Designing Wearables: Where to Place Battery Packs and Tech Components
When designing wearable technology, you’ll need to find a place to hide your battery and technology components. This is often the most challenging part of designing FashionTech projects, as an incorrectly placed battery can appear bulky and obvious.
The placement you choose will be determined by your unique design, but here are a few tried and true ideas based on my own work and past MakeFashion designer projects.
Don’t want to read? Watch my Intro to Batteries for Wearables in video format.
On the Back, Near the Zipper
This is the most accessible place to put a battery since it’s easy to partially unzip and charge or change out your battery without having to completely undress or reach in awkward places. This is often the best place to store a battery.
Being close to the zipper can sometimes mask the bulk of a battery, or you can use a collar detail to obscure it.
Under the Side, Near the Zipper
Similar to the back zipper, you can use a side zipper for easy access and conceal the battery underneath the armpit. This is slightly more concealed than the back, although be cautious that this isn’t uncomfortable for the model or getting in the way of their arms. This design works well for when you expect the viewer’s attention and focus will be on the back of the garment.
Underneath the Skirt or Waistband
Any skirt that has volume, such as a full skirt with a petticoat can conceal a battery or technology. You can attach bulky items to the waist or hips with a belt-style holster, or a pair of bicycle shorts with a pocket.
The downside to this is that the placement is somewhat awkward if you need to reach under your skirt to access it!
Within a Pocket
If your design allows for pockets (who doesn’t love pockets?), this is the simplest and most accessible place for a battery, technology, and power switches. You can run wires through the inside of the garment for easy access for the wearer to easily control their wearable tech garment.
Related FashionTech Content
Choosing Batteries for Wearables
An overview to the pros and cons of different types of power supply.
Intro to Fiber Optic Lighting for Wearables
Absolute beginner’s guide to getting started with fiber optics for wearables.