UPDATE - Check out our Runway-inspired list!
Good judgment is always sexy. And there are a lot of protective lids that actually look decent. Attractive even. In no particular order, I present to you my favorite helmet styles.
10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets
This hat-helmet hybrid combines lightweight helmet tech with the classic appeal of a wide-brimmed sun hat. The resulting style is vintage millinery that is secretly strong. Wear this helmet with your best sun dress and sweet sandals for head-to-toe cycle chic. This particular style tends to sell out!
photo by Garance Doré
The Yakkay helmet system is all about options. A simple helmet base provides protection. It fits any of the 15 cute covers. The Paris style in Black Oilskin is my pick for everyday wear. But a fluffy fur cover is very Dr. Zhivago.
The first time I saw this golden beauty, I fell so hard. In love. This is the one that
could turn me into has turned me into one of those nerds that walks around the grocery store with her helmet on. It's my go-to everyday helmet that makes me look cool, like I know what I'm doing. Also available in black.
You really can't go wrong with a Sawako Furuno helmet. This London-by-way-of-Tokyo designer just gets cycle chic. The beautifully tactile faux crocodile leather is hand finished with elegant stitches. Produced in limited quantities. You can still get your hands on one, although they tend to sell out!
If you like the look of a skate-style bike helmet, but wanting the ventilation of a racing style helmet, check out the Abus Hyban Urban Helmet with Integrated LED Taillight. Featuring a smooth domed silhouette that doesn't skimp on the vent holes, plus an extremely clever flashing rear light, this helmet was clearly designed by a seasoned commuter. Also available in grey and white.
After noticing how many women were shopping their men's-only line of multi-sport helmets, Bern finally came up with a version for the ladies. I have to give them credit for keeping the styling simple and providing a range of colors that Pantone would approve of. And nary a drop of pink.
Giro is my go-to brand for affordable, adorable lids that are vaguely equestrian inspired. This model has a dial in the back so you can adjust the fit. A great feature if you like to switch up your hairstyle.
Coyle's wooden helmets are beautiful, tasteful, and totally unique. High-end furniture for your head. Each one is individually handcrafted in Oregon. But if you'd like the look for a little less paper, try the Retrospec Classic Commuter Bike Helmet in Matte Wood Grain.
For all you minimalist-design monks, I present the ultra-clean lines of the matte grey Gotham helmet. Pure elegance for your commute.
Another base + swappable cover system, Casque'En Ville is brimming with French savoire-faire (or is it je ne sais quoi?). There's even an ultra-light carbon fiber base helmet. Casqu'En Ville will ship to the US, but these helmets are approved to EU standards only. They haven't yet been certified for the US market.
Bonus: Outlaw Brown Wood Grain Helmet, out of stock
The most tantalizing helmet I've seen. This baby is actually a motorcycle helmet. Known as a half-helmet for its light styling. It's without ventilation holes. And heavier than a bicycle helmet. But it's got that Sawako Furuno look for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately it's out of stock. Inkwell Helmets has a hand-painted bicycle helmet that is similar. How badass is this chrome version?
The typical bike helmet is designed for safety and comfort, not style.
If only that were true. I wouldn't mind wearing a plain-colored noggin-cover that was purely functional. After all, I'm never like, "I wish this seatbelt matched my shoes" while riding in a car. (Just kidding. I don't ride in cars.)
Yet sport helmet "designers" insist on covering the protective plastic surface with abstract floral designs and pink racing stripes. You know what? You can't polish a turd. You might be able to roll it in glitter. But it still stinks.
Learn more about proper helmet fit with Cyclechic's illustrated Helmet Guide.
And did you know that some cycling advocates--especially the founder of Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Mikael Colville-Andersen--are against wearing bicycle helmets? Read Elly Blue's thorough write-up on the helmet debate here.
**This post contains Amazon affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. That said, all opinions are my own.