Modern Commuting Chic - No Compromise On Pretty
However noble the intentions behind urban cycling once were, these have inevitably made way for the frivolity of fashion. The return of the incredibly hip fixed-gear cycle has spurred a longing for the romantic, the whimsical and a little old world charm updated for the grey cityscape. H&M’s collaboration with Brick Lane Bikes has stripped down the urban man’s wardrobe for a cool, comfortable take on performance gear for the (employed) hipster on the move. But sisters are doing it for themselves (as we do) with a countrified undertone to modern commuting and no compromise on pretty.
Practicality has gone out the window, off the pavement and into the street. Taking the lead from cycling history, city girls on bikes are sporting ditsy prints and vintage styles to match their woven baskets. Shorts are short as they can get, clothes are coated in candy colours and bold striping. Trousers are conveniently rolled up or finish just short of the ankles for ‘50’s pin-up appeal and floaty skirts maximise on the windswept effect.
Florence Welch has been seen taking to the streets in probably the most editorial looks on two wheels, but prints and pants can be done just as well with a little more discretion and some clever combinations. Bike-friendly, meeting appropriate looks careened down the New York Fashion week Pre-fall 2013 runway for NY chicster label Sea.
(Sea striped pants and short suit Style.com)
Sweet stripes, short-shorts and skirt suits in leopard print put a spin on things, with enough cool for the office and enough movement for the ride there. Their easy separates and effortless layering are perfect for braving the elements in the transitional months. Key looks at Sea included formal blazers over graphic jumpers and clashing combos in relaxed shapes, worn with patent brogues and strappy sandals.
(Sea maxi dress and leopard print skirt Style.com)
In a slight change of pace, Clover Canyon was sugary sweet with a darkly graphic edge - a more sophisticated take on cycling street style already seen in a city near you, complete with creepers and two-tone brogues.
(Clover Canyon printed short suit - CloverCanyon.com)
This emerging, soon-to-be-mainstream brand has hit the commuter chic nail on the head with reflective shorts and billowing capes that just scream for bright streamers. Printed pants with buttoned-up shirts are suitably professional for any destination, with an off-beat urban warrior aesthetic that makes it easy to take to the road undeterred.
Now all you need is a helmet.