There’s something fascinating about the seemingly carefree ladies who can be seen zipping up and down city streets on bicycles wearing dresses and heels. Isn’t that kind of… dangerous? Inexperienced riders and those who take cycling very seriously might both imagine fancy shoes slipping off the pedals, and skirts flying up in the wind. Both of which can really happen. The best clothes to wear while biking are what’s most comfortable and practical for your individual circumstances – but there are a few tips that can help keep panty flashing and potential accidents to a minimum so you exemplify some fab bike style.
If you have a short and easy commute, simply mounting your bicycle in whatever clothes you’re wearing to work can make sense. But long rides and inclement weather can require a bit more forethought than that. A combination of crafty riding techniques, bike-appropriate clothes and gear made specifically for cycling is the best bet.
Riding Bikes in Skirts and Heels
In Copenhagen, wearing a skirt on a bike is just something you do. It’s no big deal to have bike style. But some skirts are trickier than others, both in terms of constricted movement and the danger of flashing. The blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic asked a few ladies for their tips, which ranged from simply not caring who sees your underwear to one very simple guideline: ‘knees in.’ Riding with your knees as close together as you can might seem awkward at first, but it feels more natural the more you do it. Of course, pencil skirts just aren’t going to work on bikes – go with looser skirts, or wear athletic shorts under your mini skirt until you get to the office.
Biking in heels is easier than it sounds. The perceived danger of the heel catching in either the pedal or the spokes is an unlikely one, but slippery soles can definitely be a problem. You can either have a cobbler add some texture to the soles of the shoes you ride in the most, or make sure your pedals are extra-grippy.
Fashionable Cycling Clothes
What if you’re worried about sweating through your work clothes, getting caught in a rainstorm or tearing the seams of an expensive jacket? These are all valid concerns, and may lead you into the rather dorky and unstylish world of women’s activewear. This is no problem if you couldn’t care less about what you look like on your commute – you can throw on a hideous weatherproof tracksuit and change when you get there, right? But that’s not your only choice.
For practical cycling clothes that can transition right into the office, check out Iva Jean and SegraSegra, two brands offering options that are refreshingly stylish.
SegraSegra (pictured above) is a Prague-based cycling fashion line for men and women with edgy, slightly futuristic-looking jackets, pants, tops and more incorporating old bicycle inner tubes for added padding and comfort. Reflective embellishments add to their practicality, but they don’t scream ‘cyclist.’
Iva Jean was founded by a daily bike commuter to “encourage women to incorporate biking into their everyday lives.’ The garments include a rain cape, a two-way reflective vest, a comfy ‘daily blouse’ and a skirt that unzips in the back to expose twelve inches of additional fabric for easy pedaling while biking.