Casual Cycling Clothing: Where to Find Stylish Commuter Gear

Let’s face it: Lycra isn’t for everyone. If you’re a commuter, you probably don’t want to be rocking up to the office in spandex, either. 

If you cringe at the thought of tight-fitting shorts and high vis everything, you’re not alone. While your safety and visibility should always be your top priority, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. Whether you’re cycling to work or biking around town, you can look just as good on the bike as you do off it. 

Not sure where to start looking? Fear not! We’ve compiled this handy guide packed full of stylish and functional cycling gear, so you can always look your best on your commute. 

Skip Ahead:

  • Best Casual Cycling Jackets: Men | Women
  • Best Casual Cycling Shirts: Men | Women
  • Best Casual Cycling Trousers: Men | Women
  • Best Casual Cycling Shorts: Men | Women
  • Best Casual Cycling Clothing Brands [Top 3]

Do I Have to Wear “Cycling Clothes”?

In short, no. If your journey is quick and you’re not racing or training, you don’t need to be dressed head-to-toe in cycling gear. 

This is especially true for bike commuters who only have short journeys. Indeed, most people who can enjoy a shorter than average commute (the average bike commute being 44 minutes daily) have little need for specialised cycling clothing.

So unless your commute is an epic voyage, there are only a few priorities you’ll need to consider. These are staying either dry or warm, being comfortable, and keeping clean. In an urban area, you also need to make sure you’re visible. 

Although this will require you to wear some high vis, extra additions like gloves, cycling glasses, clipless shoes, and chamois cream are not usually necessary. 

What Should I Wear for Casual Cycling

Stylish shirts, t-shirts, jackets, trousers, and shoes are all feasible for casual cycling, so long as you’re not doing long distances. 

(Think your standard pub outfit, with a few minor tweaks!)

However, it needs to be functional. This will mean wearing reflective detailing, extra padding or stretch, and preferably opting for something wind and water-resistant. The weather is rarely dependable, so be prepared for anything. 

Best Casual Cycling Jackets

Remember: casual shouldn’t mean impractical. The last thing any commuter wants is to arrive at work drenched from a dismal downpour, so the right jacket is essential. 

You need to consider several criteria, so before we get started, let’s run you through the most important things you need to look out for. 

What Should I Be Looking For?

  • Breathable: Sweaty? No thanks. Choose something lightweight and vented to avoid this.
  • Water Resistant: This is a no brainer. Choose a jacket that repels rain effectively.
  • Reflective: You need to be safe and visible, so be reflective enough for others to take notice. 
  • Packable: If you’ve got a lot of things to carry, you need something compact. Consider choosing a stylish, packable jacket.

Best Men’s Casual Cycling Jackets

Proviz Men’s Reflect 360 Cycling Jacket

Looking for stylish reflective jackets? This one looks great in urban settings, and it’s even fitted with multiple air vents to regulate body temperature.

These can also be closed in colder temperatures and used as pockets, so it’s suitable for all weathers. It comes in light grey, and it’s the first in the world to use a 100% reflective outer material. 

When this jacket picks up external light in the dark, it offers excellent visibility. You’re guaranteed to look stylish, feel comfortable, and still be safe on your way to and from work. 

Proviz Men's Reflect 360 Cycling Jacket Proviz - Silver/Reflective, Medium, Silver (Argenté/Gris Réfléchissant), Medium
  • The Award-Winning REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket is the world's first to be designed using a 100% reflective outer-shell and was featured at the highly prestigious Cycle Revolution Exhibition at the London...
  • The jacket incorporates multiple vents allowing the user to regulate body temperature. By opening the front zipper vents a 'through-flow' is achieved. The air enters the front vents, cools the body...
  • During the winter, the vents can be closed and are designed to also be used as extra pockets if required. These features enable the jacket to be used all year round. Added is an inside chest pocket...

Rapha Men’s Lightweight Commuter Jacket

If you’re searching for packable jackets, look no further than Rapha. This jacket comes in eight different colours, and for commuters looking for durability and practicality, it’s a dream. 

This jacket comes with a built-in pocket so that you can pack it up with ease. It’s waterproof, so you’ll be protected from the elements, and it even has a storm hood for some added protection. As it’s lightweight, this will fit nice and snug beneath your helmet, too.

It’s also made with breathable fabric and a meshed shoulder panel that’ll stop you from overheating.

A stunningly stylish jacket that is water and wind resistant, has a foldaway hood and can be packed down into it's built-in pocket so you can throw it in a bag.

Best Women’s Casual Cycling Jackets

Mountain Warehouse Pakka Women’s Jacket

It goes without saying: waterproof jackets are a must. This one combines all of our desired features, and it doesn’t compromise on style. 

It’s available in twelve sizes and seven colours, plus it comes with a pack-away hood and a pack away bag.

It’s also made from 100% nylon, so its waterproof and breathable material will keep you cool whilst preventing rain from getting in. It has also been tested to withstand up to 1,500mm of rain in 24 hours, making it suitable for light to moderate showers. 

Proviz Men's Reflect 360 Cycling Jacket Proviz - Silver/Reflective, Medium, Silver (Argenté/Gris Réfléchissant), Medium
  • The Award-Winning REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket is the world's first to be designed using a 100% reflective outer-shell and was featured at the highly prestigious Cycle Revolution Exhibition at the London...
  • The jacket incorporates multiple vents allowing the user to regulate body temperature. By opening the front zipper vents a 'through-flow' is achieved. The air enters the front vents, cools the body...
  • During the winter, the vents can be closed and are designed to also be used as extra pockets if required. These features enable the jacket to be used all year round. Added is an inside chest pocket...

Best Casual Cycling Shirts

Whether you’re after a polo shirt, a t- shirt or a smart shirt, there’s plenty of options to choose from (no Lycra involved!)

What Should I Be Looking For?

Breathability: This will prevent you from getting sticky and sweaty on your commute.

Stretchable: So you can move freely whilst riding.

Longer Back: Most cycling shirts are longer so your back is always covered. 

Moisture-wicking: These fabrics naturally move moisture away from the body to prevent you from getting clammy. 

Best Men’s Casual Cycling Shirts

Bluffworks Piton Polo Shirt

Polo shirts are a popular choice for urban cyclists. Bluffworks shirts are made from 100% polyester (so they’re great for moisture-wicking), plus they’re wrinkle-resistant and machine washable. 

They have a high level of breathability, and they’re available in a range of colours and designs. This makes them a great choice for commuters looking for a more casual fit that’s still built for the job. 

A polo shirt designed for travellers means it contains all the things you want for cycling: durability, stretch, breathability and wrinkle-resitance.

Twillory Performance Shirts

There’s also a wide range of smart shirts for commuters looking for a more formal fit. These shirts come with a four-way stretch and an extremely breathable fabric. To top it off, they’re wrinkle-free and moisture-wicking, too. 

They also come in a wide range of colours so you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t look good in the workplace. You’ll get great functionality and a sharp fit – so sharp, in fact, it doesn’t even look like athleisure wear. 

Best Women’s Casual Cycling Shirts

After some timeless T-shirts for casual Friday? Look no further.

Rapha Women’s Merino T-Shirt

Rapha rarely disappoints, and as expected, these t-shirts are in a league of their own. 

This crew neck comes in dark navy or black, and it’s made from a combination of merino wool with nylon – this can act as insulation in the winter or keep you cool in the summer. Either way, it’s versatile and durable, making it great for commuters. 

It also comes with a reflective tab, and it’s shrink resistant too. 

A chic t-shirt boasting Rapha's iconic pink armbands. The merino-nylon blend makes for a comfortable, breathable and naturally anti-bacterial tee that feels great against the skin.

Ministry of Supply Composite Women’s Merino Tank

Fancy a tank to keep you cool? These are stylish and smart, and they’re available in a range of colours.

They also come in a choice of fits ranging from regular to large, so you can go for a trimmer fit or a looser one, depending on your needs. This makes them a versatile, stylish addition to your workplace wardrobe, as they can be dressed up (or down) with ease. 

They’re moisture-wicking and odour resistant, too – the commuters dream.

A smart ladies' tank top that boasts secret functionality so that not only does it look great, but it feels great when out on your bike. Really breathable.

Best Casual Cycling Trousers 

Yes, you read that right. No Lycra or padding involved here. Just sharp, up-to-the-minute jeans and chinos for the everyday urban commuter.

What Should I Be Looking For?

Water Resistance: Because no one wants soggy legs.

Breathable Fabric: You’ll need a loose fabric, like cotton blended with polyester, so that you can stay cool and fresh on your journey.

Extra Stretch: So you can move freely and comfortably. 

Deep Pockets: So you have somewhere to keep your phone and keys on your commute. 

Best Men’s Casual Cycling Trousers

Bluffworks Ascender Chino

Looking for some cycle-friendly chinos to bomb around the urban jungle in? These tick every box.

You’ll get a whopping ten (!) pockets, including internal zip pockets, multi-tool utility pockets, and built-in phone pockets. They’re also made of 100% polyester, so you’ll benefit from a breathable fit that’s moisture-wicking, crease-resistant, odour-resistant and stretchy, too. 

While these chinos weren’t specifically designed with cycling in mind, they’re blessed with all the great features a commuter could possibly dream of. 

Lightweight, stretchy and breathable chinos that are also crease-resistant.

Oh, and 10 pockets.

Resolute Bay’s CORDURA NX5 Cycling Jeans

Sometimes, jeans can be restrictive and unforgiving. If you’re looking for something comfier that’s built with the commuter in mind, check these out. 

Resolute Bay’s cycling jeans are water-resistant, stretchy, and strong. They’re made with CORDURA denim, which is over four times more durable than 100% cotton denim. 

You also get reflective detail on the back, six pockets, and a repairable gusseted crotch to minimise wear and tear. 

Great-looking jeans that are packed full of functionality for cycling.

The NX5 Jeans are extremely durable, water-repellent, stretchy and even boast discreet reflective detailing for night rides.

Best Women’s Casual Cycling Trousers

DUER Performance Denim Slim Jeans

You’ll never worry about a lack of stretch with these jeans. Their blend of cotton, polyester and Lycra spandex provides plenty of wiggle room and breathability, too.

They also come with five pockets and a gusseted crotch with reinforced seams, so you’ll be getting something durable and long-lasting. You can also choose from a range of cuts (high rise or mid-rise), fits, and colours. You’ll almost feel spoiled for choice. 

Stretchy Style!

An everyday-looking pair of jeans that boast lots of stretch to make rides more comfortable.

Colours: Navy, Black

Betabrand Yoga Denim Jeans

These days, Betabrand no longer make lines exclusively for cycling. Although these were made with Yoga in mind, their features make them a perfect choice for commuters.

Thanks to a fine blend of cotton, polyester, rayon and elastane, these jeans have an incredible amount of stretch in them (as you’d expect for something you can do Yoga in!). You can also get them in different fits, cuts, colours and sizes, so all body types are catered for here. 

Plus, they look incredibly smart. These aren’t your typical ‘casual’ looking jeans, making them a great addition to your workplace wardrobe. 

Jeans built for Yoga also make good on the bike thanks to their abundant stretch.

Available in lots of different colours, fits and cuts for women of all sizes.

Best Casual Cycling Shorts 

These may not be the first choice for the typical commuter, but we’re going to show you some great urban shorts to consider if you want to spruce up your wardrobe. 

What Should I Be Looking For?

Flexible Material: If you’ve read this far, you’ll know why! 

Gusseted Crotch: To minimise wear and tear.

Secure Pockets: Because who doesn’t love pockets?

Moisture Wicking Properties: So you can avoid getting clammy. 

Best Men’s Casual Cycling Shorts

Chrome Industries Union Short 2.0

Made from 94% nylon and 6% spandex, these shorts have a lot of give in them. They have a four-way stretch design and come with a full-length gusset for extra protection.

You’ll also get some reflective detailing and five pockets, including a zipped rear pocket for more secure storage space. What’s more, these shorts are wind and water-resistant, making them a great choice for commuters facing all weathers on their journey. 

You’ll also have a choice of three colours: black, light blue, and light grey.

Stylish urban cycling shorts that offer plenty of stretch, fit well for cycling and have great deep pockets (including a zipped rear pocket). They're also wind and rain resistant and feature several bits of reflective detailing.

Could well be the perfect bike shorts for commuters.

DUER Live Lite Journey Short

The Journey Short is made largely from cotton and comes with five pockets (including a rear zipped one). They’re cut slightly above the knee, so you’ll get a fair bit of a stretch and a comfortable fit. 

As well as being moisture wicking and water-resistant, these shorts also have antibacterial properties thanks to their blend of TENCELL Lyocell material, which derives from eucalyptus. 

These shorts don’t come with a gusseted crotch which may make them unsuitable for heavy use. However, if you’re just cycling to and from work, you’ll get a lot of wear out of these. You can choose from red, navy, brown or light grey, making them a stylish and versatile choice for all commuters.

Great-looking urban cycling shorts that are very breathable and offer plenty of stretch. Come in four different colours.

Perfect for the ride and your destination.

Best Women’s Casual Cycling Shorts

Chrome Women’s Seneca Short

That’s right, Chrome has made it onto our list (again!), and this time, with a great option for the ladies. 

They’re made with a blend of cotton, nylon, and spandex, so you’ll get something breathable, stretchy, windproof, and waterproof. The waistline also has a ‘contoured stretch’ meaning it’s slightly raised on the rear for a more secure and forgiving fit. 

You’ll also get six pockets, including a hidden zipped one below the waistband. You can choose from black or light brown colours, and the material is a four-way stretch, so you’ll always be comfortable on the move. 

Great-looking urban cycling shorts made from a Cotton-Nylon-Spandex blend which results in stretchy, breathable and water resistant shorts.

Feel good on the bike, look great off it.

Sigr Strandvägen Cycling Short

These are slightly more formal than Chrome’s Seneca shorts, but they’re truly beautiful and guaranteed to look great at work. 

Their blend of cotton, polyester and spandex makes them a functional and stylish choice. They’re also breathable, fast-drying, and come with reflective detailing. You’ll get four pockets, two on the front and two on the back, and the rear ones are buttoned for extra security. 

You’ll get a choice of three colours (black, white or blue), and despite being based in Sweden, shipping costs are pretty reasonable (and for some people, it’ll be free, depending on how much you spend!).

Minimalist Scandinavian style packed with tonnes of functionality for urban cycling, Sigr's Strandvägen look and feel great on and off the bike.

Best Casual Cycling Brands 

If you’ve made it this far, you probably noticed that several urban cycling brands kept popping up throughout this guide. That’s because their products are made with cyclists in mind, and their clothing is second to none.

What Should I Be Looking For?

  • Durable Products
  • Waterproof Gear
  • Stretchy Fabrics
  • Discreet Functionality (like reflective detailing, zipped pockets, windproof, etc)
  • Machine Washable Clothing
  • Stylish but Functional
  • Value for Money

1. Rapha (City Collection)

Rapha came up a lot throughout this piece and for a good reason. Their clothing is made with cyclists in mind, and their range is diverse. Items include shorts, jeans, shirts, bags, and more. Although their pricing can be a little steep, you really get what you pay for – pure quality.

Most of their clothing is focused on road cycling. However, the city collection is a little more formal, making great additions to any urban commuters wardrobe. 

2. Chrome Industries

You’ll know this name well by now. Chrome are the urban cycling gear experts, and everything you buy through them will be as stylish as it is functional. 

Their products range from bags to shoes, and all their gear is very ‘smart casual’’, so you’ll never have to worry about being dressed inappropriately for work. Everything is durable and long-lasting, too.

3. Ministry of Supply

“The world’s best clothing, backed by science”. It’s hard to disagree with this when you get into the meat and potatoes of their clothing.

Their gear comes with features like odour resistance, temperature regulation, and everything is sustainable. They’ve been certified climate neutral since 2019, making them a great brand choice for eco-friendly consumers. 

Their range is diverse and smart, and you can get everything from shirts to chinos. You might not have to break the bank to buy from these guys, but they’re pricey, so consider your budget carefully. 

DISCOVER: 13 Best Places to Find Stylish Urban Cycling Clothing

Bethany Morris
Latest posts by Bethany Morris (see all)

Bethany Morris

Bethany is a freelance content writer and avid outdoor adventurer from West Sussex, England. She travels everywhere on two wheels and writes about anything from government policy to marketing and sports. You can see more of Bethany's work here

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