Anjou Chic: Style Tips for your Next Vintage Ride

Everyone’s favorite French ACE* is just around the corner: come Saturday, some 3,000 cyclists will disembark in Saumur for the 4th annual Anjou Vélo Vintage.

Here’s some helpful tips to bear in mind before you hop on that Eurostar/TGV out to western France.  And if you’re not going this year, pay attention – you never know where you’ll be come 2015.  France is always a good idea.

1. Plan for inclement weather.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-7
Forecasts promise some scary clouds & lightning bolts, so it’s best to make like Melissa last year:  bring a light cardigan to cover up that cute ’50s-y match set.  And don’t think you can get away without hosiery.

Match your socks to your look, but not too matchy: mimic the motif, not the colorway.  And don’t forget your raincoat!
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-6

2. Don’t be afraid to (subtly) match your friends.  

Note the white: gloves / hosiery / panniers / kitten heel pumps here. Well done ladies.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9

3. Do match your lipstick to your beret

What’s that pithy Bill Blass quote – “When in doubt, wear red” ?  He’s right.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-0

4. Make your bike carry the load.   

Jenni here has a sturdy Carradice bag on her rear rack, an excellent choice for touring.  But remember – this was shot in 2013, before the ultimate bike bag arrived on the market.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-2
Whatever you opt for, it’s a good idea to put the weight of your wine stuff on your bike frame.

If you want something more Jane Birkin-esque, go for a basket + bungee cord combo.  Never fails to charm.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-5
But remember the more practical choice for your non-ACE riding. (#shamelesspromotion) (Ed. note: How cute is this lady?!?)

5. Bring an umbrella.

If it’s not raining, you can block the sun with it.  If it is raining, you’ll be glad you have it. Remember, #inclementweather.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4

6. What did we say about red berets? 

For a more mature look, go beyond the lipstick and match it to your ’60s-esque kitten-heel pumps.  Sophisticated, indeed.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4

7. Wear your repro-vintage vs. your actual vintage. 

It may not be immediately obvious, but then again that’s the point.  The weather may just be crazy.  You may just get sweaty.  And rained on.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-0 (1)
So your nice organza fit ‘n’ flare is probably not the best choice for an ACE event.

My above look is vaguely ’50s, but the dress is actually Ralph Lauren rayon, circa 1990s.  The waxed-linen jacket is Peter Jensen (#samplesalescore).

The brogues are actually vintage Salvatore Ferragamo, and they got soaked in the end.

8. Bring your camera.  

Because life really is like a Wes Anderson film from time to time.
Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3

And HAVE FUN!  Don’t drink too much crémant.  Or do.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Anachronistic Cycling Event. Apologies if you’re a regular BP reader and tired of this corny acronym. But we’re here to educate people.

Beret Baguette Street Style, Paris

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-4
Winning.

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-7
Winning.

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-6
Winnnnn-ning: presenting another prime example of the Gallic grace with scarves, and proof that hats really do add a unique dash of panache.

There is no helmet cleverly lurking beneath this one, but then again Paris on a Sunday is a relatively calm time for a stroll on two wheels.

I especially like her adorable choice of footwear.  The modest heel height, brogue-y details, and low-vamp strap channel that sensible-chic look of 1920s styles that is so elusive to find today.  Why contemporary designers and manufacturers are so focused on getting us women into 4″+ heel heights is a conundrum I have yet to crack.

Note how her monochrome hosiery-shoe scheme subtly elongates the leg.

The on-brand frame name is a nice touch, too.  As they say, très élégante.  And delightfully effortless.

London Tweed Run Winner: Most Dashing Dame, 2014

As we’ve pointed out before, the London Tweed Run is just chock-full of style champs.

London Tweed Run Most Dashing Dame
…but there can only be one winner.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-3
Cue Adriana here, packing a powerful monochromatic punch in primary yellows and reds.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-0
Just what is it that won her that coveted Most Dashing Dame award?  Is it her timely donning of refreshingly summer-y tweed?

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-2
…her graceful modeling of hosiery, gifted* to all participants by Tweed Run sponsor London Sock Company?

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-5
Maybe it’s the fact that she matched her pair, in the delightfully-named hue of East India Saffron, to her millinery trim.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-6
…and lest we forget, to her translucent frames.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-1
Whatever the catalyst, Adriana’s look made for a striking ensemble on the streets of London.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-9
Amidst a sea of browns and olive greens, her cheery yellows, deft combination of textures, and tertiary-hued accessories really brought a lively dose of style to the 2014 edition.

Before you plan your 2015 outfit, remember Adriana, as well as last year’s winner: unexpected colors always take first prize.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

*(Ed. note: yeah, the schwag can be that good.  The fruits of my goody bag skewed pink.)

Beret Baguette: Bike Pretty, French Style

Hey guys, when we said ACE* season was finally here, we really meant it

Béret Baguette, the Parisian answer to the Tweed Run, goes down this weekend in the French capital.

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-Retro-Ride-Bike-Pretty

What began as a real fête de saucisse** in 2009 of like 50 dudes and a few chicks in borrowed plus-fours, myself included, has swelled to attract some 1,000+ cyclists on its annual jaunt through Paris, usually in late May or June each year.

Accessorized with bérets.  And baguettes:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-5

Yes, you read that right: 1,000+ cyclists.

If that sounds unmanageable, it’s because it is: the 2013 edition was an exercise in start ‘n’ stopping.

Which was fine with me, because then you can take more photos!

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

Photos of beloved French bloggers,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3

rear-rack-mounted, wine-box picnic baskets of the so-charming-it’s-obscene variety,

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

Bike Pretty friend trios,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9

& anachronistic looks that err on the ’30s-’40s side.

The dress code is “Congés 1936″ in reference to a law passed in France that year that set the historic precedent for Gallic paid vacations.  So you know: vacation-y, picnic-y looks, circa late ’30s.

My above dress is actually ’40s, but one of the charms of Béret Baguette is its lack of enforced rules and laissez-faire attitude to numbers, a different experience next to the well-oiled machine that is the Tweed Run.

You can’t really compare the two however – even if they both have Penny Farthings,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-7

girls cycling in heels,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4 (1)

a few Eccentrics (kilt-wearing unicyclist, anyone?)

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3 (1)

fetching couples (Ed. note: they won Best-dressed!),

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9 (1)

pretty pretty Marshalls ; )

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-2 (1)

expert modeling of houndstooth,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-5 (1)

and borrowed bikeshare steeds:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-8

Despite those similarities, there is also something quintessentially French about the whole thing.

Like an unerring ability to make the simplest scarf look impeccably chic:

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

an unrivalled ease in Breton stripes,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-6

an uncanny ability to accessorize:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-1 (2)

and garçonne looks so on-point it’s possible the already-inflated sales of boater hats around Béret Baguette time just jumped tenfold:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3 (2)

This year, the event looks poised to start at the recently-pedestrianized Place de la République, loop west along the right bank to Place de la Concorde, cross the river and amble through Saint-Germain, and end in that most bucolic of Parisian picnic locales: the Bois de Vincennes.

Because if Béret Baguette is about anything, it’s the pique-nique:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-8 (1)

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9 (2)

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4 (2)

If you’re in Paris on Sunday morning at 9:30, head over to République & gawk at what is sure to be a super-successfully-Bike Pretty event.  If you can’t make it this year (like me), surf the hashtags on IG – if last year was any indication, the official HT should be #rbb2014.

Can’t wait to see what the Paris crew brings to the BP table!

*Anachronistic Cycling Event

**Not in the French sense of “Hey, let’s all eat some sausage!  SAUSAGE PAR-TAY!” but more like, sooo many dudes

Affiche at the top – Copyright Benjamin Donadieu, http://www.givetogod.fr