New Styles for Fashionable Cyclists

Published online on Sierra magazine’s Green Life blog, December 6, 2013

New Styles for Fashionable Cyclists

The number of Americans commuting by bike continues to rise, and fashion designers are sitting up and taking notice. Neon spandex generally isn’t considered appropriate office attire, but the fits of most slacks and dresses don’t lend themselves neatly (or safely) to pedaling. Anyone who’s caught a pant leg in their gears or toted an wardrobe change in their backpack knows the importance of stylish cycling clothes. Fortunately, the number of sartorial options for style-savvy bike commuters are now numerous. Check out these designers for fashionable duds with your eco-friendly commute in mind:

Vespertine: Having had their reflective safety vest featured in Vogue, this company has certainly earned their “Haute Réflecture” label. Vespertine pieces are woven with threads that are invisible indoors but shine under a car headlights, making you visible from within 2,000 feet. In addition to reflective and work-friendly shirt dresses, trench coats, and jackets, the company sells a number of chic and shiny accessories. Choose from belts, scarves, bow ties, and jewelry, all designed to keep you fashionable and visible on the road. 

Outlier: The New York-based company began with a basic pair of sturdy commuter pants, inspired by “the intense feeling of exhilaration and liberation that comes from riding in the city.” Since then they’ve added blazers cut to allow greater range of movement, air-forged women’s button downs that defy sweat, and a number of other elegantly designed basics guaranteed to withstand whatever your morning commute throws at you. 

Iva Jean: Anyone who’s ever tried to ride a bicycle in a pencil skirt will be blown away by the company’s Reveal Skirt, which discretely unzips to reveal extra fabric, allowing for a greater range of motion and easier pedaling. To sweeten the deal, through December 15, 2013, 10% of all online sales at Iva Jean will be donated to World Bicycle Relief.

Levi’s: While the original Commuter line received some mixed reviews from the critics, shoppers seem to love the Commuter Trousers. With reflective cuffs, a high rise, and reinforced water-resistant fabric disguised as work-friendly khakis, these slacks have earned some serious fans in the commuting community.

Yakkay: The Danish helmet manufacturer has caused quite a stir since their high-fashion helmets hit the U.S. market last year. Yakkay offers traditional hard helmets with a number of interchangeable covers, from herringbone riding caps to striped fedoras, all U.S. CPSC certified. Obviously safety always trumps style, so do your research before you buy.

Read online at SierraClub.org

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