Photo by Flickr user Yoav in Berlin
Behold September, as autumn unfurls her russet locks! Where did summer go? Here at Vélocouture we’ve been noticing a spike of interest in what people wear while pedaling their bikes — a blissfully tweedy explosion of bike fashion shows, bespoke knicker fittings, and stories in the media everywhere from the New York Times to good old BikePortland.org.
Maybe it’s that back-to-school feeling, or the new crop of summer cyclists thinking about how they’ll keep pedaling their way through the fall and into the winter. (Here in Portland, I suspect some of it may be due to the BTA’s always-popular Bike Commute Challenge.) Whatever the reason, it’s wonderful to see that North American cyclists are beginning to consider, and sometimes even embrace, the notion that you can wear regular clothing on your bike. But there is one thread that runs throughout all of this enthusiasm that makes us a bit wary, and that is the notion that there are now bike-specific street clothes: garments that can be worn on a bike yet “look like regular clothes.” We thought it was appropriate to speak up, because here at Vélocouture we have discovered a little secret technique to bicycling in clothing that looks like regular clothes.
Wear regular clothes.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that Nan Eastep of B. Spoke Tailor is crafting beautiful, handmade knickerbockers to fit each wearer. I personally am a big fan of Bicycle Fixation‘s wool knickers, and the next time I decide to pony up for a pair of brand new, American-made, high-quality wool gabardine knickerbockers, it’ll be because I have finally given in to the temptation of their gorgeous Herringbone Classics. (Or whoa! Check out these awesome shorts!)
Until that day arrives, I am enjoying shopping at the really excellent Goodwill down the street from my house. Because for urban transportational cycling, those are all the cycling clothes I need: clothes that fit me well, and make me feel and look good. Just like I’d wear anywhere else. That’s Vélocouture.
The problem is that this philosophy leaves very little for the bike companies to market or sell. But that’s not my problem. That’s their problem.
Wear what you like, ride what you like, and we’ll ring our bells when we meet on the street! Enjoy the fall.
Here are some photos that caught our eye during the month of August in the Vélocouture pool on Flickr.
Photo by Flickr user henry in a’dam in Amsterdam
Photo by Flickr user Lorena Cupcake in Columbus, Ohio
Photo by Flickr user kinamari in Venice, California
Photo by Flickr user the coveted in Chicago
Photo by Flickr user kinamari in Santa Monica, California
Photo by Flickr user Cameron Adams in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Photo by Flickr user jeremyhughes in Amsterdam
Be a part of Vélocouture! Submit your photos of well-dressed cyclists — yourself, or others — to the Vélocouture group on Flickr. Thanks to everyone who contributed this month.