Of course, it is true that you can bike in whatever clothing you already have in your wardrobe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no need for bike-friendly clothing. I love checking out bike fashion companies and seeing how they interpret their vision of “bike friendly,” and figuring out what coordinates with my existing wardrobe. I love supporting small companies, and anything I can do to make stylish biking more commonplace, well, sign me up! I have followed Iladora’s growing line of garments for a while, and have their “Bike Beautiful” reflective spokes card on my bike. So when they introduced their Lisa Top in a few new colors this summer, I jumped at the chance to buy a pink one (I prefer to wear pale pink instead of white shirts. It’s my thing, don’t ask!). The Lisa Top is a fun top that looks perfectly appropriate for a wide range of events, but is cleverly designed with biking in mind. Made from a bamboo-cotton jersey blend, it boasts of being wicking and quick-dry as well as anti-microbial. It has “performance” seaming, raglan sleeves and dropped armholes for mobility, a draped back for more comfort and mobility, and of course, a droptail for extra coverage. The “Sutro Pink” was a bit more mauve than I expected, but I like the color, and the fabric is nice and soft. I can attest to the quick-dry-ness of the fabric: a short but somewhat hilly bike ride to Target on a toasty warm late September day should have left me a bit overheated, but I felt surprisingly cool and dry. My tech fabric shirts don’t do as good of a job!
The cut is unusual – the draping the back does make for unrestricted movement, and the raglan sleeves are so comfortable that I almost feel like I am wearing nothing (although obviously I am). I was less keen about the narrowness of the waist, since it did cling a bit around my waist where I prefer to not have fabric cling. It looks a bit different on me than it does on the size 0 model on their website. But I did not worry about the shirt riding or blowing up in the back, either.
I wore the top to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to see a concert, to work, and running errands, and I felt appropriate for all occasions, so that makes this top a winner in the “off the bike” bike style category. And considering how comfortable it was to wear, I am sure I’ll find many other places to wear it. And maybe I will need the “Bay Teal” version next. The collection is designed and made in San Francisco, CA, and although they only sell in a few stores around the United States, they do ship nationally and internationally. Follow them on Pinterest (iladora apparel) and Instagram (@iladorawear) to see what inspires them. With such a small company, it’s easy to feel as if you know the owners before you wear your new garment. To me, that makes my Lisa Top that much more special.
You can read more from Elizabeth on her blog, tinlizzieridesagain.