Sunday, September 19, 2010

Salvaging Style with Hats, Scarves and Argyle

Spending what seems like all day trekking back and forth over hills, then dragging our loaded bikes to photoshoot locations across dunes and marshes... frankly I have abandoned all hope of appearing fresh or presentable.  Cycling-condusive clothing and tangled, sweaty hair hidden under caps are the new me for the time being.

Well, at least the hats themselves can be nice. I have many, and am often asked where I get them. The sources are usually a mix of unidentifiable small shops, and uninspired places like Target and Urban Outfitters. This one is actually from the Army-Navy store in Provincetown, bought a few years back. It is a heavy wool "newspaper boy" type hat that, surprisingly, can be worn even in hot weather.

I have also finally mastered the art of tying a scarf around my disobedient hair, thanks to this post on Knitting Lemonade.  

This is the first scarf-tying method that has worked for me so far - staying put all day, rather than sliding back off my head when I least expect it.

Thanks to the headscarf, my gaunt exhaustion is semi-disguised as glamorous fatigue. The blue fabric also matches the bruises on my legs rather nicely.

As for the Co-Habitant, he chooses to express himself with socks. 

Here is another pair. Yes, argyle socks and SPD cycling shoes. Sure, things can get silly. But what better way to sweeten a long ride? 

16 comments:

  1. I'm impressed with the scarf - I can never manage to make the wretched things stay put either. I start out channelling Audrey Hepburn and five minutes later look like a bag lady. Your scarf looks very laid-back chic; nobody would guess at the bruises and exhaustion!

    Have been reading your Cape Cod posts but have been too busy this week to comment. It looks beautiful there, I'm impressed by your cream tyres, Graham Greene's performance, and your growing stamina on your car-free vacation. Cheers for now...

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  2. You guys always look great! And I love your hat. Actually, I'm not surprised that you can wear it in hot weather: Before there was lycra, most cycle clothing (including what the Tour de France cyclists wore) was made of wool. Before synthetics came along, it was the fabric that offered the best ventilation and wicking. In fact, the Bedouins and other desert nomads wore robes made of wool in the heat of day as well as during the cool nights and winter.

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  3. Thanks for the ideas. My wife knits. I ride. Could be some cross-over here I think. Maybe a beret. :-)

    JS

    Http://www.flyingpigeonproject.org

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  4. I love hats! They're so much fun, and handy too. I was out for a chilly ride this morning and thinking about hats (since I didn't have one on and my ears were getting cold!) It's about that time of year to start knitting more. I like wearing scarves too, and have found the same post useful. However, every time I wear scarves in my hair, I feel like I should also have dreads. Must be all the years I spent in Asheville, NC. :)

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  5. Re: the picture of you in the chair, you look so forlon, where is the Co-Habitant when you need him!

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  6. Are those argyles really over-the-calf length?

    If so, where do you find them?

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  7. Thanks Carinthia! Re the scarf-tying, I seriously recommend the video posted on Knitting Lemonade.

    Justine - Yes, I am officially a wool convert. Have been wearing almost entirely wool clothing here, including underwear, and am amazed. More on this later.

    Anon 8:25 - Smartwool and Target both have argyle kneesocks right now.

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  8. Le gasp! The scarf looks oh so magnifique! The cute French girl from Liberty of London would be so proud. So glad I could help!

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  9. To read your post one would expect you to appear as though you had just fallen off a train, but there you are, as smart as ever. Must be the scarves...

    The SPDs and argyles actually do have a respectable sort of charm. At least for Cape Cod. I think I'd leave them home if you ever head farther south then, say, Texarkana...

    Spindizzy

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  10. I just noticed your comment about your pants(slacks, trousers, what do women call thier britches?)matching your bruises, how droll. I think that's funny.

    We were at the beach in S.C. with friends in June and had a family portrait taken on the dunes, it was really neat except that Im wearing a nice faded red cotton shirt that precisely matched my sunburned bald head. It looks SOO intentional and EVERYONE comments on it. I'd be mortified if I wasn't so used to the "thousand small cuts" of middle age already. My wife and daughters say I look "cute" in it. You spend your whole life aspiring to "stud" and you end up overwieght, overcooked and cute. I bet it becomes our Christmas card.

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  11. Wool still offers the best ventilation and wicking; and the Bedouins still wear it. The ancient Greeks also wore wool, but got seduced by cotton when the first wagon trains from India started arriving.The one place where Lycra has the advantage is for racing shorts. They don't go all baggy after 10 miles.

    Some of the first synthetic wicking jerseys weren't too bad, They were at least double knit just like a wool one and didn't require as much care. The polypropylene ones didn't stink quite so bad as the polyester ones do. They were usable for casual riding in moderate weather. We're up to the third or forth generation of them now though and the dirty little secret is that each generation gets a bit worse at wicking and a lot worse at ventilating (see the long zippers on the ones the pros wear?) The current models are horrid . . . but easier to print sponsor graphics on. I sense causation. People think they wick because they keep hearing they wick, not because they, ya know, DO.

    Nothing beats Merino wool or Cashmere for socks and underwear. Nothing even comes close.

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  12. kfg - I also noticed the distinct absence of the promised wicking when I tried to wear lycra cycling shorts. The sweat just sort of stayed there at the back of my legs and festered over the course of the ride; my skin was a mess for days thereafter as a result. The wool cycling shorts I have now dry almost instantly in comparison. On the other hand, I have heard the exact opposite reports as well: people complaining that wool dries poorly compared to lycra. Though it seems highly unlikely, I wonder whether some people's body chemistry is better suited for lycra, and others' for wool.

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  13. please tell me this is not going to devolve into one of those here-is-me-in-today's-outfit blogs!

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  14. Great pictures as usual, why is it all you girls who ride bikes, in the USA, are all so gorgeous, and elegantly, as well as, so aptly dressed? The added bonus is the bikes are beautiful also.
    Cheers.

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  15. We need at least one co-habitant "Great Gatsby" post before he adopts the "John Reed" winter look. The socks reminded me...

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  16. Anon - No danger, I don't own that many outfits : )

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