Cycling Chic: Five Fashions Fit for Urban Biking

DO YOU Velo Fashion photo

Photo via DOYOUVelo.

The whole point with urban cycling is to make it work with whatever your lifestyle and your sense of fashion (or your work clothes requirements) are. If you want to wear Lycra and/or have a long commute that necessitates butt padding, then there's the option of hauling fresh clothes (or at the very least a shirt). But if you want to wear street/work clothes, what have designers been doing to link together bike-friendly with street fashionable? Add your favorite 'cycle couture' designers in the comments.

DO YOU Velo Jackets photo

Photo via DOYOUVelo.

1. DOYOUVelo Trench Jacket (men's and women's).

DOYOUVelo is a French company with a definite French attitude - they don't even have an English-language web site, though purchasing is available at their online store if you know the most rudimentary French. DOYOUVelo seems to be the first company doing cycling couture for both men and women, and the clothes themselves have so many smart features you almost don't choke at the thought of paying nearly $400 for a trench-style raincoat. If you live in Portland up through Vancouver you'll probably get your money's worth. DOYOUVelo jackets are made from waterproof, breathable, and reflective fabric, have extra pull-out armband reflectors and a great, roomy hood. Even DOYOUVelo's rain hats and simple messenger bags are chic yet practical.

Rapha Shorts photo

Rapha clothes were developed for road riders. Via Rapha.

2. Rapha Touring Shorts (men's).

There's still a clear majority of men in the bike lanes, and thus a lot more gear for men. These Rapha Touring Shorts are great because they can definitely do double duty - they are lightweight and breathable, and can go from the bike to the office if your job is casual. They include reflective piping for greater visibility, a slim, tailored cut, and shallow front zip pocket. Rapha has been one of the first to want to make extremely upscale bike apparel, and while some of their looks have a dandy quality, the cuts and the materials have earned approval from even the pickiest, i.e. NYC Bike Snob. These are the kind of shorts you might wear everyday if the climate is right, making their 70 pound ($118( price tag seem doable. Rapha's Stowaway Jacket is a cool addition.

London Transport Top photo
Photo via Transport for London.

3. Hyde Park knitwear cycling top (women's).

As Sami noted, it's a little funny to find bike-to-boardroom clothing on the Transport for London web site. And the cycling top featured here lacks just a wee bit in flair, but it is extremely versatile, as the web site says, with 'Teflon-treated' yarn (that's a bit scary) that lets it be worn as inner or outerwear, and a Merino wool blend for warmth. I could see this piece becoming a favorite, which I hope it would as it is priced at around $129, and that's not including shipping.

Swrve Jeans and Knickers photo

Photos of women's knickers left and right; men's jeans center via Swrve.

4. Swrve Jeans and Knickers (men's and women's).

Swrve has been making men's and women's cycling clothing for about two years, and the results are down-to-earth and street-stylish. The women's knickers and all Swrve's pants feature a lower front waist and higher back waist to prevent belts digging into soft parts and to keep your derriere crack covered. The $120 knickers are made from fabric that is water resistant on one side and cushy fleece on the other. Men's $100 jeans have 2% Lycra for stretch, articulated knees and back pockets for valuables that fit a mini U-lock! Side pocket for a cell phone, too. Hope these are soon available in a women's version.

Outlier 4Season Pants photo

Photo via Outlier.

5. Outlier pants (men's).

Outlier is currently only producing clothing for men, but their small line of basics have lots of features to make them bike-friendly. Key to Outlier 4Season OG Pants is the fabric - it stretches and breathes, and are constructed with Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabrics, which is a fancy name for 80% nylon, 10% polyester ad 10% spandex. The fabric's coating includes nano-sized spears that help moisture roll right off. These pants are definitely b-to-b (bike to boardroom) and though they cost $180 they may well end up the wardrobe item you return to every day this fall.

Read more about bike fashion at TreeHugger
Bike to Work Pants: Now You See Me, Now You Don't
Fashion Students Rise to Challenge of Making Cycling Stylish
Batwomanesque Bike Cape Mates Wool and Recycled Polyester
Shanghai Proposes a Different Kind of Bike Fashion

Cycling Chic: Five Fashions Fit for Urban Biking
The whole point with urban cycling is to make it work with whatever your lifestyle and your sense of fashion (or your work clothes requirements) are. If you want to wear Lycra and/or have a long commute that necessitates butt

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