Must Read Links

How’s the long weekend treating you? Make the most of your bonus day with these must read links. I’ve been saving them up for months. It’s a good batch.

Fashion is heavily influenced by functional apparel. Famously, blue jeans morphed from sturdy, miners’ gear to the epitome of LA chic. And this sort of style evolution is happening all the time. Check out how a simple length of tube bandage evolved into a ubiquitous NBA accessory. Via the New Yorker.

10dita-hodge-tmagSF

 

“I often use mesh and chain mail in my costume designs,” he said, “and I was fascinated by the opportunity to make something light and fluid out of rigid materials.” A Crystal-Crusted Gown for Dita Von Teese Made with a 3-D Printer

 

 

blueOf the Famous Artworks That Inspired 15 Films, I think The Blue Boy + Django Unchained is my favorite, because fashion history and Quentin Tarantino. But the rest of the list is pretty darn fascinating.

 

“In a survey of graduating professional students, Linda Babcock, of Carnegie Mellon University, found that only seven per cent of women attempted to negotiate their initial offers, while fifty-seven per cent of the men did so. We see those dire statistics and think that women are, in a sense, self-sabotaging…. But is it really the case that the disadvantage stems from not asking?” Via The New Yorker.

marilyn-monroe-in-bed-pic-613x478We all know that the genius of Marilyn Monroe was way underestimated during her lifetime. Fortunately, internet scholars are posting her pearls of wisdom for our own edification: “By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere, and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning. On Sunday, which is my one day of total leisure, I sometimes take two hours to wake up, luxuriating in every last moment of drowsiness.” 9222672655_b6925c1138_z

 

The radness that is Mary Kay Chin, one of the founders of SF Yellow Bike and San Francisco Bike Party. Via the Manic Fixie Dream Girls of Chicago’s Tiny Crush Blog.

 

 

 

bikiegirlbloomers

 

A hearty congratulations to Bikie Girl Bloomers on the completion of a successful crowd-funding campaign. That means we can expect more lace-trimmed spandex bloomers in classic colors and fun prints. (I’m a fan of the polka dot pair.)

vintage bike ad

 

A round-up of gorgeous turn-of-the-last-century vintage cycling ads, via Iladora. I want to live inside every single one.

 

 

 

 

“Do I have some magical skill set that allows me to ferret out…deals? Nope. Are my methods top secret and difficult to employ? No way. Do I troll eBay on a daily basis looking for deals … well, sort of, but we’ll get to that.” Sally of Already Pretty breaks it down in the ultimate guide to buying clothes on eBay.

 

fashion history head wraps and hoodies“The ladies in the photo exude a sense of dignity, which I believe is a protest in and of itself. Their head wraps simply added to that power. Then I remembered how other articles of clothing have been an important symbol for various protests and revolutions—particularly involving Africans and African Americans—throughout the years.” Scripts and Sightings explores where fashion history and social justice meet and mingle.

Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag-2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.L2Wh5DBzX4

 

Bike Pretty’s very own Kelly and her hunky French boyfriend Seb are leading a tour of the Tour de France:
We will leave South London on Friday 25 July, cycle 70k to New Haven, take the overnight ferry to Dieppe. Then cycle 130k on Saturday 26 July where we will end the day camping. On day 3, we will cycle 80k to Paris, where we hope to catch both the women’s and men’s Tour de France.
And you’re invited! Sign up via the London Bike Kitchen newsletter.

 

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-0 (1)

 

Argh, scarves! How can something so simple (just a freaking length of fabric, yeah right) never fail to frustrate the daylights out of me. I usually just ball them up and throw them in the back of my closet. But there is a better way to make them work: How to Tie a Scarf Like a Parisienne, via Vogue.

 

 

“I am sick of hearing that only stupid, shallow people buy into the unrealistic expectations society has of women. Because as much as I try to fight it, I often buy into them. Does that make me shallow and stupid? Is it therefore MY FAULT that I feel inadequate sometimes – because if I was more intelligent and not so vain, these expectations wouldn’t affect me, would they?” I’m Fed Up of Being Told I’m ‘Too Smart’ To Fall for Body Fascism

And finally, watch Renee’s mini-teaser for her upcoming eBike documentary!

Bike Pretty on the Paris Vélib

So you’re headed to Paris.  Well guess what?

You’re in luck: the Bike Pretty satchel is Vélib-compatible!Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (9)

I know what you’re thinking. “It has a basket, what is this girl talking about?”Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (11)

Listen, guys: you need that basket space for lots of other things.

Things like boulangerie goodies, the flowers for your friend who just had a baby, and the spoils of those last-minute French pharmacy shopping sprees.

(Gotta stock up on the sunblock, gnome ‘sane?)Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag-

Plus: by strapping the bag onto one of the handlebars, it’s secure.  Meaning thieves standing on street corners at stoplights can’t just go and grab that beautiful baby outta your basket.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (1)

Trust me, it’s a really practical accessory for that highly-staged outfit-post ride through Place des Vosges post-carafe-of-Brouilly ride through one of those pretty manicured parks.

Just accept that you have wine-face.  People will be looking at your bag anyway.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (2)

…and noting that you wore matching hosiery.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (3)

“Hey, this is actually great!  My bag isn’t jostling around at all! And shady corner-dude can’t steal it easily;  mwahaha !”Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (4)

“Hmm, bit chilly.  Wine-warmth is over.  Best cover up again.”Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (5)

Well now, wasn’t that fun?Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (6)

Now that the ride is over, you can go hunt endlessly for a parking spot.  Don’t fret.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (8)

Once you’ve returned your bike to the docking station, you can drink more wine.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (7)

…And stock up on cheese on the way home: look at all that basket space under the bag!

Photos by moi et Laura Wassermann, aka @absorbi.  Vintage floral raglan-sleeve cardigan via, dress by Alasdair NY, hosiery by Tabio, shoes from a vintage shop in Glasgow.

Everyday Bike Bag: The Bike Pretty Satchel

You guys, I feel like I’ve been locked away in bike bag land for months. My Bike Pretty Satchel is finally now on sale. It’s a big milestone in my journey as a designer/entrepreneur. And a good moment to remember what inspired me in the first place.

best-leather-bike-bag

Bikes are amazing machines. Stick one between your legs, and distances magically shrink. An hour wasted in traffic becomes twenty minutes of pure bliss.

I’ve been a hardcore bike commuter for over ten years. I first got the bug in Portland. (Still the closest thing to a cyclists’s paradise that we have in the US.) Even when I got my first Real Fashion Job–as a handbag designer in Italy–I would still bike for two hours everyday. Going from one end of Florence to the other I got lots of funny looks along the way.
bike pretty handlebar bag
I never felt like riding a bike cramped my style. Instead, I embraced the challenge of how to dress as cute and colorfully as I liked while I biked. I mean, I love putting together outfits, but once I’m dressed, I don’t want to have to think about my clothes until the end of the day. The clothes should be serving me, not the other way around. And if a cute dress works for my thirty minute commute, then it should be great for the rest of the day off the bike, too.

Eventually I mastered the art of selecting bloomers, tying up my maxi-skirts, and biking in heels. But I never really figured out how to carry my stuff. I knew that the really clever trick is to have your bike carry the load. Psychologically, it’s freeing to ride around unburdened. Physiologically, sweat doesn’t get trapped against the skin. It was easier when I had a bike with a rear rack, but tying down my messenger with bungee cords was nerve-wracking at best. Being resourceful, I made it work. But I always wondered if there was a better way.
bike pretty bike bag

Then a light bulb went off and I realized that I had to design my dream bag myself. Sure it seems obvious now. Like, what else would a bike-riding, purse-designing creative-type do when faced with such a conundrum? But seriously guys, it took me a while to figure this stuff out.

best-handlebar-bag-for-bikes

Mostly because I didn’t want to compromise. And I didn’t. So I made a bag that is easy to clip on to my bike. And easier to clip off when I’m ready to lock up (because I’m usually running late, let’s be real). Even better, once the Bike Pretty Satchel is off the bike, it blends perfectly into my wardrobe. Like when I pair it with a little black dress.

cycle chic satchel
Or a little blue dress. Or a green skirt. Or Rainbow! I’ve been testing my designs for nearly two years and I’m so excited to have made a bag that I love to carry everyday. Try one out yourself and feel how good it is to fall in love with biking all over again.

Cool Bike Stuff: Sale at Huckleberry Bicycles!

Huckleberry Sale
Huckleberry Bicycles is my favorite place to check out cool bike stuff. It’s a perfect example of a new type of LBS that is devoted to creating a wonderful experience for the customer not the hardcore bike nerds behind the counter. In place of fluorescent lighting and standard retail displays are tons of natural light and custom woodwork.
bike commuter gear on sale at huckleberry bikes, cool bike stuff, huckleberryThey recently expanded and were able to add more apparel to the sales floor. And get this. There is a dedicated fitting room. With a mirror. I can’t tell you how many local bike shops overlook this detail. I’ve spent way more time than I want to admit dropping trou in a greasy storage closet just to try on some commuter pants.
huckleberry bicycles Spring SaleLucky for us, Huckleberry is having a huuuuuge sale on everything in stock, including bikes and apparel. They carry some of the best like Levi’s, Giro, Pedaled, and my favorite, Iladora. Visit the shop at 1073 Market Street, San Francisco or shop a limited selection online.

London Bike Fashion

The top five cities for bike fashion are New York, San Francisco, Melbourne, and Sydney, with London at the head of the peloton pack.

London Bike Fashion

How do I know? Because this blog receives more visitors from London than any other city.

I’m not the least bit surprised that Londoners are so adept at cycle chic. It’s the home of Bike Pretty contributor Kelly and the original Tweed Run. And when I visited the fashion capital, I could barely turn a corner without bumping into some stylishly-clad hipster on two wheels.

London Bike Fashion

As the Northern Hemisphere* creeps into the warm seasons, get inspired by these street style shots I took while in London last Summer. I even put together a few style guides so you can get the look in your hometown.

London Bike Fashion ⬆︎ Doesn’t this remind you of this?

Get the look:London Bike Fashion

Kelly Brook Black Lace Bow Front Longline Bra | Davines Momo Anti- Frizz Fluid |
MINKPINK ‘Cah Ching’ Sunglasses | Kate Spade New York ‘Polka Dot’ Reusable Shopping Tote | Desigual Dress from ZalandoMartone Cycling Co. Women’s Mercer Bike | Even&Odd Ballet Pumps Silver | DKNY ‘Lace Curves’ Shaping Brief

London Bike Fashion
London Bike Fashion

London Bike FashionGet the look:

London Bike Fashion for SpringMarni Top | Desigual Mirror Paulina | Ray-Ban Large Metal Aviator | Aerie Mia Eyelet Pushup Bra | bareMinerals Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner | Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect SPF 30 | Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip & Cheek Stain | Spankie Low Rise PADDED Bike Short | Jason Wu + Melissa Shoes | Bobbin Bicycles Birdie Hybrid Bike | Forever New Alyssa Aztec Jacquard Skirt

London Bike Fashion
London Bike Fashion
Get the look:
The London Look: Cycle Chic

Desigual clothes from Zalando | Giro Surface Urban Helmet | Pashley Princess Sovereign | Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Platform Plus | McQ Alexander McQueen Razor Blade Leather Triple-Wrap Bracelet

*Shout out to my readers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane! You’re all in the top ten Bike Pretty Cities.