Friday, May 4, 2012

Like a Track Suit Top with Rear Pockets

Cycling Jersey + Skirt
So, be honest please: Do you ever wear a cycling jersey off the bike? My first time was unintentional. I was returning from a ride later than expected and had no time to change before meeting someone. So I threw on a skirt, changed my shoes and went - wiping my forehead with a napkin on the way there. I know, classy. My jersey's rear pockets still contained my keys, credit card and ID, so I didn't even need a bag. And that's when I noticed how darn convenient it is to wear these things. The person I was meeting did not seem aware of anything odd about my outfit, so why not? I began to experiment. The key is for the fit to be on the looser side, and for the colourscheme to be acceptable for "business casual." No team names or sponsor logos obviously. Muted colours. Long sleeves. A drapey fit. I own a couple of jerseys that fit the bill nicely, and so I started to sneak them into my wardrobe. 

I had no idea whether anyone even noticed, until a woman in a cafe approached me last week. "Excuse me, but I really like your top. Where did you get it?" She was English, so I eagerly explained that it was a cycling jersey from England. 

"You couldn't tell it was a cycling jersey?" I asked, "I feel silly wearing it, but it's so convenient." 

"Oh no," she replied, "it's lovely! Like an haute couture track suit top with rear pockets..." 

Fashion designers, take note!

48 comments:

  1. Cycling jerseys were always a part of the Mod culture from the 60s onwards here in UK. Fred Perry still does a range;
    http://www.modculture.co.uk/fred-perry-x-cycling-blank-canvas-2012-plus-exclusive-modculture-discount/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, that's so cool. Did not know!

      Delete
    2. The most ultra-mod jersey ever was the black and white SCIC team jersey as worn by Vittorio Adorni and Mino Denti and many 70s fashionistas. Wool repro jerseys are available right now. Get one while they last.

      Delete
  2. There is definitely room in the womens' cycling apparel market for stylish designs. I dislike the rear pockets because I'm a sweater, but I'd like to see a breathable top with a mini flaring "skirt" attached. I have in mind something like the old bathing suits from the 40s. I own two too-short tops and have bought fabric to add to the bottom. I'll get to this project in the near future and publish the outcome on my blog. I could see adding s zippered pocket to the "skirt". It could be hidden easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like a little peplum? That is a great idea! I'll look forward to seeing it on your blog. I think they work best when cut on the bias.

      Delete
  3. Yes. I've worn a cycling jersey with my fancy Paul Smith suit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think that pulling this off requires a certain flare as well as a certain flair.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nope. My cycling stuff is my cycling stuff...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I only have a couple of cycling jerseys and they'd look terrible with a skirt. I would love to see a panned out view of the entire outfit. Don't you get tummy folds?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not have a panned out view of the outfit, sorry. It is an Ibex wool skirt with a wide, soft waistband. The jersey is "club cut," so it's not tight enough to produce tummy folds.

      Delete
  7. What brand is the one you're wearing in this shot? I feel like the 1/4 zip and high collar are the dead give aways on my wool jerseys. I never carry a pocket book so I tend to wear a ubiquitous fanny pack in the summer months. Anything is an upgrade from that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a Shutt Velo Rapide MTB touring jersey. Sizing runs a little large, so if you're tiny the Small will be too big. Very lightweight this jersey, good for hot weather.

      Delete
    2. V,
      you do realize there'll be a spike in sales for this jersey, right?

      Delete
  8. I regularly wear 1/4 zip solid color merino SS shirts to the office... regardless of if I rode to work in them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey didn't I mention this first here?

    Problem is stuff stabbing you when sitting on a chair with a back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm true. Happily my chair is one of these and also at the coffee shop.

      Delete
  10. Hah, not happening. My jerseys are Icebreaker mountain-bike style jerseys (no rear pockets, I hate them) and I *still* bring a normal wool t-shirt for days off the bike on tour. Maybe it's because they're more sporty-looking than this, I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wear a cycling jersey all the time, even to work. I am particularly fond of white Brooks Brothers button-down cycling jerseys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pshaw. Brooks Brothers is for style challenged Americans. I buy my cycling jerseys from Savile Row.

      Delete
    2. I buy my other cycling jerseys from Pink and Barney's when I'm in NYC.

      Delete
    3. I agree that the Brooks Bro cut is a bit boxy, both for men and women. For women's light wool suits, I like Benetton. And I wear Icebreaker, Rivendell and Rapha wool baselayers under the blazer. What is this world coming to.

      Delete
  12. what a provocative photo, beautiful light!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean evocative?..

      Delete
    2. Peppy (the holes in your sweater, let me show you thems)May 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      No he means provocative. I chews the wools, I chews them.

      Delete
    3. Not cool Peppy, not cool.

      Delete
  13. Definitely! I also wear hiking pants as biking pants. They are flexible and breathable, and dry fast if they get rained on. On a couple of recent trips into NYC I've worn my black cycling jersey and winter riding jacket. I was more comfortable with my money in my jersey pocket under my jacket, and I felt less bulky, but still warm.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The average English woman never rides a bike.

    Like all women, English women are interested in clothes.

    When it comes to selling clothes women are easy meat.

    Fashion designers took note of this several thousand years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's ridiculous Pete. Now excuse me, but I really haven't time for this when J. Crew is in the midst of a clearance sale.

      Delete
    2. My cycling clothes are definitely not classy enough to fit the bill...

      ... but I still wear them in public sometimes (especially if I'm planning on riding later in the day or something). ;)

      Delete
  15. I used to wipe my brow with a fine linen napkin...

    ReplyDelete
  16. "So, be honest please: Do you ever wear a cycling jersey off the bike? "

    Nope. I've never worn any special cycling clothing since I see no need for it. But that's just me.......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not just you.

      I wear a lot of light weight wool shirts and sweaters, but none have pockets in the back.

      Delete
  17. As a young mom of three who has been reading your lovely blog for several months, this is the first post to which I thought I might be able to contribute an ounce of value. I bicycle with my children around town to get ice cream, to go to the beach, just for fun, and I have two cycling tops. I got the first one bc I liked the picture on the front, and when I realized how handy the rear pockets were - not just for cycling - I had to get another (plain wool and solid colored). For quick trips with my 1, 6, and 8 year old, it's so much easier to pop my keys, phone, and wallet in the rear pockets rather than carry a bag. And I think my solid jersey looks like a sporty top rather than cycling wear. I sometimes wear the jersey on the bicycle, too, but I don't need the pockets then as I use the pannier as a diaper bag...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Replies
    1. That term is strictly trademarked, watch it!

      Delete
  19. If Grant Petersen is trying to get people to ride their bikes in "regular" clothing, and you are suggesting cycling wear off the bike, either you cancel each other out, or, if you two reach a compromise, we journey into a world where people wear regular clothing on the bike and cycling clothing everywhere else...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the "regular clothing" vs "cycling clothing" debate is becoming increasingly absurd.

      What does "get people to ride their bikes in regular clothing" even mean? What kinds of bikes? What kind of people? There are different types of cycling, just like there are different types of moving around on foot. Should we be encouraging joggers to jog in their business suits? Some forms of cycling are more like jogging. Others are more like walking in a city. The same outfit is not ideal for both.

      Interestingly, people are increasingly wearing baseball, football and basketball-inspired sportswear as streetwear and no one seems to mind. So why is it such a threatening thing if the roadcycling aesthetic infiltrates regular clothing? Apparel design has always been influenced by the changing activities people engage in. Every activity can offer useful ideas for everyday design. An attitude that vilifies athletic cycling clothing or contrasts it sharply with regular clothing ought to read up on the history of fashion design.

      Delete
    2. The debate is at times absurd but not entirely so. Segue to today's post on the lack of transportation oriented bicycle shops in many cities.

      Apparel sales are more profitable for retailers than hard line. The novice wannabe rider getting the hard sales push to buy a racing bike for the occasional weekend ride or 5 mile commute then is told to buy tights and a racing helmet that looks it comes from Mars. It turns people off.

      Frankly, most people wearing football and basketball inspired sportswear around town tend only to call attention to the fact they look nothing like a football or basketball player. Civilian baseball attire is not so out of place but then only because so many baseball players look as though they never did a single sit up in their life.

      Delete
  20. You've got me thinking that a jersey would be just the thing to walk the dog in. Handy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just received my first jersey - gift from a friend who felt bad that I didn't have any "cycling clothes". I am finding those pockets darned handy! I haven't worn mine out and about off the bike (it's got logos), but I did wear it like a cardigan over a sundress for a ride recently. It makes me want to add back pockets to all my shirts!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Cycling jersey:wonderful

    " . . . an haute couture . . . ": priceless

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've been riding in knee high tube socks, baggy t-shirts, and elastic shorts since before you were born. I would not wear fancy pants jerseys or woolen britches even if you payed me. Life is too short to ride around looking like a damn fool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably wear black socks with sandals too.

      To me, knee high tube socks, baggy t-shirts and elastic shorts is looking pretty foolish.

      And, it's "paid" not "payed."

      Delete
    2. I found early on that wool was just the thing no matter what I'm doing. My regular attire is wool underwear, stripy socks, and shirts/sweaters. usually topped off by a pair of synthetic +4s.

      And, yes, this includes one or two jerseys with rear pockets. They look kind of preppy, but they were cheap and I don't find it important to impress anyone with my stylish moves.

      Delete
  24. Don't the pockets sag with stuff in them when the jersey is loose? Even if I wore mine casually i'd wear it fitted! I'm glad it's so trendy these days to wear workout clothing casually. Suits my active lifestyle for sure :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Not enough time!? To change a TOP!!!? Oh dear.

    Someone can't have cycled too hard if no one 'noticed'! Ho hum. ;-)

    Anyways...

    The Shutt jerseys ARE superb (I've 3) and represent good value (compared to Rapha, et al). The stitching is excellent, the fabric good (though it does snag when used as an MTB top) and they're not too warm and certainly not cold (I layered long- and short-sleeve jerseys over winter and they coped with some trail riding in near zero conditions! (But, then, us unfit folk do tend to warm up quite quickly!). :-)

    My only wish is that old-man moss-green MTB jersey was the green, black and white of the prototype. Now that WAS classy.

    PS Couldn't post this from within Google's Chrome browser. You guys got browser-specific problems?

    ReplyDelete