Next week is National Bike Week in the UK, and the Telegraph has an article about British designer Karta Healy, whose looks pass muster both on and off two wheels. A reversible tuxedo jacket with a reflective surface on one side? Capes made from recycled parachute silk? Now that's more like it. Even the owner of ultra-chic Paris lifestyle boutique Colette was impressed.
But the blogger at Copenhagen Cycle Chic thinks all the hoopla about cycle-friendly fashion is bull, pointing out that normal clothes can work just fine, especially if you invest in a chain guard and fenders. I think he's generally right (although Chicago's winters might call for some special pieces). There seems to be more of a perception here as biking as an athletic activity. When I used to commute to a job in the Prudential Building downtown (where there were bike racks set up in the parking garage), someone in the elevator noticed me in my business-safe outfit carrying a helmet one day and looked at me quizzically. "Don't you get sweaty?" he wanted to know. Nothing a quick spritz of water in the bathroom couldn't take care of.