Cycle Chic: Fashion + Bike at Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013

bike, bright, blue, heidi braids, legs, model

Photo: Tommy Ton

Photographs of the stylish set surrounding the Milan Fashion Shows are my favorite part of fashion week. Happily, more than a few of the editors, buyers, and stylists decided to get around the medieval city by bike.

bike, green, brunette, legs, fashion, boots

Photo: Tommy Ton

Is she giving a friend a ride on her bike? That’s adorable.

turban, palazzo pants, turquoise, cruiser, fashion, Milan

Photo: Kuba Dabrowski

All those ridiculous designer clothes come alive when you see them off the runway and worn by non-models.

Photo: Greg Kessler

The Milan Bike Share orange matches the city’s iconic streetcars.

bika share, Milan, pink, skirt, step-through, blonde

Photo: Kuba Dabrowski

bike, suit, menswear, fashion, Milan

Photo: Kuba Dabrowski

At first glance, I didn’t notice his amazing studded oxfords.

polka dots, black & white, bike, basket, Milan, Fashion

Photo: Kuba Dabrowski

I wear a similar outfit at least once a month. It’s important to wear as many Polka Dotted items as you can. Then you win.


San Francisco Tweed Ride: Riding the Woolen Legend

On July 28th we grabbed our warm layers and suited up for the first official San Francisco Tweed Ride in nearly two years.

It had been so long since the last Tweed ride that when the e-mail arrived, I had forgotten ever signing up for the blasted thing. No, Sir, I thought to myself, I want none of your muted woolens as I wear only the gaudiest jackets whilst velocipeding. Fortunately the barest hint of memory stayed my hand from delivering unto the spam folder the tardy missive.

It was not an advert for heathered dry goods, as I had originally thought. Rather I found that I had been cordially invited to the first fully fledged airing of the motley assortment of Harris, Herringbone, and Houndstooth known throughout Internetdom as the San Francisco Tweed Ride.

Naturally my next thought was what do I wear?


Outside of the excellent Tcho Chocolates

Vintage blouse that belonged to my great-grandmother, handmade cycling corset; deconstructed kilt inspired by Vivienne Westwood AnglomaniaAerotech leather gloves; stuffed into my helmet is my gold leather biker jacket from Zara 

Notice that I’m not wearing any tweed! That’s a bad habit left over from Fashion School: must slightly disobey the design briefs given to us by our professors.

Outside of Jacks Cannery Bar

The original BikeHandsome was coordinating nicely in his Christmas Party outfit: Red dress shirt from H&M; thrifted tweed vest from Clothes Contact; Tweed trousers, also from H&M, Gola sneakers

My boots are also looking quite lovely in this shot. They are from my favorite shoe store on the planet: Panca’s Designer on Milan’s Corso di Porta Ticinese.

During my final year of Fashion School I used to salivate over their window displays  of vintage repro perfection , until I got my Christmas check from the grandparents and took those babies home with me for good (Thanks, Granddad!)

The last stop of the tweed Ride brought us to Goorin Bros. hat shop where I met a very talented & Savile Row trained tailor. Turns out I had made the dreadful faux pas of wearing his family’s tartan! Fortunately he forgave me and we spent the rest of the time chatting about Victorian dressmaking techniques.

I also bought a hat.

Wooden Bicycle Wheels discovered in the wild, errr, French blogosphere

Thanks, blogosphere! Even though the site was in French, you still made one of my dreams come true.


That’s a really awesome looking bicycle, but the wheels? They are made out of WOOD. I thought that was a joke we made up at bamboo bike school.


More correctly, the rims are made of wood, as the spokes and hub are still some sort of magical metal alloy.

According to The Bikerist, the wood has carbon inserts making it lighter and stronger than a traditional metal wheel.

These rims are made by another Italian company: Ghisallo Cerchio In Lengo, founded in 1946 near Lake Como. They make rims for several different types of wheels, including a model for mountain bikes.

Pneumatic rim suitable to mountain bike light usage, for off roads but not for big mechanical stress and competition.


“Big mechanical stress,” that’s such an Italian choice of words; so charming. The rims are available in several different finish colors. Ever attentive to detail, Ghisallo also recommends which shade of brake pad is best for your finish of choice.

In the bins: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ video perfectly captures the feeling of thrifting awesome clothes at second-hand stores

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ new cd, The Heist, will be in stores October 9, 2012.


I’ve shopped at thrift stores for second-hand clothes ever since I was a tiny child and I’ve never stopped. As a teenager I used to take the train up to San Francisco to visit Clothes Contact on Valencia St.


In New York without a bike, thrifting was one of the few ways I could get into a flow state, but the hauls could be disappointing as most of the Goodwills were picked over. However I did manage to score a pair of agnès b. leather jeans that I still have.

They are totally impractical for biking, but they were my uniform during my first year of Fashion School. This was before NYC had any bike lanes, and I was too scared to brave the traffic. The black leather went with my depressed hippie-goth look.


I thrifted in Italy, although thrift stores aren’t really a part of their culture (extremely overpriced vintage, on the other hand). The few that I did come across were run by religious organizations or semi-communist environmentalist groups that were smugly helping out poor immigrants (like me!) and/or the environment by selling off their old stuff. The hours could be inconvenient even by Italian standards.

But my all-time favorite place to go thrifting ever is at The Bins, just outside Portland, Oregon. Officially it’s known as the Goodwill Outlet .

Holly Stalder and Kate Towers the original founders of 2 Girls 2 Shirts Seaplane first took me there to find raw materials when I worked with them as a pattern maker and seamstress, but it was my friend Cory who taught me the finer points of hunting for pieces we could flip to Red Light and Buffalo. She also taught me how to spot a junkie. Thanks, Cory!

Seattle’s version of The Bins makes an appearance at the 1:02 mark of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop Video above. Everything in those ugly blue bins is sold by the pound. The heavier your haul, the cheaper the price.

If you get a chance to hit up one of these Goodwill Outlet stores, give yourself at least two hours and set aside the last 45 minutes for culling your pile. Always wear rubber gloves. Trust me.

Do you like great deals on awesome second-hand clothes? Check out Twice & get the discount

Important announcement: the sweethearts at Twice, an awesome site where you can buy and sell second-hand clothes online, are offering readers a 10% discount until the end of September.

Simply enter the code BIKEPRETTY10 at checkout until 11:59pm PST 9/30.

BONUS: If you like the Twice Facebook Page, you can get an extra 20% off as well. BikePretty is going on a shopping spree to pick up some sweet second-hand fashions!

Check out my guest post on the Twice Blog to learn how to rock your new-to you tight & shinies on Girls’ Night Out.