Bike Fashion – Athleta Separates for the Commute

Bike Fashion - Athleta Outfit by Bike Pretty

I don’t like work out clothes. I don’t like dressing down just because I’m going to get sweaty. But I’m no priss. I love hiking, camping, and of course riding my bike.

Even when I was a little kid, I would wear poofy dresses party dresses to play in the snow. (My mom made sure that I wore jeans underneath. This was in the eighties. Then that trend blew up in the nineties. Coincidence?)

So I’d just stopped paying attention to athletic apparel. Or worse, I considered it the source of that wretched leggings-as-pants blight. Shudder.

Bike Fashion Commuter - The Athleta Skort

Then out of the blue, the kind folks at Athleta invited me to go shopping on their dime. As part of their “Street Style meets Fit Style” challenge, they wanted my take on bike fashion. To be frank, I nearly turned them down. I’ve completely written off exercise clothes for the past 5 years.

But you can never have too many pairs of socks, right? So I decided to check out the website.

Athleta gear and the Bike Pretty Satchel

The Athleta gear was not what I expected. I think I actually started salivating. There were plenty of cute options. Things I actually wanted to wear while biking around San Francisco.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of those racer-back shelf-bra tanks with wee little pockets. And they’ve got leggings for days. But there was enough good stuff that I had a hard time sticking to the budget.

A trip to the Athleta store uncovered even more possibilities. I think I wandered around with about 20 pounds of clothes until one of the lovely salespeople rescued me.

Bike Fashion - Athleta's Bike Separates by Bike Pretty

I’m really happy with the outfit I put together from my spoils. I’m wearing the Ombre Convertible Scarf over a vintage Cacharel shirt and my old Zac Posen x Target red leather jacket. My bamboo bicycle looks quite chic with the Bike Pretty Satchel, a leather handlebar bag that I designed.

I love how these Snow Flower Knee High Socks go with my favorite red and white ghillie brogues. (Sorry, if you’re sick of seeing these shoes in my outfit posts. But I can’t stop/won’t stop.)

Last but not least, I’ve been shopping for a gored skirt for ages. This once classic, but labor intensive, silhouette has gone by the wayside as apparel companies simplify production. But a gored skirt drapes like no other. So I was pretty shocked to find one at Athleta. Even better, this gored skirt has a very bike pretty surprise.

Bike Fashion Dilemma: What to wear underneath your skirt and on a bike - The Athleta Skort

Built-in shorts!

Find more inspiration on Atheleta’s Fit Style Meets Street Style community page.

Bike Fashion: Twirl Girl with ModCloth

To truly embrace bike fashion with dignity, there’s one thing you need to do first.
Bike Fashion - Luck Be A Lady Dress from Modcloth, San Francisco CA

You have to accept that your skirt will fly up. Of course there are ways to avoid it. You can go slowly and barely pedal. You can wear pants. You can stay inside on windy days. But that’s boring. And you’re not boring, are you?

Try this instead: Think of what you wear underneath as another chance to show off your very personal style.

Naturally I have to publicly take my own advice. And I had an opportunity when ModCloth invited me to show off my mad twirling skills in the Luck Be A Lady Dress. As part of their “Twirl Around The World” project, I recorded my bit using JumpCam, a collaborative video app (iPhone & Android). Then I invited other stylish dress-wearers to add their own moves. Check out how good we look in action!

Want to play with us? Just download the app and add your own clip to mine.

Bike Fashion - Luck Be A Lady Dress from Modcloth, San Francisco CA

In exchange for my participation, ModCloth sent me the gorgeous Luck Be A Lady in Avian. While the dress comes in a few solid colors, I highly recommend a print. Especially if you will bike around, snack, and twirl yourself silly (not necessarily in that order).

A snazzy print hides the little spots and creases clothing acquires while on our human bodies. Whenever I wear a solid-color dress, I’m one klutzy move away from reaching for the stain wipes and walking around with an awkward wet spot. Not very bike pretty. More like bike messy.

Bike Fashion - Luck Be A Lady Dress from Modcloth, San Francisco CA

In addition to the tidiness-faking print, this dress has a very flattering fitted bodice and flaring circle skirt. It strikes just the right balance of gliding over the hips without adding extra bulk. But a skirt this flippy really calls for a fancy pair of dignity protectors.

Bike Fashion - Bikie Girl Bloomers, San Francisco CA

Lucky for me, I was loaned a polka dot pair of Bikie Girl Bloomers for testing purposes. Lace-trimmed and sans crotch-padding, they fit smoothly underneath everyday dresses and skirts. I love, love, love this aqua and scarlet polka dot print. The other styles leave me cold, but I appreciate a designer with bike stuff in a color besides basic black (yawn).

Bike Fashion - Luck Be A Lady Dress from Modcloth, San Francisco CA

But the best part of this dress? Pockets, FTW!

 

**This post contains ModCloth affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. That said, all opinions are are my own.

Bike Fashion: Formula for Cool

Bike Pretty Winter Biking Outfit

I really want to call this my Bike Fashion Outfit for Winter Riding. But like my favorite bike-blogging San Francisco mom, I also have absolutely zero winter biking credibility. San Francisco is pretty much 60 degrees all year round. Any ten degree swing in either direction and people around these parts tend to lose their sh**.

On the other hand, the consistency of our weather conditions does give me a chance to really perfect an outfit formula. It’s something like this:outfit formula

Bike Pretty Winter Biking Outfit

The American Apparel Disco Pant is like a fashionable version of the full Lycra kit favored by MAMILs. Hey, even I like to cut down on wind-resistance if I’m going to put more than ten miles on my bike in a given day.

Ironically, the magically-smoothing material is free of any Lycra/spandex but still has plenty of stretch. The presence of not only pockets, but also a front-fly zipper pushes these babies out of leggings territory.

Dome-style helmets (like my Giro Surface Multi-Sport) are way better at preventing helmet head than the vented, sporty style helmets that most bike shops are infested with seem to carry.

Bike Pretty Winter Biking Outfit

But my favorite style innovation is my scarf, which isn’t a scarf at all. It’s actually a color chart for textile design. Hundreds of colors, organized by hue and intensity, are printed onto a test yard of fabric.

Each little square is also printed with its unique digital color code. This way a designer can get an idea of how the colors of a digitally-rendered design will look on digitally-printed fabric.

I ordered the color chart when I was planning on doing some textile design through Spoonflower. But nothing came of my designs because I couldn’t come up with anything cooler than the chart itself.

Bike Fashion Outfit Ideas For Fall

It’s been ages since I’ve posted any personal style. One of the reasons is that here in San Francisco, our seasons don’t really match up with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. Our Summer was chilly (and often foggy). And then right after the Equinox, the temperature soared and everyone lost their minds a little bit and hit the beach. But it didn’t seem right to post a picture of me in a sundress while the rest of the country was wrapping their brain around the concept of “sweater weather.”

So I’ve been sitting on this outfit since early June. The grey wool jacket and tights combo just make more sense for Fall inspiration, don’t you think?

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This is a pretty typical outfit configuration for me: novelty print top, A-line skirt, snazzy jacket, and a pair of tights. Here in SF it’s actually a year-round look. We’re just regularly temperatured like that, okay?

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And I’ve usually got my trusty leather satchel with me as a run bike errands around town. My helmet is from Giro. Tights are from American Apparel.

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I can’t help it! Pattern-mixing makes me smile. So does matching my shoes to my bag (just my inner Southern girl coming out).

If you’re wondering how to bike in a skirt and protect your dignity, check out these posts for my tips and tricks. You’ll never (unintentionally) flash someone again!

Our Anjou Vélo Vintage Bike Gang

This bike gang was the best thing to come out of my June trip to the Anjou Vélo Vintage. (Besides the hundreds of cycle chic pictures.) I’m so lucky to have spent a long weekend in France in the company of people who love bikes as much as I do.

Meet Gang Mélange Japonais, named in honor of Jenni Gwiazdowski and our favorite French snack food:

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Me

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My BFF Kelly Miller

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Kelly’s Boyfriend, Sebastien Klein

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