Bike Shop Girl | Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex
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Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex

Outlier Pants

Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex

Originally posted at our sister site :

My tri-modal commute to Charlotte has partially changed my perspective of commuting concerns. One of these concerns is clothing which I’ll be deep diving in the next few articles.

Photo Credit : Outlier

Photo Credit : Outlier

Business Attire and Dress Codes

Since I now work back in the marketing and advertising industry there is more of a dress code than what you find in the bike industry. There are days that one is able to wear khakis or even jeans, but on the days that there is a slight chance of a meeting or client call those clothes won’t cut it.

Dress clothes, especially nice ones, don’t wear well for riding a bike and sweating. They also don’t do well with being shoved into a messenger bag. While I’m looking into a better solution of carrying the business attire, laptop and paperwork I still haven’t found it.

Shopping for Bike Friendly Dress Codes

While my better half cringes when we go shopping, I’ve been shopping for styling clothes that are “bikeable.” If I was a guy, this would be easy but it seems like the idea of technical fabrics and womens dress codes are very rare.

Thankfully the mornings have been cooler so I can pull off the 2.5 mile bike ride from the bus to work by simply rolling up my pants legs and pedaling slowly not to sweat. This won’t always be the answer, especially when it’s raining! (Currently those days I walk.)

Bikeable Work Clothes

What do you use? What brands or fabrics wear well and still can allow you to walk into a board meeting?

  • mememe
    Posted at 12:46h, 03 September Reply

    My husband uses a garment bag pannier I got for him from Nashbar:

    It holds his clothes pretty well. Not so great for toiletries and such if you need to carry a lot of clothes (like a full men’s suit), but he likes it so far.
    I may get one as well if I start commuting.

  • Eric Moritz
    Posted at 14:01h, 03 September Reply

    I am sure you’re aware of this, but in case you are not, there are clothing panniers that are basically a suit bag that flaps over your rack. That will keep your business atire nice.

    Here’s an example. I’m sure there are better quality bags than this nashbar bag,

    • Bike Shop Girl
      Posted at 17:46h, 03 September

      Hey Eric,

      I’ll talk in a future article, but a pannier such as that is perfect, yet very difficult for me to manage due to the tri-modal part. Needs to be very quick on and off if it does go on a rack.

      Thank you.. do you use one?

  • jerry'sdaughter
    Posted at 07:16h, 04 September Reply

    I got a great pannier from Bicycle Muse Holds a lot, and is easy off/on a rack. I don’t have the multi-modal commute so I pack a change of clothes for my 8 mile each way ride. I lean toward lightweight, hard to wrinkle clothes rather than suits or more traditional office clothes. Most of these outfits could be worn for short rides. Check out JJill Wearever as an example. These are not technical fabrics but are comfortable and office ready. Other sources of bicycle to office wear: Title 9, Athleta, Lucy. While much of their clothes are too casual for meetings I have found some great skirts, tops and dresses at these sources, all of which can be worn on the bike.

  • melanie
    Posted at 13:58h, 05 September Reply

    I used to ride 30 km round trip to work every day in Taiwan. During rainy season I would wear the spandex and bring along a change of clothes in water proof Ortlieb bags. But when the weather was clear I would wear these amazing pinstriped wool capri pants. They were absolutely perfect for riding and stylish all at once. I lost them in the many moves over the years but I think of them often. Now I live in Key West and wear a swim suit to work, play and wherever I need to go.

  • whit
    Posted at 07:16h, 07 September Reply

    My bf has an office job and brought all of his work clothes to work every two weeks he drives and brings them all home to be washed. Its worked out for him well.

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