So Ladies…

…Let’s talk about fashion. Or not.

Because I’m not much of a fashionista. And never have been.

So Ladies

I have gotten a little better since then. But my life doesn’t revolve around clothes. I really enjoy looking looking like crap some days.

So Ladies

Or a bit dirty and grungy.

So Ladies

And some times I even dress up (and look like Lovely Bicycle on accident.)

So Ladies

However when I started biking I didn’t know what to do about clothes. Or bikes. Or anything. I just wanted to try it. I didn’t see anyone on a bike who looked like any version of me. As a newbie, this was all I really knew about cyclists:

Unexpected Types

You may have noted that neither of these figures appear to be women. And I knew I was not an athlete or a hipster. Or a man.

So when I came across a certain European street-style blog of stylishly dressed women riding bicycles I signed right up. I went and bought the Dutchiest bike I could find in Los Angeles (which was actually made in China) and a bunch of flouncy dresses from H&M and promptly started biking up and down Sunset Boulevard leaving a trail of bolts and washers behind me.

But as I got more confident about with bicycle commuting, I realized something bothered me about this bike sheek culture.

So Ladies

It was just another stereotype.

So I moved on. I agree about wearing ordinary clothes when I bike. But now I wear my ordinary clothes which don’t happen to be dresses or heels or terribly stylish most of the time– my biking does not revolve around fashion.

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  • Sara Kazemi July 31, 2012   Reply →

    ahahahahah! Aw, I love that Lovely Bicycle is on here, too! I <3 her as well. That last panel with Mr. you-know-who who "coined" bicycle chic had me laughing!

  • Kookaburra September 12, 2012   Reply →

    I’ve been looking through your archives, and I just found this one – I laughed out loud at the last panel, and then laughed even harder at the butthurt in the comments.

    Yeah, the CC blogs give me a voyeuristic vibe, especially the way the commentary is written. I ride in spandex when I’m training, when I’m commuting or running errands I just wear jeans and a t-shirt. I hate the idea that women absolutely must look like fashion plates no matter what we’re doing, and the CC blogs seemed to reinforce that.

  • Marion January 14, 2013   Reply →

    It’s not a stereotype. I’m Dutch, and people over here ride bikes as easily and thoughtlessly as Americans drive. Do Americans dress up when they take their cars grocery shopping? No. You step in with whatever it is you have on. Of course, you don’t go out in public with curlers in your hair or in clothes that you’ve worn for three weeks and which are smelly and dirty. People who smell and are dirty unfortunately exist (be they – fortunately – rare) – they are called ‘homeless-who-are-probably-mentally-ill’. They are very rare because usually the social system will care for these people. But it is – fortunately – very hard to get people into care if they absolutely refuse it, so yes, rat-nest-haired, stinky and dirty people do exist here in the Netherlands. But they don’t ride bikes either.

    Who does ride bikes? EVERYBODY. That includes grandma’s, pensioners, mum’s-with-small-kids, office workers in three piece suits, small kids, teenagers, young couples – EVERYBODY. And they ride in all seasons and all weathers.

    So yes, the 19 year old blond girls with the long hair and short skirts are for real. They really do ride and they don’t do so to be ‘chic’ (the Dutch would look at you as if you were crazy for suggesting this) but because they just happen to have to go somewhere and it just happens to be fine enough weather not to wear a woolly hat and layers of winterclothes.

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