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What to wear

I used to be fashionable. Despite needing bigger shoes and wider, longer clothes than ever went on sale at Nordstrom, I used to be a sharp-dressed woman. In the periods when I managed to diet myself into the normal size ranges, I was killer. Take my word for it.

But a job not requiring dress-up, and passing the age-45 mark, and losing what little ability I ever had to diet myself into the normal size ranges have all conspired to reduce me to black pants and a selection of jackets, and the removal of full-length mirrors from my house.

One of the coolest things about riding Clyde has been that I've taken an interest in my wardrobe for the first time in YEARS. Riding around town on an upright, comfortable bike is not only something a gal can do in fun clothes: it makes a gal feel like she deserves them again!



Perfectly serviceable cycling outfit that I wore in the rain last night:
Cycle Chic 2

Narrow-leg trousers stay out of the chain (as do many kinds of skirts--and there are skirt-guards you can get to cover the spokes and hub). A scarf works well to bind wider pant-legs to the ankle, and is way prettier than some bilious velcro strip.

Fugly yellow safety gear is not the only way of improving your visibility--light colors work quite well. I've resurrected an old ash-colored Ralph Lauren raincoat that's fabulous. (So I have to wear it unbuttoned...I'm hunting for a replacement in my real size.)

There is NO COMPELLING REASON to wear athletic shoes--or even comfortable shoes--on a flat-pedal bike. High heels work as well as flats, and hard leather works as well as rubber.

It's no colder on a bike than it is being outdoors for other reasons--and cycling warms you up fast--so I can wear pretty much what I'd wear to stand and wait for a bus. Fingers and toes need a little extra protection, is all.

It IS wetter, though--no umbrella, more exposure. But that doesn't mean I Must Be Waterproof. I'm only going four miles, and polyester is my friend. Quick-dry trousers and a raincoat work great, and if my scarf and gloves get wet, well, my computer monitors at work make great little drying racks.



Next up: helmets, lights and reflectors: trying to make safety attractive.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 2nd, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
I LOVE hearing that bicycling has turned you on to fashion again. How cool is that? Very :)

-Dottie
letsgorideabike.com
emeraldsedai
Jan. 2nd, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
I blame it on the spandex. The moment I made up my mind to buy a bike again for the first time in 40 years, I knew that I must become The Anti-Spandex (cue superpower music). It was a mission.

I've been obsessively researching skirt guards. Clearly I'm going to have to make my own for Clyde, since he, like me, is custom sized. Considering now how that might best be accomplished, but I'm leaning heavily toward fine black fishnet. Maybe with some decoration.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
Fishnet sounds awesome :) Keep us updated.

-Dottie
emeraldsedai
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
Have net fabric. Am thinking about an armature. May end up with the 48-bungee solution, if I can make it work with rim brakes.
lamentables
Jan. 2nd, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
I *love* those shoes!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
OMG me too! I bought them a hundred years ago, at some kind of crazy markdown price because there were unusual in in my size. The only pair of near-custom shoes I've ever owned. I'd forgotten about them in my closet and was delighted to pull them out and put them back into service.
silk_knickers
Jan. 2nd, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Those shoes are fabulous.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
You have a freakin' SHOE icon. That is so cool! And yes, they are fabulous. And OLD, man. I think I got them in 1990. Wearing them around the last few days has reminded me how there is no substitute for quality.

I really want a black men's style suit to wear with them.
cookiemom6067
Jan. 3rd, 2010 12:19 am (UTC)
Those are some seriously cute clothes.

Wish I still worked locally - I gave some thought to bike commuting but various (lazy) reasons got in the way.
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
No question about it: my situation is ideal, and I'm lucky with my four-mile commute. I've always lived close to the city center because I didn't even own a car till I was 35, and I'm getting ready to get rid of the one I've got now.

Still, cycling is a great way to run small errands and get a little weekend huffing and puffing in. I'm loving it for both purposes.
roxymissrose
Jan. 3rd, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
your cycling outfit is adorable and your shoes are to die for, omg!!!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Hee! The shoes are getting the raves--as well they might. They may be the single highest-quality wearable I've ever owned. One of those once in a lifetime bargain rack finds. Circa 1992, I believe.

Nattiness just never goes out of style.
vampirefan
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
love your cycling outfit! the shoes! those are so cool :)

also, to keep in theme with your cycling, check out fat tire beer

eta: actually, that bike on the label looks a lot like clyde!

Edited at 2010-01-03 03:41 am (UTC)
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Oooh! I've seen Fat Tire but never tried it. I love an amber ale, generally speaking. I was at County Cork (the pub up the street from me where you and I went) this evening and had a glass of some other ale that was delish.

That label is awesome. I love how they feature an old-fashioned style bike. \o/
creedcascade
Jan. 3rd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Next stop... SPANDEX!
emeraldsedai
Jan. 3rd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
NEVAH!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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