War-making apparel is about functionality just as much as fashion. That's why the US Army is offering a cool $1million in research funds to anyone who can help realize its dream of "thermally responsive textiles." The ultimate goal is clothing that automatically tailors itself to rapid changes in ambient and body temperature, thereby removing the need for alternative garments and reducing the weight and 'cube' of a soldier's payload. So-called smart fabrics have already been demonstrated by army scientists, based on comfy-sounding metallic fibers that curl up when it's cold and straighten out when it's warm. That sort of technology just needs to be reworked to make it practical and laundry-safe. We don't want those strong colors bleeding out in the wash, because as the line goes: if you're going to fight, you might as well clash.

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US Army wants thermally adaptive shirts, less of that nasty B-O