covered in long, pointy rods that fits around the waist and is connected to an infrared sensor fitted underneath normal clothing.
Invented by designer Meejin Yoon and inspired by porcupines, the sensor triggers the rods to stand straight out in all directions whenever it senses someone getting too close to the wearer, thus preventing unwanted encroachment. A mild poking will teach them a lesson!
The Problem Is...
Besides the fact you look like the lamest mutant from the lamest movie ever?
Pictured: Fashion Faux Pas
The dress is completely undiscerning as to who and when it will strike. Your boss reaches in to give you a congratulatory handshake on your promotion- STAB! Grandma gives you a hug- STAB! An impromptu dry humping session- GENITAL STAB! Friendly fire is inevitable. Innocent strangers who happen to walk past you on a crowded street will feel the sharp sting of retribution from your now armed personal bubble.
#4. Transforming Clothes
Imagine it's a bright, sunny day. You're sauntering down Main Street wearing your favorite Ween T-shirt and stop to admire the women's spinning class in the gym across the street. Suddenly the clouds roll in and it begins to pour on your cold, exposed head. Luckily for you, your Ween T-shirt senses the change in weather.
The collar broadens to cover your neck, the sleeves automatically roll down to your wrists and a hood rises up to fit snugly over your head. All the while, you never had to take your hands out of your pockets or your eyes off of the spinning class. Perfect for the voyeur who doesn't care for interruption or wetness.
This radical technology from British designer Hussein Chalayan is achieved by using a collection of cables, rods, motors, microcontrollers and batteries to change the shape of clothing on the fly to whatever style suits your needs. He even created a dress that would leave a woman completely naked by sucking it into her hat (that link is to an NSFW video of that very thing happening).
If you prefer less moving parts in your transforming clothes (and less chance to be horribly electrocuted), designer Marielle Leenders has created shape Memory Textiles that work basically the same way, only using fabric that contracts under heat.
The Problem Is...
You're an incredible lazy ass, that's the problem. What, you can't roll up your own sleeves? What do you want next, pants that wipe your ass? (NOTE: contact Cracked patent department about ass-wiping pants.)
There is also the possibility of a gear or a rod grabbing a hand full of chest hair or pubes while it's turning your jeans into Daisy Dukes. We were going to also say that the "instant nudity" feature could go off at the wrong time, but what's the right time? Who reading this has ever wanted their clothes to instantly vanish into their hat? OK, other than you, Prince.
#3. Spray-on Fabric
The moment they invented cheese that comes out of an aerosol can, we predicted a future where everything could be bought in spray-can form. That glorious future has eluded us so far, but they've taken a bold step in the right direct with Spray-on Fabric. Fabrican, as it's called, uses a pressurized formula that, when sprayed from an aerosol can, creates fibers that adhere to any surface and bind to create a piece of non-woven fabric. It can be sprayed onto a luscious, nude 20-something model, for example, to instantly create an entire dress or outfit right onto her body.
Or sprayed onto this man, to create nightmares.
Any style or look can be created; your only limit is your imagination. Then, when the outfit has served its purpose, just peel it off like a couture wetsuit and toss it in the trash, making closets and wardrobes obsolete. For men, this technology is especially useful because those nude 20-something models will need to hire spray boys.
The Problem Is...
So the future is Silly String? No, worse, the future is more like Ron Popeil's spray-on hair, but instead of spraying on your head, you get to spray it on your genitals. We don't want to be crude here, but this appears to be the second miraculous invention on our list with the potential to accidentally rip out wads of pubic hair with each use.
Also, this stuff isn't exactly more convenient than the clothes we own now, which can be applied in seconds. The whole process of getting spray-dressed could take 30 minutes, four cans of spray-on fabric and a partner to help you cover those hard to reach areas ("Hey, Phil, can you spray this stuff in my butthole real quick?"). Is that the point of technology, to take a simple task and make it as difficult, time consuming and uncomfortable as possible?
Oh and did we mention 99.99 percent of the population doesn't look like a nubile 20-something? Haute couture is fine and all, but the true purpose of clothing is to hide our shame. Because spray-on fabric is as skin tight as a coat of paint, every flaw will be exposed to the light of day. Whether it's that fourth ring of fat or horrible appendectomy scar, spray on clothes aren't out to do you any favors.