There is no thing quite like cycling – you get to feel the wind in your hair, the freedom within your reach and work on your fitness, at the same time. Still, when that wind is cold and harsh or the freedom comes in a form of heavy rain, somehow the romantics of it all gets lost. So,autumn and winter become the periods when we are forced to opt for some less eco-friendly means of transport. Most of our cold weather clothing isn’t very comfortable for riding a bike, let alone fashionable, but that doesn’t mean that there are no other options. In fact, with the advanced popularity of urban riding emerged a number of creative solutions for being stylish while pedaling, for both men and women.
Didn’t your mother always tell you to dress in layers if you want to remain warm during the winter? Well, guess what? She was right. However, layering isn’t as simple as putting on two t-shirts, it has its rules. The main purpose of layering is to hold the heat in. For that, you’ll need a light-weight high-performance fabric to keep your skin and clothes dry. Then, put on a clothing piece with thermal capabilities (e.g. polyester). The outer garment should block the cold air and hold the warmth in. Nylon can serve that purpose well. When gearing up for winter biking, don’t forget to wear ear warmers/hat and gloves.
Layering with a Fashionable Twist
You will have no problems with the first layer, since performance fabrics are figure-embracing and simple to cover-up. As for the second layer – you’re in luck, polyester is a very versatile fabric, so it will be simple enough to find everything from shirt to dress made of it. Put a nylon bomber (a huge fashion trend of 2016/2017) on top, and you’re good to go.
Girls and Boys on Trend
Since we have now established that layering isn’t just putting on a bunch of gigantic things, but rather wearing figure-embracing clothing that is rather simple to hide, it’s time to talk about trends cyclist love the most. Traditional cyclist wear has forever left its bright colors and bold graphics and minimalism is the trendiest approach here. Fine knits, neutral colors and simple leggings. Luckily, leggings are very versatile, and ladies can just put on an oversized sweater or a tunic, and they can head to the office. And did you know that jeans manufacturers are finally making an effort to make denim clothes that don’t restrcit mobility? Cycling jeans might be the perfect choice for dressy casual events and work (see Resolute Bay jeans for a great example).
Safe on the Road
There are two things affecting your safety on the road the most – mobility and visibility. Since the minimalism tendency has stripped away bright colors from your clothes, if you are riding at night, you should at least wear simple-to-use stick-on reflective clothing tape. Some things that could hurt your mobility when cycling are traditional jeans, heavy waxed cotton, and oilskin.
Don’t Let Rain Get You Down
During fall and spring, you will have other problems, one problem, to be more precise – rain. Technical rain clothes can get you really sweaty. Instead, get a typical raincoat with a hood with a wide brim to keep the rain out of your eyes. Longer coats will also protect your legs from rain, so you can wear wool leggings or pants. Ladies, consider wearing a rainwrap – basically a waterproof skirt you can wrap around your waist and take off whenever you want.
Summer Laissez Faire Approach
In summer, everything is allowed, short shorts, girly crop tops, playful playsuits, prints – you can wear a dress, shorts, skirt, pants, etc. If you are sweating a lot, though, you should avoid wearing viscose, silk, polyester, nylon, and light colored fabrics. Some of the materials that reduce sweating and make it less visible are cotton, lightweight linen, chambray, and moisture-wicking fabrics.
In the end, the beauty of biking is that it isn’t determining our style, but complementing it and becoming its inseparable part. And that is something that can’t be changed with the arrival of new season, regardless of the rain, snow and other elements.
Written by Claire Hastings