Vélocouture Trends


In 2006 I made up the word “Vélocouture” as a title for the Flickr group I started. It was one of those things that took a couple minutes to think up, although obviously it was informed by much that had come before it. In the years since, the word hasn’t become a household word, exactly, although I suppose that depends on your household. It has begun to pop up here and there, though, and I was excited to hear about a fashion show in Berlin that held a Symposium Vélocouture as part of its events.

It appears there are some upcoming bike-related events as part of this program, as well, so take note if you are in the area.

See the whole story here.

Interview mix

I’ve always liked wearing hats, from my teenage interest in fedoras, to my current standard of a wool trilby in winter, and a raffia trilby or floppy sun hat in summer.

Recently, hats have made a big comeback in the fashion world. There seems to be a “hats are back” article in the New York Times every few months or so, and yesterday’s article on how the big fashion designers are embracing hats in their new collections seemed to seal the deal, at least in Guy Trebay’s mind. (As is often the case, the big designers are now acknowledging a trend that’s been happening in the street/ad hoc fashion scene for years.)

As a result of this growing popularity, a lot of people are wearing hats who’ve never thought about proper hat etiquette. It’s been a few generations since hats were in wide use, so the tradition of how, when, and where to wear a hat on one’s head has been lost to the sands of time.

I sought out some references for proper hat etiquette, but what I found was either a very traditional explanation or a somewhat insubstantial take on how it could work today. Along the way I realized that I have developed a pretty solid sense of modern hat etiquette. So I spooled it out a bit and this is what I came up with.

I asked a few of my favorite Vélocouture contributors to show me their “cycling shoes” and this is what I got . . . a real treat! Just in time for summer.

leavin mi house
Photo by Flickr user meligrosa in San Francisco

2010-05-12 red tights panda
Photo by Flickr user Kasmeneo in Offenbach, Germany

Charlotte Russe Wedges
Photo by Flickr user juleskills in New York City

Tony Lama Cycle Shoes
Photo by Flickr user Adrienne Johnson SF in San Francisco

Photo by Flickr user poetas in Portland, Oregon

Photo by Flickr user mamichan in Minneapolis

Photo by Flickr user trafficbikes in Southampton, New York

my snazzy B Spoke Tailor knickers
Photo by Flickr user *Honeychild* in San Francisco

asymetrical skirt my mom made
Photo by Flickr user Kristin Tieche in San Francisco

There are even more photos in two Flickr galleries, here and here, in case this selection merely whets your appetite.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this little photo shoot; it was fun to direct and a thrill to see the results.

Do you have a favorite pair of cycling shoes? Or maybe just a favorite pair of shoes, that you like to wear and/or pedal with? You get the idea. Submit your photos to the Vélocouture group on Flickr.

David #bikenyc 4
Seeking gender equality in all things here at Vélocouture. Photo by Flickr user Dmitry Gudkov in New York City

All across North America, bike advocacy groups will tell you the same thing: more men cycle than women. As a result, a major goal of many of those advocacy groups is to get more women on bikes. An article in Scientific American included this telling paragraph:

“Despite our hope that gender roles don’t exist, they still do,” says Jennifer Dill, a transportation and planning researcher at Portland State University. Addressing women’s concerns about safety and utility “will go a long way” toward increasing the number of people on two wheels, Dill explains.

Challenging this notion, all across the internet, the cycle chic blogs reverse the trend. More men may be on bicycles, but it appears that women are the ones wearing normal, stylish clothes and getting on their bikes.

Or maybe it’s that most of the cycle chic blogs are run by straight men, and they tend to turn their lenses in one direction more often than the other.

However you look at it, it’s an interesting “problem” to have. Could it be that vélocouture is a kind of bicycle advocacy? But before you think that women are the only ones who know how to ride with their clothes on, here are some examples we’ve seen of men looking good and going by bicycle. As always, these beautiful and inspiring photographs are provided by YOU. I am privileged to be your editor-in-chief and grateful for your continued interest. Onward:

Riding through the ghost town
Photo by Flickr user velvetboz in Seattle

Bike to School Day
Photo by Flickr user protorio in San Diego, California

break time
Photo by Flickr user theblueprint in Kent, Ohio

James. main. stop.
Photo by Flickr user kinamari in Santa Monica, California

Spring Panda
Photo by Flickr user Dapper Lad Cycles in Seattle

NYC Bicycle Commuter, Manh Br. @ Canal
Photo by Flickr user bicyclesonly in New York City

Photo by Flickr user Kristin Tieche in San Francisco

the boy rides by
Photo by Flickr user la fille en rose in Montréal

London Cycle Chic 08
Photo by Flickr user [Zakka / Mikael] in London

Amsterdam folder
Photo by Flickr user jeremyhughes in Amsterdam

moving right along
Photo by Flickr user poetas in Portland, Oregon

Photo by Flickr user sindändùne in MIlan

cargobike panda henry pascal 1
Photo by Flickr user henry in a’dam in Amsterdam

Stripey Cargo Parents
Photo by Flickr user velomama in Copenhagen

Quite a few dapper gents, there. And more to come, no doubt. Thanks for tuning in, and as always thanks for your contributions to the Vélocouture group!