Posts Tagged ‘bike fashion’

Column: How to Shop for bike-ish things: girl’s version

October 17, 2008

This is a preview of a new column. Article and photos to come in the November issue of Girl on Bike Online Magazine.

Lesson One: Clothing

Say What?!

I know, some of you girls are saying to yourself, “Please, I KNOW how to shop for clothes. I don’t need any help in that department.” But times have changed in the cycling industry; new technology has developed in fabrics, stitching, and construction. Seriously folks, it’s a whole new ballgame. So unless you’re a “clothing technology fanatic” like me, you don’t spend much time reading and testing. Let’s face it; testing can be fun, but constantly reading about tech stuff is not everyone’s cup of tea. Fortunately for you, I’ve read all the dry technical stuff with all the details, and I’ll be constructing a regularly featured column of things you’ll need to know about cycling clothing, plus stuff you’ll want to know (like when you can get a good bang for your buck, and what looks and feels fabulous). Plus for those who want to, you can remain lycra-free.

Here are a few hints about how to shop for bike clothing, for girls shopping around in a store or bike shop:

  • Is the fabric soft?

A lot of us don’t think about this, but it’s true; women have softer skin, so we need softer fabrics. Plus we don’t have an extra layer of protection in the form of hair all over our bodies, the way that men do (generally speaking). So the bottom line is that we need softer fabrics, and even closures should be softer (I avoid scratchy Velcro).

  • Turn the garment inside out. How is the stitching?

Be careful for overlock stitching in sensitive places. The longer the trip, the more important stitching becomes. A three-point junction of stitching shouldn’t feel like an annoying knob.

  • How is it constructed? If it is a technical garment, is it constructed in 3-dimensional “bike position”?

While the garment is still inside out, lay it down on a flat surface. Is it hard to figure out how you’d fold this thing? That’s 3D clothing. While commuter clothing can have a two dimensional construction (it lays flat), road, track, and some mountain biking clothes (rule of thumb, anything with chamois), is better off with a 3D cut.

  • Try on the garment, but don’t just try on the one garment. Take the time to pick out the full outfit: top, bottom, and jacket).

Trying on a full outfit will give you the true feeling of how it will ride. Don’t look in the mirror first. Rather, sit down, or squat down into bike position. If you mountain bike, shift around a lot, and feel for seams that rub you. Roadies should imitate “the drops position”; the garment should fit best in this position and it should not ride up.

  • OK, now look in the mirror

Seriously, cool or dork, whatever you feel comfortable with, own it. C’mon now, we’re still women. If we don’t feel great about the clothes we’re wearing, chances are we won’t wear them. So pick out “the look” for you but pay attention, to the fabric, stitching and construction first, so that you can get girlie in front of the mirror. And have fun with it; it’s shopping, after all!

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Endtroducing… Lisa

September 30, 2008

I should have done this a long time ago. Hi, I’m Lisa.
girl meets bike
I’ve been on a bike since forever.

girl meets 1st bike

girl meets 1st bike

OK, so it’s a trike, but you get the point.
Riding a bike always meant freedom; that freedom manifests itself in new and amazing ways with each style of bike, each type of bike riding. Because I took dance class as a child (like many women) I’ve learned good balance, so cycling came easy to me.

Collage of girl on bike

Collage of girl on bike


I’ve dabbled in many areas from racing, to charity riding, coaching to fittings, wrenching, to clothing sales. I’ve loved it all, even through injury. I’ve loved road and tri, mtb and SS mtb, fixed gear commuting and track (and even BMX, though I suck at it).
I currently own seven bikes. That is B = (n – 1), where B is the number of bikes that I have, and n is the number of bikes that “I think I need”.
Yes, I ride them all, except for the one I want to sell, and the BMX.
I live in the mountains, but that’s OK, because I like climbing, AND going fast.
I’m naturally shy, but I’m from NYC and worked my way through college as a bartender, so I’ve learned to compensate intelligently, and in a friendly way, to get my point across.
I was a double major in Physics and Geology, and in Grad school I specialized in “Planetary Physics”, or, “the physical and mechanical study, and analysis of other planets”.
I also have a background in the fashion industry, and comic book industry (though that’s about a million years ago).

I have a high IQ; I no longer apologize for being smart, even though smart women don’t seem to be very popular right now (OK, political snarkiness alert). I still speak like a New Yawker, which sometimes embarrasses me, because I think it sounds less intelligent than my mother-in-law’s London accent. I realize that this my own brand of warped perception and stereotype, but there it is. That’s why my “new york tourette’s” sometimes offends, and my use of GRE words sometimes confuses, but I am who I am. I have no problem with curbing either language when asked.

I believe that these qualities and qualifications, allow me to take a look at the relationship between women and bikes in an empathetic, but scientific way. The results have been my articles and reviews on this blog, which will soon be in magazine format, with other contributors.

Since I’m shy and paranoid (paranoia is an endearing NY trait), that’s as much as you get about me, as a person.
Endtroducing, Lisa. girl on bike

Better, Updated Prints and Colors

September 29, 2008

Demand for updated looks forces fierce competition amongst girl brands; the Result is Great New looks for Every Woman

I admit that previously I’ve shied away from Terry and Shiela Moon prints, often finding the them one to several seasons out of date, in comparison to regular ready to wear fashion. But in these days of “Style.com on your iphone”, and “Tevo’d Project Runway”, gone is the lag in Style that Main St had with Fashion Ave., NYC; middle America is catching up and and has its own set of fashionistas, and they DO ride bikes. It goes without saying that they have the same style/color demands for their bike fashion as any other girl, “off-bike”. So where do we find good technical clothes, that look and feel so fierce, that you look forward to wearing it as much as your favorite dress? Yet because it is afterall, active wear, this clothing is special, in that it must have wicking capability while not “storing” smell, and the fabric and stitching must be soft next to the skin, even for us girls. In looking at these women built bike clothing companies, I’m just sure these ladies are listening to the masses.

For those who haven’t caught up yet, Blacks, greys, browns and whites, with splashes of bold, vivid Spring colors will be very popular next Spring. It would be very easy to translate this kind of palette into bike clothing, as it’s easy to make it pop, or stand out quickly, without being garish.

Two companies took full advantage of this, and you should know about them. You will not believe that that some of this clothing is bike clothing. I hope you are as delighted by these collections as I.

TERRY

Armed with her favorite Haute Couture prints and colors, forward thinking Olga of Terry Bicycles helped convince her designers to try something bolder, yet more mature; the result is a magnificent collection of prints, rivaled only by Shiela Moon, this year. Terry still has the same pink and vivid pink for their own kit, but they have stopped “mainlining” pink and we are happy to see the recovery process from this years-long addiction. The permanent pink palette has been replaced by by the Spring 2009 RTW palette, including interesting choices in brown and grey.
Favorites are the updated schraeder tank in black/grey, and the “tri like a girl” shimmel in cappuccino brown; both well constructed, sleeveless pieces. The Euro Tank will be available in the new “bike love” print.
Since last year’s tunic was a success, they’ve added in other colors and styles, including the “rotations” (a black with white design), and the “treads” print, pictured here from the Urban Trends Fashion Show. (This picture is used with permission from the blog “The Debut Effect” by Cassondra. Please visit her website for Interbike report).

Terry treads print over Capris

Terry treads print over Capris

Terry tri shimmel in cappuccino

Terry tri shimmel in cappuccino

Euro halter in the new "Bike Love" Print
Eurohalter print follows the Haute Couture trend on pattern and color selection

Eurohalter

SHIELA MOON

It looks like Shiela Moon has pushed Pedal Power into a bright new era, with bright bold new prints that are more risky and fun than EVER, but reminiscent of the POP ART of the 1960’s, with hints of “laugh-in” prints from the groovy stylings of old Peter Max.
Wasting no time with RTW colors, the solids far more on trend from the Haute Couture collections of Spring 2009. Dark brown, black, grey, and (yes the timely) ballet pink are the main staples for colors, with pop colors for accent.

At this time I must rave about her Fall/Spring commuter collection, with enough shorts Jackets, dresses, and Capris to create an entire “Stealth Commuter” wardrobe. That is, once you step off the bike, no one would ever know you took a bike to work. Her Britches are both cute, and very well made and comes in a herringbone wool blend that I just adore,. They are a classic enough style, so they’ll last through the trends of the next few seasons. I’m considering selling my car to try to live a greener life, and this is just the collection to make me feel good about that lifestyle choice. The added “lingerie” liner is a downright brilliant idea (I’ll try to find a pic).

Best prints yet, I particularly like the one on the far right called "Goldie"

Goldie mesh top with britches shorts

Goldie mesh top with britches shorts

Barb is wearing the Petticoat dress and jacket

Barb & friend: Barb is wearing the Petticoat dress and jacket


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