In case you are yet to notice, cyclists are taking over the world. In London the streets are frequently paired with the rolled up jean, vans or the new slim-soled converse, wheeling fixies to the nearest bike café. The sport is becoming urban and sports clothes are now city uniforms.
Agyness Deyn’s fondness of two wheels, documented by countless paparazzi pictures of her cruising through London streets, declares it “a fashionable pursuit”. Cycling’s not only sustainable, cheap and healthy – it’s officially chic. Ludicrous? Certainly, but also a sign of how fashion is starting to take cycling seriously. (Just ask Vivienne Westwood, a long-time devotee of pedal power.)
However, the hatred of clichéd cyclewear unites bike-style bloggers. They share a belief that the stereotype of an aggressive cyclist in Spandex shorts and wraparound shades does a great deal to harm the concept of cycling as simply a normal, everyday means of getting from one place to the next. There appears to be two major misconceptions. One is that cycling is a geeky pursuit for which you have to be dressed from head to toe in Lycra. The other is that it’s dangerous.
Fashionable cycling is about being able to wear your everyday clothes to do it. It’s not for the purpose of cycling, but for the purpose of dressing according to your personality and the occasion, be it work, school, a party, whatever. Just anything but Lycra!
So dress as you would every day, in Louboutin heels if you like, enjoying your leisurely bike ride.
A Guide To Cycling In Skirts and Dresses.
So… I asked a few of London’s cycling women with their style on fire and their bicycle basket filled with shopping bags how they straddle the saddle with grace.
“How do I cycle in a skirt? I just cycle… in a skirt! If it’s a long, loose dress, it’s obviously easy. If it’s a tight skirt, I just pull it up a bit and cycle with my knees a bit closer together – one is, after all, feminine. I’ll get to where I’m going either way.”
“I live dangerously – so I put on a dress. Mount my bicycle. Start pedalling. And let the wind decide if my knickers will be introduced to the world.”
“How to ride a bike in a skirt? First things first – you need to be wearing a skirt. So step away from the spandex. Put on a skirt and preferably a pair of heels and hop on your bike heading for work. There are, however, some pitfalls to be avoided. If like me, you’re not into excessive thigh flashing, keep in mind that short and tight skirts tend to ride a bit up while pedalling along. And a usually decent wrap-around skirt can, with one little puff of wind, burst the thigh-flash-o-meter. That being said you can take all the precautions and still be revealed by a single gust. In that case do a little damage control and hold on to the skirt Marilyn Monroe style.”
(The Monroe style- The fine art of casually placing a hand in your lap while riding. It makes you appear frightfully cool and it serves a anti-wind gust function.)
“Cycling in short skirts is sort of like walking in high heels. To those who are not used to it, it’s scary, a little strange and considered unnecessary. To those who do it every day, it’s nothing.”
Without objections, Bicycle chic is riding its way into mainstream fashion at high speeds, pedaled by a younger generation of designers, and enjoyed especially by us students!