By Catherine Bedford, Dashel Helmets
Over 45 major fashion designers showed cycle shorts in their catwalk collections for S/S19 and A/W 19 including: Chanel, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood, and Prada. So, with fashion taking inspiration from cycling – is it time cycling wear took inspiration from fashion?
At Dashel Helmets we’ve been seeing a definite trend, over the last six years, away from functional but unfashionable cycle wear to clothing and accessories that are both practical and fashionable. Scandinavian lifestyles and designs have been aspirational in the UK for years, and they have always cycled to get about in a relaxed, upright style. As cycling infrastructure improves throughout the UK and cycle hire schemes proliferate, more people are trying out swapping a few journeys for the bike.
When you are commuting in the city, lycra and clip-on shoes aren’t necessary – or very appealing to the masses. Natural fabrics: cotton, wool, linen are all breathable, so with very little planning, most people can find a few items in their wardrobe that’ll work well for a relaxed cycling outfit and that won’t demand a shower before work. In fact, the rise in e-bikes, which are now available to hire by the minute in London via Lime Bike, could put an end to the sweaty commute forever.
Cycling is the perfect antidote to working in cities and it shouldn’t require you to lose your individual style, as looking good when you rock up at the office is all part of the fun.
With more and more people cycling to work: an estimated 1.5 million people commute everyday, rising to 2.6 million people who make at least 3 trips a week. It’s likely you’ll have made the journey to work quicker, easier and with less stress that those in the car or on the train, with the added bonus that you’ve simultaneously achieved your daily workout and perhaps helped your mental health. We weren’t designed to live in artificial light; taking the tube to work then heading to a gym afterwards for exercise. Cycling is the perfect antidote to working in cities and it shouldn’t require you to lose your individual style, as looking good when you rock up at the office is all part of the fun. So, if you want to bring some chic cycle wear to your ride without losing functionality – what brands should you look out for?
Let’s start at the top, with one of the most important items for cycling safely; the helmet. Traditionally this has been one of the ugliest items in a cyclist’s wardrobe but that has changed with the creation of the Dashel range of retro-styled cycle helmets.
The only cycle helmet that wouldn’t look out of place with your Prada shorts. Made in the UK from carbon-fibre, a Dashel helmet is extremely slim fitting and light, without compromising on safety. Tailored to fit, via some special coolmax pads inside which keep you cool and prevent any helmet hair.
Geek Shoes by Tracey Neuls
The grey sheen of Geek leather cycling shoes is subtle in appearance in daylight, but at night, once illuminated, it reflects the light with an incredible high-vis impact. These look great when cycling and great when you’re not – the perfect peddle to pavement footwear.
Casual Cyclist bag range by Hill & Ellis
Hill & Ellis is a London brand that makes bags that have hidden clips that attach to any bike and turn them into bicycle panniers, it started out with satchels but has now launched a canvas collection. Made in high quality water-resistant canvas these bags are designed to get noticed on the bike or on the arm.
They are lightweight and durable for a comfortable ride but have space for a 15 inch laptop.
Available in 7 designs from plains to bright floral ‘Ada’ to leopard print ‘Leola’, the collection was inspired by favourite bike rides through London. Traversing from the Regent’s Park Canal, sweeping past the natural beauty of London Zoo and the shining majesty of the golden domed London Mosque and Prince Albert Memorial, to the tropical oasis within the modernist architecture of the Barbican.
Prices range from £88-£98 and all are available on www.hillandellis.com
Dashing Tweeds create modern, urban tweeds woven in the UK for bespoke and ready to wear tailoring. Their cycling range is designed with the knowledge that the time spent cycling to meetings in the city is only a small part of the day, so it is made with a Lumatwill cloth woven with 3M. The 3M reflects car headlights at night, but by day the fibres look like elegant silver threads. Their range includes blazers, bomber jackets, tailored trousers and capes.
See the Dashing Tweed collection
Findra Neck Warmer
Any clothes made from natural fabrics allow breathability when cycling and merino wool is prized by cyclists for its warmth. Findra, a Scottish company, only use ethically sourced merino from Australia. Their neck warmers are more practical than a traditional scarf when cycling and have no seams for the ultimate in comfort.
See the Findra Neck Warmer range
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine Bedford is the founder of Dashel Helmets, a range of slim, ventilated, lightweight cycle helmets manufactured in the UK. With a distinctive urban feel, Dashel Helmets are made from super-light carbon fibre, with an Arpro liner that doesn’t degrade and dent overtime. Functional, sustainable, fashionable and, above all safe, Dashel Helmets are one of the most sought after chic cycle wear items.
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