Tom and Jerry, Batman and Robin, Morecambe and Wise, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, Marmite and Cheese… you should probably add Hackett and Cooper to that list of partnerships that just, well, work.
Cooper Bikes make bicycles – cool bicycles – and have done since 2009. They do form a branch of a rather well known company though, one that makes cars. The company that created the Mini. Some heritage.
Hackett, meanwhile, are one of London’s kings of men’s fashion, having opened their first shop in Parson’s Green in 1983. Since then, they’ve made huge strides and made particular inroads in the polo market – establishing themselves as one of the top luxury menswear brands in England.
So where do these two great British brands align?
Well the answer should be pretty obvious as you’re on The Discerning Cyclist website. Cycling in style, of course.
Cooper’s outstanding knowledge of commuter cycling, coupled with Hackett’s vast knowledge of the luxury men’s fashion world, are a match made in heaven for cyclists, so I was exceptionally excited when I received my summery yellow polo shirt and corresponding navy shorts from Hackett Cooper.
With expectations so high, it would be understandable that I may be left disappointed. Was I? Hell. No.
SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE! SALE!
I should probably get the elephant in the room quickly removed: the cost.
Essentially, you don’t get quality like this cheap. It hurts, however, it’s an unfortunate truth.
But, and this is a big BUT. A massive but. I like big buts and I cannot lie. Since I’ve been wearing this gear, this stuff has been slashed to pretty much HALF PRICE. So a £80 polo for £40 and £125 shorts for £65. £105 for a top class outfit you can cycle in during the warmer months.
Now I’m not sure how long these will stay available at this price, so if you don’t want to miss out, you have my permission to come back here later to read the rest of the review if you want to buy them first (click here to buy if you are impatient). The rest of the review is basically awesome – so you really don’t have to worry… but please do come back – I get lonely on my own. Erm…
Okay, if you’re still reading or are back after buying these, I’ll get back to praising these simply superb cycling clothes (I do apologise if I appear to be over the top, but they are by some distance my favourite clothes in the wardrobe at the moment – cycling or not).
So, I should probably tell you something about this stylish pairing. The polo shirt is a fine simple number. Made from 100% cotton and made to a slim fit, it is exceptionally comfortable and feels like a top quality top – as you’d expect for the regular £80 price tag. It is also slightly longer than a normal polo – not overbearingly so – just enough to cover your rear while you ride.
Now the shorts I am in love with. They’re cut to fit just a few inches above your knee and are built to be strong, secure and slightly stretchy. They are even made of 3% lycra (not that you’ll be a MAMIL in these), which provides some breathability alongside the comfort – with the other 97% compromising of cotton.
One of the key features that I really enjoy about these shorts is the double button on the waist. It is such a simple feature that I don’t understand why it is not universal in trousers/shorts. The double button helps keep the shorts securely fitted on and off the bike without any need for a belt and takes the strain off the waistline, providing you’ve ordered the right size. The Hackett Cooper bike shorts also feature reinforced stitching on the cross – perfect for on the bike – as well as a plethora of pockets, including a subtly disguised zip pocket on the back, that also features a loop if you’re a practical sort that would like to use this to attach keys to. The back of the shorts also features a lock loop, however I wouldn’t recommend using this for a lock as the website suggests, as this could do you some really damage if you are unfortunate enough to come off your bike.
In terms of build quality and resistance, I have given this outfit, and particularly the shorts some seriously rugged testing.
On the first day of wearing these shorts, they (and I) ended up in a swimming pool, due to an impromptu enforced dip at a summer shindig. The shorts dried quickly, fortunately, and bore no damage or staining despite being infiltrated with chlorine. Unfortunately, I can also point out that the pockets aren’t waterproof, and so, while the shorts survived, my phone did not.
Admittedly, wearing these shorts in swimming pools isn’t high on your agenda, so I should mention how they fare while riding. And on this they do very well too. They are breathable and comfortable. Snug, but stretchy. Everything I look for in a cycling short.
Even after several weeks of riding, walking , falling into pools, and a full weekend a raucous music festival, these shorts are still going very strong – showing no sign of wear and tear despite a number of washes in their short life.
In style terms, this pairing is fantastic too. On numerous occasions people have commented very favourably on each item, and, much too my Discerning Cyclist satisfaction, these people were astonished to find out that this outfit had been designed with cycling in mind.
Never before has a product I have reviewed met the DC mantra of ‘stylish clothes you can cycle in’ so sincerely.