HOW TO WEAR BIKE SHORTS

(Without having to ride an actual bike)

Originally published on Into The Fold Magazine


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It’s funny, I’ve spent most of my adult life establishing this personal style which falls somewhere between ‘just-back-from-the-gym Princess Diana’ (Who doesn’t love her in those tube socks?) and ‘American dad/Little League coach’ yet neither of those really reflect my personality – or fitness levels. I’m more of a ‘goes to yoga once a month and thinks she works out’ kinda girl – at one point, my motto was actually ‘Always in gym clothes, never at the gym’ – so it’s strange that my go-to clothing is always sportswear and sneakers.  Am I compensating for my lack of exercise by dressing like an off-duty athlete? Maybe. If I wear sneakers and a tennis dress, will people think, ‘Oh she’s a sporty one, all right!’? Probably not. The most likely reason is just that sportswear, in its simplicity and flawless design, looks cool – and I like cool things.

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So when cycling shorts came back on the fashion radar recently, I was of course drawn to them. Despite not learning to ride a bike until I was 10 years old (and let’s face it, I can still barely ride one at 26), I felt almost contractually obliged to give them a shot. I’ve dabbled with them in the past, though never for actual cycling – there was a brief stint in 2013 where I wore them with those platform Jeffrey Campbell boots and a tutu as a top (don’t ask) – but 2018’s offering has been my favourite so far.

I picked up the cycling shorts in this first look from Pretty Little Thing – my first ever purchase from the Kamani Sons’ sexy cult brand – and was pleasantly surprised how a £6 piece of material could cling so favourably to my (out of shape) buttocks. To avoid going full Kardashian, however, I paired them with a tailored shirt and blazer and vintage Coccinelle heels. The result? 80s business tycoon, with the visor sunnies adding a touch of Matrix. Would I wear this day-to-day? Honestly, no – but tone it down with sneakers during the day, or lose the blazer and sunnies for an uber slinky night out get up, and voila – wearable.

This second look has been my work uniform for the last few months, due to it being so damn easy to put together. The shorts are ASOS, and much more of a ‘city short’ than a cycling short as they are a slightly looser fit, but they work for the look nonetheless. I’ve paired them with my Acne sneakers (which I currently live in) and an oversized men’s blazer, also from ASOS. With 70s-style sunnies and a turtleneck (can you think of any outfit that hasn’t benefited from the addition of those two?) the outfit is a perfect storm of casual, chic and cool.

So there you have it – how to wear cycling shorts, without having to do any cycling whatsoever!And if my advice wasn’t technical enough, why not watch this short tutorial on how to wear them from an actual cyclist – disclaimer: involves lubricant.

Photography: Phoebe Jordan


S H O P  T H E  L O O K

HOW TO WEAR PRINTS

(If you hate wearing prints)

Originally published on Into The Fold Magazine

As someone who has, on various occasions, been forcibly removed from not one, but several venues across London for ‘excessive musical performance’, its safe to say I’m a far cry from introvert. And I, like most, relay this information via my personal style: thigh-high boots, neon fur coats and dramatic sunglasses are just a few of the peacocky items in my wardrobe that I feel most at-home in. That being said, I simply cannot rid myself of an irrational fear of the most extroverted garment of them all – the print. Be it polkadot or paisley, ikat or florals, I just can’t bring myself to wear any of them – even the Breton Stripe brings me out in hives, and I’m really not sure why.

Perhaps it is that my mother used to dress my younger sister and I in matching print outfits up until the age of 10. As an older sibling desperate for a sense of individuality, do I have some kind of fashion PTSD? Or maybe its that I just find prints unsustainable and fleeting. Aside from leopard print in the winter and florals in springtime, other prints seem to occupy such a short tenure in the world of fashion, before they’re kicked to the kerb next to adult jelly shoes and Bieber merch. One minute gingham is all the rage, and the next month its only fit for table cloths (I know this because I dared to wear a gingham skirt a few weeks ago, and more than three people asked if I had come dressed as a picnic).

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But the most likely answer for my avoidance of prints, I suspect, is that I never like to look too ‘done’. I’m not a girly dresser, and I feel prints are often too feminine or too busy to work into my usual wardrobe. I wear a lot of blacks, whites and neutrals, and I like to stick to statement pieces or clean-cut basics that won’t go out of style in a hurry. Prints just seem too tricky for me – but as someone who wears almost every other daring trend with ease, that sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

I’m lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to write about new trends for Into the Fold, and it has challenged me to try styles that I never normally would, but when it came to tackling prints, I knew I had to ease myself in with something that still felt ‘me’. So when VOGUE named zebra print as one of the hottest trends of 2018, I thought I’d give it a whack.

Here, I’ve paired a zebra midi dress (£19.99) from Zara with my signature black turtleneck and sneakers: simple, cool, and I actually very much like how I feel in it. Perhaps zebra is a print I can get down with, and its monochromatic colour means that it’ll go with just about anything. In the summer, I’ll wear this dress with a white t-shirt underneath, or over bare skin on hotter days, and I may even pair it with a neon oversized blazer and gold mules, if I’m feeling particularly brave.

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I felt my second look needed to involve a bit of colour, otherwise it would‘ve been cheating (black and white prints are too easy), so I went for this Balenciaga-esque floral number – also from Zara (£12.99). I don’t think I’ve everworn florals, but I’ve got a bit of a penchant for anything reminiscent of the 60s and 70s, which this top definitely is, so I thought, ‘Why the hell not?’ I’ve paired it with vintage jeans and red sock boots here, but it also looks surprisingly elegant with my cream tailored kick-flares and a tan trench coat. Again, I’m pleasantly surprised at how versatile a print can be, and even more so how confident I feel in a bold pattern – maybe prints aren’t that scary after all?