Stay in style while you ride: a resource guide to looking fabulous on two wheels

Ginger Rogers Carefree RKO Radio Pictures 1938

If only I looked that good on a bike. Photo: Ginger Rogers, RKO Radio Pictures, 1938.

So you want to ride your bike more often, but you just don’t want to deal with spandex and lycra outfits, cycling shoes, and helmet hair. Maybe you’re afraid of arriving at your destination all gross and sweaty. I get it. I may not ride a bicycle often, but when I do, I like to roll up looking windswept and gorgeous, with my clothes only fashionably mussed up and glowing with the fact that I left my car at home.

Luckily, riding your bike to work and elsewhere doesn’t mean you have to compromise your style. From how to dress your bicycle-best to tactics for freshening up after a ride, here are just a few guides to keep you looking fabulous no matter how far your journey.

To start: bike shorts and compression shirts are all well and good, but sometimes you just want to cruise in your everyday wear.

  • Bike Style on Pinterest: tracksuits, comfy t-shirts, and sundresses alike look great with bikes — I love scrolling through for inspiration.
  • Stylish gents on Pinterest: Lose that rolled up pant leg, lads. The asymmetrical look is not in, go for some sweet cuffs and sassy socks.
  • Cycle Chic: the bicycle is a chic every day transportation accessory in Copenhagen.
  • Bikes Make Life Better: a good rule of thumb — dress for your destination! Get recs on shoes, bike skirts and more.
  • Bike Pretty: an online shop for bike wear that is both cute and practical.
  • Elle: you can totally build an entire outfit around a bicycle, if you have an insane budget. If you’re me…just look at the pretty pictures for more inspiration.
yakkay helmet

Stay safe, wear a helmet…one that matches your outfit. Yakkay helmet, Amazon.

Safety is important, and some places also have laws that require helmets to be worn by riders of all ages. But fear not! Just because you wear a helmet doesn’t mean you have to show up with flat, oddly crinkled hair.

  • XOVain: a nice article on how to avoid helmet hair with just a little product.
  • Pedal Power ACT: tips on how you can prep your hair before a ride so it’s protected from exposure during and easy to touch up after.
  • Helmet hairstyles on Pinterest: hairstyles that look good both with and without a helmet! Sadly, I am terrible at styling my hair in general, but dream big, right?
  • Hovding: no helmet hair for you if you just wear an “invisible” helmet! Has anyone actually tried this cyclist airbag? Is it…good?

Sure you look great now, but are you going to look like a sweaty beast when you arrive? No, you are not, because now you know better.

  • Lifehacker: tips on how to avoid a sweat-drenched arrival. Put your backpack in a bike basket or pannier to avoid a sweat circle on your back, and apparently air-drying by bike before heading into the office can make a world of difference.
  • biore

    Seriously. I love this stuff.

    REI blog: pack a mini “survival kit” to keep perspiration under control. Moist towelettes are definitely your friend. (By the way, Bioré powder sheets are AMAZING. You feel so dry and fresh after wiping down, and they even have a version with SPF.)

  • Livestrong: pro-tips include drinking cool water as you ride to help moderate your body temp, and taking advantage of public transportation so you can stay frosty heading in to work, then pedal your heart out on the way home.

And finally, bike accessories! Trick out your ride with the latest tech or the whimsical but still practical, just make sure your bicycle reflects your lifestyle.

  • Bike Belle: baskets, bike bags, designer saddles…so much cute stuff! And they ship worldwide.
  • Electra Bike: “Turn sidewalks into runways with these sweet, playful designs.” I love the KARMA3i and I have a birthday coming up this year, just putting that out there.
  • Eleanor’s NYC: bike locks so cute someone might actually try to steal your bike for the lock. (Try being the key word.)
  • Refinery 29: apparently you only need 11 chic accessories to be a bike babe
  • Active Times: I like the idea of being able to charge your phone with your bicycle.
  • Hongkiat: I want the turn signals and wheel lights…

So there you go! Feel free to add your own tips and resource recs in the comments. And in conclusion…

"Save a horse, ride a bicycle!" Buck Jones and White Eagle, Columbia Pictures, 1941.

“Save a horse, ride a bicycle!” Buck Jones and White Eagle, Columbia Pictures, 1941.

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