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Biking in the summer can sometimes lead to challenges when the weather is hot and/or humid. The breezes while pedaling feel fabulous, but once you stop, the sweating starts (or maybe it’s just me). Summer biking always makes me fantasize about the cool linens of the South – they seem so genteel and cool and comfortable, and look classy at the same time.
Enter Forest and Fin’s Bicycle Wrap Skirt. Forest and Fin is an environmentally-aware clothing shop started in 2009 by Lara Neece. Initially, her products were limited to silkscreened tee-shirts for men and women, but her love of bicycling inspired her to create a skirt she could bike in and still look good wearing off the bike. Because of her commitment to sustainability, Lara picked a design that would be flattering on every woman, be a wardrobe classic to last years, and be made in the United States with natural fibers and dyes. She has also designed into the skirt pockets and some hidden fasteners to prevent the skirt from flying up while biking. It’s a well-thought out design with lots of attention to detail.
I had the opportunity to test out this skirt on Bike to Work Day on May 15, 2015. I not only biked to work in it, but I had a list of errands to run afterwards, and therefore put the skirt through its paces. I’m happy to report that it is simply a lovely skirt and will be a summer staple once I get my Kickstarter-backed item.
First of all, the skirt is very flattering. The high waist (worn at the waist, not on the hips) will look good on everyone because it makes the waist look smaller, and who doesn’t want that?! Previous experience with wrap skirts on bikes made me leery about how this would work, but Lara has truly thought of everything. Not only does she have the hidden fasteners mentioned earlier, the skirt wraps so far around the waist that there is no (or little) chance that the skirt will blow up and expose too much leg or worse. This is pretty much the one feature that won me over. I also like the fasteners, which connect the front and back of the skirt together at the hem quite ingeniously. Lara doesn’t expose this trick on her website, so I won’t either – but trust me, it’s brilliant. I tried biking with the skirt fastened and without, and it works fine either way. The skirt also doesn’t look too weird when you are off the bike but keep it fastened – I didn’t bother to undo it every time I hopped off to run into a store.
The other wonderful feature about this skirt is the breezy linen blend. I felt very romantic while wearing the skirt, and twirled delightedly. It is the perfect summer picnic skirt! I couldn’t help but long for a steamy summer day, a casual bike ride, and a picnic lunch with my husband or friends. Although I tested out a natural linen colored skirt, you can also get a blue-dyed skirt or a dip-dyed version, and gray is another upcoming color option. Because her project reached it’s Kickstarter goal in the first week, Lara plans on adding to the collection. I’d love to see a fall-weight skirt and even a wrap dress.
The dress fits sizes 0-14 (American sizing) and comes in both regular and tall lengths (I am 5’10” and the tall length hit just above my knees). You can pre-order the skirts on the Forest and Fin website, and be sure to check out the tee shirts as well. Because the Kickstarter campaign ended in June, the skirts are not available yet, but will be soon. You’ll want to get one of these soon, because the summer isn’t over and you’ll want that picnic eventually.
You can pre-order this skirt for $84 (normal price £128, with delivery expected in late August/early September.