Ride in heels? Ride in a dress? Absolutely! Inspired by Copenhagen’s Cycle Chic phenomenon and my own natural inclination to do just about anything in high heels I’ve taken to biking SLC’s streets in style and I’ve got some great tips for you!
First off from Winter to Spring and Summer to Fall the weather gets especially tricky here in the Salt Lake Valley so take into consideration that you’ll be fighting the elements rather heavily. During rainy times you’ll want a good set of fenders to keep your bum from getting sprayed with water from the streets. Also wind is a huge factor because you’ll be in constant motion so if there’s any extra breezes blowing you may want to avoid wearing certain items just for safety and modesty sake. That said there’s a multitude of outfits you can ride around in!
Let’s go head-to-toe with creating bike ready outfits:
- There’s some fashionable helmets out there of course. If you do ride without one make sure you bike as a nice reasonable speed – the higher the speed the higher the accident risk and damage.
- Sunglasses keep out glare and keep you from squinting.
- Hair ties to keep your hair from whipping around your face during your commute.
- You can wear a variety of tops on a bike – even a bikini top if you like! Just make sure to stay decent and seasonally appropriate and expect whistles.
- Consider reflective gear if you are riding at night. There’s some interesting online companies that produce some nice items.
- Make sure if you don’t have a gear cover that the hem of your pants or skirt don’t dangle near the gears with the breeze as that can tear your clothes and create a dangerous riding situation if they get caught.
- Mini skirts shouldn’t be micro otherwise you may be flashing a bit too much.
- Be conscious of wideness of skirt – roomy skirts that allow for pedal movement are great. Too billowy and they can blow up over your head at worst and at best you’ll constantly be fidgeting with them at stops.
- Maxi dresses can be worn and a great trick is to tie up length and width into a nice knot while you ride – you can even pin up or wrap with an elastic hair tie.
- Shorter hemmed dresses that hug closer to the body are great.
- Thin stiletto heels can get wedged in the pedals so opt for chunky heels or flats to be safe and fashionable.
- Slippery soles should best be avoided and are dangerous when pushing off from stops so make sure the bottoms of your shoes have plenty of grip.
- Heels can be worn there just needs to be enough surface area for you to push with. Riding boots are fantastic to bike in but can be a little hot in the Summer.
- Wedges may be a little tricky as there’s no flexibility in them so I don’t advocate them as good riding shoes but if you must do it be very careful and go at a nice slow and steady pace in a quiet area (like the park rather than your work commute).
Other accessories & Accents:
- You can order reflective tape and sew it onto socks, hems, etc.!
- Don’t forget the sunscreen all over
- Hats can be lovely though be careful on windy days as they may fly off your head.
- Tights are wonderfully chic and can be worn any season depending on their pattern and thickness!
So while you’re pushin those pedals you can be fashionable and stylish – and bonus points for green fashion if you shop for bicycle culture items at vintage shops and sustainable clothing boutiques!