There’s a Bike in It: 5 Tenets of Bike Pretty, as seen in recent press

Karlie Kloss & Liu Wen for Coach, S/S 14 ad campaign, New York.

“Wait, what’s that in the corner there?  It looks like a wheel…the wheel of a bicycle! Mere inches away from a seriously pulchritudinous situation…”

This happened so frequently during my recent life *ahem* perusals of the early Spring magazines that my natural bike pretty antennae went into high alert mode.  I starting keeping a mental note of the bike pretty-ness of it all, figuring I’d share once I had a sizeable list en tête, or when a truly “ah-ha!” moment struck me. Well.  Lucky for you guys, that moment arrived last Friday, returning on the London overground with a flat tire, a tired boyfriend, & no patch kit (grrrr) after a trip to the deep east to watch dogs run around in circles (don’t ask).

Let’s be real: it’s not often that I find myself on public transportation.  So it was with palpable delight that I found myself rewarded for my flat tire with a shot of retired Olympic track cyclist Victoria Pendleton on the front page of the London Evening Standard, a copy of which lay discarded on an adjacent seat.  Grinning ear-to-ear atop an upright bicycle in a white lace dress, matching brogues and boater hat – e.g., epitomizing the bike pretty ethos if ever - Victoria seemed to be saying “….WEEEE, BIKES!!” er, “Kelly, get to it.”

And when you start hearing voices when you read the newspaper an Olympic champion stares back at you in fashion-earnest, one sculpted track-cyclist leg revealed and ready to kick your butt, you do what your gut tells you. So. 

5 Tenets of Bike Pretty, as seen in recent International press:

1. Don’t be afraid to Cycle in a Maxi-dress.  Via Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton, on the cover of the London Evening Standard, 21 March 2014.


A promotion for UK charity Sport Relief, the shoot aimed to recreate the bicycle scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), with a bit of a role reversal.

Pendleton plays both Katherine Ross and Paul Newman in one as she tows Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev through a lush English idyll.  And in a maxi-dress, no less, one lacking the functional thigh-high slit of Ross’ original.  Skills, people.  BP skills, to be precise.

Photos: Rupert Peace.  Want Pendleton’s outfit credits? Scroll to the bottom here.

2. Never underestimate the power of a versatile Printed TrenchVia leggy all-American model Karlie Kloss in Coach’s S/S 14 ad campaign.


Like Miu Miu and Sonia Rykiel before them (#respect), Coach boosted their spring campaign by putting Kloss on a bike.  She’s basically perfection in a reptile-print wisp of a trench, the styling incorporating a signature-yet-subtle bike pretty coordination move matching the eyewear frames to the bicycle [frame], and bag.  Win win, Reed Krakoff.  Way to leave on a high note.

The Bonnie Cashin era excluded (gah, double-kisslock pockets!), I had heretofore never been much of a Coach fan.  This shot of Karlie wiped any suburban mall-bred memory of khaki C-logo jacquard from the proverbial slate, however, and I found myself scoping out the latest bags (#dangerous) and imagining outfits in my head around several styles.

Converted, for sure.

3. DUDE, definitely Bike in Heels.  It’s so much easier than walking.  Via Coach (again!), and their rather brilliant #coachfromabove social media campaign, featuring their recent footwear collections.

Clockwise from upper left: Coach S/S 14 | Coach’s F/W 14 Ophelia heel via @jenpinkston of The Effortless Chic | Coach’s Marah flat  | Coach via Andy of Style Scrapbook

Hmm, the marketing team over at Coach must include a Bike Pretty fan (or several), amirite? Or maybe they’re tapping into the bike pretty inclinations of an ever-increasing number of stylish NYers, braving the streets on wheels via the Citi bike program…or maybe both.

Either way, their footwear campaign shots, surreptitiously planted on the website amongst customer-generated media of fans sharing shots of their Coach footwear from above, feature the label’s more practical yet pretty styles perched on pedals.  Pretty preening footwear perched on pedals. Say that three times fast.

Scoping the #coachfromabove hashtag also led to this lovely post on the same topic…and this fun if gratuitous shot below. What, there’s bikes in it, ok?  Via Style Scrapbook.  Trip to Amsterdam, anyone?


4. Ride a Bike in Paris. At least once in your life.  Via Vogue Paris, February 2014, Sur les Quais editorial, styling: Claire Dhelens, photography: Lachlan Bailey. 

“I own the île Saint-Louis.” Photo: Lachlan Bailey.

Admittedly, this is not exactly a BP tenet.  But certainly something to add to the bucket list, if you haven’t done so already.  As a longtime resident and now frequent visitor to the city of lights, I can say with conviction that cycling in Paris is a wonder.  Riding around London, I often fantasize about her lorry*-less streets, and manageable number of buses to circumvent.

Really, it feels just like this.  And at BP HQ we love a bike in editorial, so had to share these shots from Vogue Paris’ February 2014 issue.

“Don’t mess with my dog. Or my wheels.”  Photo: Lachlan Bailey.

5. Embrace Bike-Commuting and its unique style challenges.  Via everyday London commuter Jess Bowie in The New Review magazine’s Cycling Issue, 23 March 2014.
Photo: Immo Klink.

Despite its late-to-the-game title, writer Simon Usborn’s “The Rise of the Female Cyclist” piece in last weekend’s issue of The New Review magazine (The Independent on Sunday) proved an inclusive read, chock-full of insightful quotes by Caz Nicklin of Cycle Chic fame, London Mayor Boris Johnson “[we need to] de-Lycrafy the bicycle” and this food for thought from everyday commuter Jess Bowie, 29, pictured above;

“I’m loathe to say it but often women care more about how they look, so might think cycling will make them a bit more disheveled.  But if more of us do it, and female commuters look out the bus window and see women like them on bikes, it would definitely help.” 

Which is a pretty good segway: don’t miss Melissa’s upcoming post on ModCloth about stylish bike-commuting.  Watch this space!

…and Happy Weekend!  I’m off to stylishly lean against my handlebars like so SPIN London. See you soon!

S/S 14 campaign, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand® Venezia (I know: Geese? Venice? Whaat? Alas). 

*Lorry = British parlance for what is referred to in American English as a semi-truck.

San Francisco Bike Fashion

Photos by Russell Yip for The San Francisco Chronicle

I know you’re into bike fashion. But do you follow me on Instagram and Facebook?

Melissa Davies, bicycle handbag designer, San Melissa Davies, 32, Handbag Designer

Last week, I mentioned that the San Francisco Chronicle put out an open call for stylish San Francisco bike riders of all stripes. Of course I bunny-hopped at the chance to take part.

A diverse crew of pedal pushers made their ways to the downtown photo studio and had their portraits made. Here are a few of my favorite looks.

Dad bikes in a suitMiles Cooper, 40, lawyer

A girl and her bike, san franciscoCasey Zandona, 28, social work student

I know I’m [riding] in San Francisco when: “There is a naked man walking next to me up a steep hill and we are going the same speed.”

Bicycle Lovers ♥Nadia Soedira, 31, jewelry maker and fiancé Mario Tanev, 32, software engineer

Silicon Valley Bike Fashion BlogJanet Lafleur, 49, high-tech marketing and fashion/cycling blogger

Favorite gear: The perfect (bike) bag, of course

Bike in a skirt + Vintage Schwinn step-throughZoe Hoster, 26, business development

Bike: 1975 vintage Schwinn Suburban (from her mother)

Kevin C. Smith San Francico Bike FashionKevin C. Smith, 42, data analyst

I know I’m riding in S.F. when: “I’m hot and cold at the same time.”

Check out the rest of the series here and look for the print feature in the Style Section of the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle.

(Can I just say how weird it was to visit the offices of a print media publication?)

San Francisco Bike Style on Refinery 29

Last month I was part of a Refinery 29 feature on bike style in San Francisco. Growing up in the Bay Area, I’ve always been influenced by the way people dress in the city. So it’s super cool to represent our steez on a big-time fashion website.

Typical SF style includes at least one vintage item, but worn in a casual way. People here follow trends, but they would never let it define their entire look. And a great jacket (but never a coat!) is a necessity all year long.
bike pretty, bikepretty, pretty bike, girls on bikes, cycle style, fashion bike, bike fashion, bike chic, bike style, cycle chic, refinery 29, melissa davies, 22 chic bikers zipping in sf, san francisco, biker style, ashley batz

bike pretty, bikepretty, pretty bike, girls on bikes, cycle style, fashion bike, bike fashion, bike chic, bike style, cycle chic, refinery 29, melissa davies, 22 chic bikers zipping in sf, san francisco, biker style, ashley batz

Photographer Ashley Batz did a fantastic job capturing the essence of San Francisco cycle chic. Check out the rest of the story on Refinery 29 and get inspired.

September Issues: Bike Fashion Designers

The highly anticipated September issue is here. No, not that one. I’m talking about Momentum Magazine Issue #63: Spotlight on Bicycle Fashion Designers.

momentum, momentum magazine, bike pretty, bikepretty, pretty bike, girls on bikes, cycle style, fashion bike, bike fashion, bike chic, bike style, girl on bike, cycle chic, bike fashion designer, fashion designer, interview, style spotlight, melissa davies

Inside you’ll find my five interviews of current bike fashion designers. It was such an honor to speak with the brains behind these inspiring labels.


Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“I feel guilty saying that I’m a designer. I know so many great designers and I really respect what they do. Really, I’m still learning. Every day.”

– Omar Rada of Proof

“Being independent has given us the freedom to never compromise.”

– Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens of Outlier

“[P]edal in a relaxing way. Feel yourself as a part of nature. Enjoy your surroundings.”

– on Hideto Suzuki of PEdALED

“Women…[t]hey’re busy! They need bags that keep up with their lifestyle and look like something they’d want to carry. Whether on or off a bike.”

– Maria Boustead of Po Campo

“I’ll talk to you while I curl my hair.”

– Ann DeOtte Kaufman of Iva Jean

And I must thank the editors of Momentum Magazine for taking a chance on a heretofore only-self-published writer. The current issue is almost entirely devoted to bicycle fashion. Check it out for amazing profiles of labels like Vespertine, Michaux Club, Betabrand, and more.

momentum, momentum magazine, bike pretty, bikepretty, pretty bike, girls on bikes, cycle style, fashion bike, bike fashion, bike chic, bike style, girl on bike, cycle chic, bike fashion designer, fashion designer, interview, style spotlight, melissa davies

You can pick up a copy at these stores, or get a digital subscription for your iPhone or iPad.

Cycle Style Selection on CycleLove

bikepretty, bike pretty, cycle style, cycle chic, bike model, cute bike, bike fashion, style selection

James from the fantastic bike lifestyle site CycleLove asked me to put together a Style Selection. He picked this outfit idea as a starting point. Must be a sign that cyclists are beginning to notice that wearing leopard print – well, it gets you noticed.

Click through to see the entire style guide. And then stay for the rest. This one is my favorite.

Thanks for posting my guide, James!