Space is never temperate. As the residents of the International Space Station can attest, the great void tends to be either chilly (-450 Fahrenheit) or warm (500 Fahrenheit). For that reason, space suits are constructed from Phase Change Materials, polymers that regulate temperatures to within a less deadly range. It happens that these materials have other properties as well: They hold their shapes, they can be integrated into wool, and they can be produced quickly using micro-capsule application. These advantages make the material ideal if you want to create a next-gen sweater, which is exactly what Ministry of Supply has been looking to do for a while now.
The Boston-based company is known less for its style - generally favoring a right-down-the-middle approached to label-free, office-ready menswear - than for the engineering that goes into its garments. The Mercury Sweater, set to launch in the coming weeks in both crew neck and v-neck form, is merely the latest application of technology. The brand has already created a thermolaminated dress shirt and an abrasion-resistant blazer. Because it is made using PCMs, the sweater doesn’t shrink in the dryer and is wearable no matter the atmospheric situation. You don’t need to change the sweater, because the sweater changes for you.
To MoS’s credit, the Mercury still looks like a normal sweater. And, in a sense, it is. It’s just a normal sweater from the future. [$168; ministryofsupply.com]