So last week, I went on a little rant about how hard it is as an editor to look beyond your own experience when dispensing style advice—particularly when it comes to the realities of your commute. So let’s just go with it, ok? Because January it may be, but I commuted to work by bike today (even though it’s a bit chilly here in LA at a whopping 59 degrees). Anyway, as I peddle to and from the office on my very handy Trek Hybrid, I spend a lot of time thinking about my outfits: Whether my jeans of choice are comfortable (if they don’t have enough stretch, it can feel like you’re pulling against resistance training bands), whether my top is breathable and thus, not likely to get a little misted with (thoroughly lady-like) perspiration; and whether my shoes are properly tied (or lace-less), so that they don’t take me down by getting caught in my gears. I think about this stuff a lot. So here’s my outfit of choice:
Habitual jeans, worn cuffed, with a rise of at least 8.5-inches: Stretchy, comfortable, and they don’t expose the small of my back. A long button-down, normally from the men’s side of J.Crew (you can buy XS online and in a few of the stores), which further ensures that I’m not flashing anyone as I ride. A thin sweatshirt (yes, maybe sequined) is a key layering piece (plus I don’t seem constitutionally able to wear only one top at once, true fact). I find that Sperry’s are flexible and breathable enough for riding while still looking presentable for work. (I’m also inclined to wear my Nike Air Jordan 1 Phat Lows for more casual days.)
And then, of course, there are the safety requirements, because I’d like to think I’m not a total fool: While nobody in my neighborhood seems inclined to wear a helmet (they all have that vintage-y dress/long flowing hair/beach cruiser situation going), I’m all about having my Voltron-like moments, because, well, a subdural hematoma just wouldn’t be attractive. Nothing is going to ruin that long flowing hair like a shaved patch in the back for a brain-draining stent! I’m also pretty crazy for these high-wattage lights, having almost been taken down during my dark ride home many a times. This one is great, because you can charge it via your USB portal. I also wear a Patagonia vest as an additional layering piece: It’s a handy way to keep my phone and keys in an easy-to-access place and I can tuck an abundance of necklaces inside and they won’t dangle in my face. Their crossbody bag is also great for hauling my computer and gym clothes around—I use the strap at the waist to deposit the weight, which means that it doesn’t rest flat against my back (thus making me sweaty).
Any other bike commuters out there? Tips, please!
top section, clockwise, l-r: HABITUAL “ALICE” SKINNY STRETCH JEANS, $195.00, Nordstrom; SEQUIN “ISABEL” SWEATSHIRT, $199.99, J.Crew; SECRET WASH SHIRT IN WINDOWPANE, $64.50, J.Crew; SPERRY TOP-SIDER, $85.00, Piperlime.
bottom section, clockwise, l-r: PATAGONIA DOWN SWEATER VEST, $119.99, Moosejaw; SERFAS TRUE 150 USB RECHARGEABLE LIGHT, $81.50, Amazon; PATAGONIA HALF MASS MESSENGER BAG, $89.00, Zappos; BELL “ARRAY” HELMET, $74.99, Nytro.