Cycle Chic: What to wear when the weather turns nasty
Having been won over by the bike evangelists at the beginning of the summer, I’ve been cycling (and surviving) for over three months now, and with only one fall. I’m don’t claim to have scaled the heights that this blog has previously reached (no crazy mountain rides for me, thanks), but I’ve stayed upright for the most part, and that’s no mean feat for someone with no motor skills.
The next challenge to rear its head is how to maintain it all during the grim winter months – I’m determined not to be one of those summertime cyclists who ducks onto the tube at the first drop of rain. First of all, I’m upgrading my bike from a perfectly serviceable pootling machine with no gears to something that will make my life a bit easier and rather more elegant. The enviably spindly Charge Lazy Susan comes in a tawny, burnt orange and I’m excited about learning how to use the three speeds. (That’s three more than I have at the moment.)
The other issue weighing on my mind is my winter cycling wardrobe. Personally, I don’t ride in super-tight, spray-on lycra or moisture zapping, centrally heated techno fabrics – I wear unfussy and uncomfortable pieces from my existing wardrobe. In summer that’s a T-shirt and leggings, but bad weather brings waterproofing and warmth issues to the fore. It’s definitely less easy to look cool.
There are plenty of brilliant and only-slightly-fetishistic blogs that archive pictures of beautiful women riding bicycles – try Copenhagencyclechic as well as The Sartorialist’s dedicated section for inspiration. You’ll see that working the two-wheeled look often relies on a vintage teadress and a cardigan. Which is great if that’s what you’re into, but there are plenty of us who favour a more, well, grown-up look. Cycle chic doesn’t have to be twee; there are plenty of sleek styles and statement pieces that will work on a bike this season.
So I’ve tried here to round up some of the more practical elements of an on-trend autumn capsule that will look great whether you’re peddling or partying.
Cape £95, Topshop
Perfect for keeping you warm and dry as you whizz around, the cape is also one of this season’s must-haves.
Hooded scarf £35, COS
Keep your ears and neck wrapped up, and protect your hair from the elements with this hybrid scarf.
Bag £19.99, H&M
Whether you shove in your basket or sling it over one shoulder, this bag is durable, versatile and big enough to hold a change of clothes.
Wristwarmers £32, Brora
A bit of glamour for the amateur cyclist: super-soft cashmere gloves that will your fingers free for ringing your bell.
Wedge boots £89.50, Gap
They might not look like traditional cycling footwear but if you’re a heel addict, wedges are easier to ride in and sturdier than stilettos, and these have a modern-meets-penny-farthing feel to them.
Jeans can be counter-intuitive on a bike because of bulky and uncomfortable seams, but this stretchy cotton pair are made from soft fibres and the zip-sides mean there’s no need for ugly bicycle clips.Tagged in: brora, charge, copenhagen cycle chic, cos, cycling, dagmar, gap, H&M, the sartorialist, topshop
Recent Posts on Fashion
- A tale of two cities: sex and sensibility, from Givenchy, Celine and Stella McCartney
- In Paris, joy and pain from Jean Paul Gaultier and Comme des Garçons
- An afterthought, in the aftermath of London, for Meadham Kirchhoff's Summer of Hate
- Designer doppelgängers, and the wonder of weariness: Versace, Emilio Pucci and Bottega Veneta in Milan.
- Timely pursuits in London, from Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane and Burberry Prorsum
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter