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Ask CF: What Are Some Bike-Friendly Fashions for Different Types of Weather?


Ask CF-Bike Rider Fashion
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Welcome to the latest edition of Ask CF! Every couple of weeks, we select a reader fashion question and answer it here on the site. Do you have a specific fashion question for us? Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to send it our way!

Ask CF Question

Dear CF,

I’m on a bit of a health kick and want to ride my bike around campus. What are some bike-friendly fashions for all sorts of weather?

And–this may be a bit of a stretch–but is there a way to wear a helmet without ruining my hair? My campus is urban and head protection is a must!


Biker Chick

Our Response

Dear Biker Chick,

There are a few key tips to keep in mind while deciding what to wear on a bike. An obvious first rule of thumb is do not wear anything that will be revealing while pedaling. To combat this, wearing any pant, short, or romper would work, but if you love your dresses and skirts, don’t be afraid to wear them over biker shorts, leggings or tights. Secondly, don’t wear anything that could potentially get stuck in your wheels like a long scarf or sweater (I once tied a sweatshirt around my waist while riding a bike and it got caught in my wheel spokes. Not only did it almost buck me from my bike, but it also tore my favorite sweatshirt. Both definite fashion and safety no’s). And lastly, make sure your clothes and shoes will let you move freely and comfortably.

It’s so important to wear a helmet and we’re so happy you asked about some good hairstyles to wear with it. There are tons of helmet-friendly hairstyles to try: Both Self Magazine and Refinery 29 San Francisco have some fab ideas to get you started.

On the fashion front, I have created a few bike-friendly looks that you can check out below for inspiration. I hope you find them helpful and inspiring. Enjoy!



Outfit # 1: Sunshinin’ Days

Ask CF-Bike Fashion-Sunshinin' Day
Product Information: Jacket, Romper, Backpack, Tights, Sunglasses, Oxfords

For a beautiful day when the sun is shining, you want your outfit to express a similarly cheerful vibe. To do this, pair a printed romper with a bright pair of oxford flats. You need your hands and arms free while riding, so grab a cool backpack like this striped one for a safe way to tote your essentials. Depending on how cool it is, choose a pair of grey tights and/or faux leather moto-jacket to keep with that biker-cool aesthetic. Complete the look with some retro sunnies and you’ll be ready to pedal away in style.

Outfit # 2: Gloomy Skies

Ask CF-Bike Fashion-Gloomy Skies
Product Information: Jacket, Dress, Necklace, Leggings, Backpack, Boots

There’s something about gloomy, autumn days that makes us reach for rich, warm colors and thick, comfy fabrics. For this look, I chose to use a pair of baroque print leggings – one of fall’s hottest trends. Leggings are great for biking since they are durable but also super easy to move around in. To keep away from any fashion faux-pas, pair your leggings with a dress or tunic that isn’t too short. Sturdy riding boots are perfect for your ride to campus and walking around once you arrive. Finish the look with a burgundy coat, bullet necklace, and two-toned backpack.

 Outfit # 3: Rain, Rain, Go Away

Ask CF-Bike Fashion-Rain
Product Information: Jacket, Sweatshirt, Jeans, Earrings, Watch, Rain Boots

In fall, rainy days are inevitable. And while riding your bike in a downpour might not be ideal, there is a way to dress for light showers that can help keep you dry. The essentials here, of course, are the rain jacket and waterproof shoes. A classic trench style coat is perfect for a rainy day to whisk away the water, and a pair of rain booties (as opposed to the popular Wellington style rain boots) will give you a little more control while pedaling. Next, choose a simple striped sweater and dark wash jeans. Lastly, accessorize with a studded watch and triangle post earrings.

Do you have a fashion question? Send it our way!

Is there something in your closet that you can’t seem to figure out how to wear? Do you have an event coming up and need an outfit idea? Do you have a specific fashion conundrum you need help with?

If you have a question you want to see answered in this column, just send it on over via email to askcf @ and one day you might see your question answered right here on the site!

Please note: We get A LOT of email and unfortunately cannot respond to every single question. However, we will read through every question and then decide which ones will be most helpful to the most readers. Thank you for your understanding.

What do you think?

Do you ride your bike to school or work? Do you have a similar dilemma? Did you find the advice helpful? Which outfit is your favorite? Do you have any other advice for our bike-riding readers? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below! 

Posted on on September 11, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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23 Responses to “Ask CF: What Are Some Bike-Friendly Fashions for Different Types of Weather?”

  1. 1
    September 11th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you so much!

  2. 2
    September 11th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    This is awesome. I love biking and the looks are trés magnifique.

  3. 3
    September 11th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The second outfit looks so perfect! <3

  4. 4
    September 11th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Great post, Jessica!
    I don’t bike, but I enjoy this post! And very nice outfits.

  5. 5
    September 11th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Some suggestions for the rainy day outfit #3:
    – consider a pvc backpack which the rain will just slide off,
    – a hooded jacket
    – wearing a hooded cape over your backpack to protect it from a heavy shower (secured only at the neck of course, so your hands are free)

  6. 6
    September 11th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    i like the watch and the earrings!
    great idea for a birthday present.

  7. 7
    September 11th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    LOVE! I’m headed off to campus after this year – and I will defiantly be biking everywhere.

    The first outfit is my fave, though :)

    On the hair side, I have a pixie, so I don’t have much trouble at all – can anyone recommend some cute helmets? But bravo on all the options for the longer haired girls on here – I had never seen any of those – might have made me reconsider chopping all mine off… :)

  8. 8
    September 12th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    This is great! For those of us who ride our bikes to campus on a daily basis, a post like this is wonderful. I really love outfit #2. Trying to look cute while braving the rain on my bike is never fun :( I feel so much more limited in what I can wear to class because it has to be something I can bike in, often in rainy Oregon weather.

  9. 9
    September 12th, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Thank you all for your feedback! Glad to see you enjoyed what I came up with :] Also, special thanks to Annamaria for her tips (can’t believe I didn’t think of those!)

  10. 10
    September 12th, 2012 at 1:49 am

    If you bike in the rain, you definitely want to make sure you have fenders on your bike! If not, you will be soaked not only by the rain, but also by the puddle water kicked up by your tires! >____< You can get fenders installed on mountain bikes as well as normal one-speed cruisers, so they are definitely worth the investment if you live in a rainy environment!

  11. 11
    September 12th, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Great post!

    Just one addition to the rainy day outfit: instead of jeans, wear something with tights or a cotton pant. They dry way quicker than jeans.

  12. 12
    September 12th, 2012 at 3:30 am

    i just got a new bike and this post give me inspiration for the clothes. i love the backpack <3

  13. 13
    September 12th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I’m in Holland and I think I’ll just steal your second outfit. It’s definitively raining randomly here, plus the wind all the time.

  14. 14
    September 12th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Oh ! You did the cardinal sin of all occasional bikers : wearing jeans when its raining !!!
    Jeans become soaked up really fast and super heavy. If you plan on getting wet anyway, leggings or any non-jeans textures are better. (You want something thin that doesn’t take in to much water).

  15. 15
    September 12th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    That little black and white romper in outfit #1 is very cute, but I think it might be very short in the back when you’re bending over your handlebars!

  16. 16
    September 12th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Gloomy weather out was amazing!

  17. 17
    September 12th, 2012 at 1:34 pm


  18. 18
    September 12th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    #1 is a winner for me! I think it is the cutest outfit and works very well together. Great Job!

  19. 19
    September 12th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    all of these outfits are awesome!

  20. 20
    September 13th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I love biking! I live at the top of a huge hill (like 5 miles uphill), so I’m usually cold whizzing down and hot when I’m working my way back up.

  21. 21
    September 13th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    love the outfits. super practical too!

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