Anthropologie Bike Lane Dress
Anthropologie Bike Lane dress has figured prominently in the velo-twitteverse since it came out earlier this winter, and so I thought I'd post a review for others considering it.
can be attached to sit either straight over the shoulders or crossing at the back. But if you are going to use the straps, I suggest sewing them in, as the hooks do not always want to stay in place.
The calf-length strapless cotton voile dress has classic 1950s styling: a rigidly tailored bodice and a full, loosely pleated skirt. The colour of the fabric is a vintagey cream, with the bicycle print in faded ink-blue and bright vermilion red. Both the skirt and the bodice are fully lined. I received this dress in a Size 2, and was sure that I would need to exchange it. But to my surprise, the small size fit me and I was even able to wear it over a long-sleeve wool baselayer. The design requires the bodice to be very form fitting, or else it won't stay up. Any larger and the dress would have been too loose. I would say go down one size from what you normally wear, and other reviews of this dress seem to suggest the same.
The buttons along the back are cloth-coverd and very pretty. They are also rather difficult to button and unbutton, because they are large and the button-holes are small. The Anthropologie websites describes them as "decorative," but technically that is not accurate since they actually function to open and close the dress in the back. I think what they mean is "decorated."
All the tailoring does serve a practical function, in that the dress really does stay up without straps. The corseting and the pleats criss-crossing the front also make it possible to wear it without a bra for those who require only moderate support.
While the Bike Lane dress is complicated to put on and may not work for all figures, if the fit is right it is very wearable and easy to move around in. There is nothing cycling-specific about this dress, but it is certainly "bikable." The full skirt makes it easy to step over a frame and to pedal, and it's not so long as to be prone to flying into spokes. The corset in the bodice is flexible and does not constrict movement. The quality of the fabric and craftsmanship is good, with a lot of little details that give this dress an elegant simplicity. I will probably wait for Spring/Summer to wear it again, and the gauzy voile should be comfortable on warm days. The very recognisable print means that it can't possibly be an everyday dress, but it's perfect for special occasions. A great gift for bicycle-obsessed ladies with a penchant for vintage tailoring.