It used to be that if you were planning to ride around town on the bike, you were limited to your regular clothes or mountain biking clothing. Or maybe you’re one of those people: dressed in spandex (when you probably shouldn’t be dressed in skin tight clothing) with horrible neon windbreakers that were extremely noticeable, but visually offensive. Wearing your regular clothing around town meant arriving at your destination sweaty, and wearing the right gear meant bring a change of clothing with you. Fortunately, today there are a growing number of options for those that want functional clothing that work for a lifestyle on the bike, while looking sharp all at the same bike.
Gwen Lutz put together 35 different looks for men and women for this years SF Bike Expo Pedal Savvy Fashion show. I’m not sure what to say about some of the women’s outfits, but there were a lot of great options to choose from for guy, whether you wanted to roll business casual or full bike guy.
I’m not quite sure what to think of women’s cycling wear – like the typical “performance” options you see in your typical bike shops, there were a few garish colors and styles. I don’t know any women that would or could rock these looks to work very often here in SF. I’m surprised that women’s lines haven’t presented more classic pieces that could be mixed and matched more. Compare that to the men’s options that focused a bit more on the staples: pants, shoes, jackets and bags. Makes sense to me; I have four pairs of bike specific jeans now that I rotate though. Black riding jeans look a bit dressier and can hang with sneakers or dress shoes. I own a few different blue jeans (I’m rotating between Betabrand, Levi’s and Swrve jeans) that go with everything, and a pair of khakis (Levi’s) and chinos (Betabrand) for days I’m going for more of an office look. Shirts are definitely a harder choice- high performance fabrics are available, but a nice fitting shirt made from these materials are on the pricey side, which is tough to justify for something you can only get away with wearing once or twice a week.
My camera was offering me technical issues all weekend, so we weren’t able to document all the looks, (said camera is now at Canon getting rebuilt) but there are lots of great options presenting themselves these days for riding gear, both casual and performance. Our favorites marry functionality with style — the best part is that we have a lot of great options presenting themselves for active wear clothing that doesn’t have to always look the part.
Looking to change out your “meh” clothing for some bike friendly duds? Check out a few choice links: