What to wear in the saddle

22 June 2011

Picking a bike-worthy outfit can be such an ordeal, it’s not surprising these cyclists Pedalling In Heels spotted riding over London’s Waterloo Bridge last weekend went naked.
Team Grazia’s Lauren Kemp says there are three types of female cyclists. ‘There are those who wear floaty dresses and ride bikes with a wicker basket full of hand-picked flowers, and then there are women in combats and rucksacks on mountain bikes, who whiz around town, weaving in and out of the traffic and cycling up and down muddy paths at the weekend. And then there is me.’
Lauren’s a top stylist, so this week’s blog is all about finding a cool cycle kit that’s functional too (Pedalling In Heels herself has to admit that four-inch wedges aren’t wildly practical). Over to Lauren!

‘I don’t have a bike that I can cycle to Harvey Nichols on and chain up outside. My bike is purely for keeping fit. It gets me off the treadmill and into the open countryside. I love to cycle the hills in the Chilterns, and love getting the miles beneath my wheels.
‘But I still have two issues that niggle at me. The first is my fear of developing big rugby-player thighs, and the second is my frustration that ‘functional clothing’ always seems to look so boysy. I don’t want to look girly on the bike with bows and frills, but I am a stylist by profession, so I think it’s natural that I want to look half-decent on the bike!
‘I have a road bike with clip-in pedals and a really hard saddle, so if you’re after a Brigitte Bardot-type ride, in gingham pedal pushers and ballet pumps, this isn’t for you. I wear padded shorts and shoes with clips, or “cleats” as they’re known, on the sole. There’s no room for manoeuvre there, but I was very excited to find some gorgeous fingerless black leather gloves made by Rapha last week (my all-time favourite cycling clothing website). www.rapha.cc

Apart from the padding in the palm of the glove, they look more like 1960’s driving gloves – the kind Emma Peel would have worn – with beautiful cream leather piping and perforated cut-outs on the knuckles. I am tempted to wear them out one night with my Stella McCartney thigh-high leather boots and a fitted Alaia dress, a la Madonna!

‘In the summer, arm warmers come in very handy. When it’s a little too chilly to go out in a short sleeve jersey, but too warm to wear a long sleeve one, these little gems are a godsend! One of my favourite websites, www.minx-girl.com do a very cute pair in white with black, red and blue skull & crossbones on them. www.minx-girl.com
‘I’m not sure any of this will help me to cycle for any longer or faster, but at least I am safe in the knowledge that I have done the most to look my best!’
Show us your cycle style and sign up to www.cycletta.com to enter the big bike style challenge with Grazia.
- Kate Faithfull-Williams


All posts must obey the house rules, if you object to any comments please let us know and we'll take the appropriate action.