Can cyclists take inspiration from fashion to look chic as they peddle? Catherine Bedford of Dashel Helmets thinks they can…
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 seen 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 long been aspirational in the UK – and they have always adopted a relaxed, upright style as they cycle around their towns and cities.
When you are commuting in the city, Lycra and clip-on shoes aren’t necessary – or very appealing. The rise in e-bikes, which are now available to hire by the minute in London via Lime Bike, has put an end to the sweaty commute.
An estimated 1.5 million people commute everyday, a staggering figure that rises to 2.6 million people if you include those who make at least three trips a week. Cycling to work means that you’ll probably have made the journey more quickly and with less stress than those in the car or on the train, with the added bonus that you’ve simultaneously achieved your daily workout. And for many, looking good when you rock up at the office is all part of the fun!
So, if you want to bring some chic to your cycling 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 safety 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.
Casual Cyclist bag range by Ally Capellino
The Pendle Travel and Cycle body bag is a handy marsupial zip up pouch that can be worn in a number of ways; either crossbody and close to the chest or around the waist. Named after British cycling hero, Victoria Pendleton, these bags work brilliantly from bike to office. No more clunky rucksacks that need to be dragged around during the day, and no need to carry an extra ‘going-for-drinks-after-work’ bag with you too.
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.
Findra Neck Warmer
Clothes made from natural fabrics allow better breathability when cycling than synthetic materials and merino wool is prized by cyclists for its warmth. Findra, a Scottish company, only use ethically sourced merino from Australia. Its neck warmers are more practical than a traditional scarf when cycling and have no seams for the ultimate in comfort.
Bookman Metallic Bike Coffee Cup Holder Copper
A leisurely commute would ideally involve coffee, but carrying your coffee on the bike was pretty impractical and unsafe. Not anymore, with this elegant copper coffee cup holder that affixes to your bike with a spring mechanism that holds fast over any bumps in the road.
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 over time. Functional, sustainable, fashionable and, above all safe, Dashel Helmets are designed to make cycling stylish.