Category: Life

Your Guide to Stylish Cycling Through Showers: Part 3

Here to help you withstand the season’s downpours in style, we give you the third and final portion of our guide for rainy-day cycling: our selection of footwear and accessories.

Be sure to check out Part 1 (outerwear) and Part 2 (hair and makeup) of our Guide to Stylish Cycling Through Showers. With these handy tips and tricks, you’ll master the rain better than Allie in The Notebook, better than Carrie in Four Weddings and a Funeral, better than…you get the idea.

Now go forth into those downpours with style!

Footwear

Don’t let your toes suffer on your daily commute. Stay dry with the right footwear. A plus: all of these options have a solid heel, so your foot won’t slip and slide off your pedal.  And most are on sale as the season winds down.

Image via hunterboots.com
Image via hunterboots.com

Hunter rainboots are tried and true classics. This spring, the company debuted a fresh, stylish pair of fringed boots that have our hearts aflutter. Orig $185, now on sale for $128, available here.

Image via yoox.com
Image via yoox.com

Put on these ankle boots by Diesel when you really need to kick rain’s butt. With a row of studs and a hardcore buckle, the weather will know you mean business. $48, marked down from $80 on YOOX, available here.

Image via zappos.com
Image via zappos.com

With a chic Chelsea-boot style and a hip New York vibe, these rain boots from LAUREN by Ralph Lauren will instantly brighten your mood and up your cool factor. Plus, they’re lined with polkadots. What’s not to love? $59, available here.

Accessories 

Ahh, accessories. They can make or break your look. Here are a few that finish off your style just so. PurpleRed_1 You protect yourself from the elements—you need to protect your bike, too! Pick up a handy Bird Industries Waterproof Saddle Cover to protect your bike seat from precip and keep you seat sitting pretty. (Riding on a wet bike seat? No thank you!) $15, available here or here, in a variety of colors and patterns for road or cruiser sized saddles. Take your pick!

Image via ahalife.com
Image via ahalife.com

If anyone were to understand navigating rain, it would be sailors. Channel their expertise and resilient attitude with Ella Vicker’s waterproof Sailcloth Backpack. It’s crafted from recycled sailcloth and waterproof vinyl and features a random number from 0-9. $136, available here.

Image via shop.strawfoothandmade.com
Image via shop.strawfoothandmade.com

Once used by “water boys” to deliver snacks, cigarettes, wine, and water to riders in the Tour de France, musettes are fast becoming the preferred bike bag for urban cyclists. Handmade in Santa Cruz, Strawfoot’s Cycling Musette is water resistant, extremely durable, and completely no nonsense. Pick one up for $54, available here. Allow about a week for that handmade production!

Image via basil.nl
Image via basil.nl

Based in the Netherlands and launched in the early seventies, BASIL knows their bikes. This waterproof carry-all bag is roomy enough for your essentials and then some, but it’s not a size that will get in your way when zipping down a wet road. Plus, it’s so chic! Rain or shine, you’ll take the city by storm. Find a BASIL supplier here.

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Female Athletes: Killing It

You can’t ignore it: the women are killing it as of late. Step aside, men of the Tour de France, it’s time for us to raise a toast to our fellow athletes and celebrate the achievements and all-around badassery of women.

For your inspiration, here’s a roundup of ladies who, over the past few weeks, have risen to the top and dominated their fields. Swimmers, fighters, ballerinas, warriors—these women are at the top of their game and the world is taking note.

US Women’s Soccer Team

Image via foxsports.com
Image via foxsports.com

There’s no better way to ‘kick’ things off than with the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The biggest and brightest bang on America’s birthday weekend arrived when the US team brought home the championship. After the men’s less than stellar performance in the games, the country rallied behind its heroes who got it done: the women. We are the champions of the world, indeed.

Misty Copeland

Image via henryleutwyler.com
Image via henryleutwyler.com

Misty Copeland is truly a tour de force. She is Under Armor’s leading lady. She was featured on the cover of Time magazine’s April issue of “The 100 Most Influential People.” In May, she was profiled by “60 Minutes.” And earlier this month, she became the American Ballet Theater’s first African American principal ballerina (the highest ranking a ballet dancer can achieve).

Copeland’s road to success has been challenging and unique, but her circumstance didn’t define her; it empowered her. Copeland broke the mold of what a ballerina “should” look like, becoming a champion for dancers who are neither rail thin nor pale.

“Had I had this very easy path, I’d be a different person,” she said. “I talk about it because it hasn’t changed. Until I can see America represented in the American (ballet) companies, we have to have the conversation.”

Serena Williams

Image via theguardian.com
Image via theguardian.com

This Saturday, the unparalleled Serena Williams won Wimbledon 2015—for the sixth time, and for her fourth consecutive title. She won the U.S. Open last year as well as the Australian and French Opens to start 2015. The media has dubbed the series of wins the “Serena Slam.”

“I honestly wouldn’t have thought last year after winning the U.S. Open I would win the Serena Slam at all,” she said in an interview. “So just starting this journey, having all four trophies at home, is incredible.”

This fall, she’ll compete in the U.S. Open again, and if she wins, she’ll complete a calendar-year grand slam. It’s a feat that hasn’t been done, by a male or a female tennis player, since the equally fierce Steffi Graf in 1988.

The Women of the 2015 ESPN Body Issue

Image via espn.go.com
Image via espn.go.com

The recently published ESPN Body Issue is full of the strongest and fittest females today. And you know what they have to say to all of us? Love who you are.

Amanda Bingson, America’s #1 hammer thrower (and the lady above), remarked, “Whatever your body type is, just use it. There are definitely things that I can do that skinnier people can’t do. But then there are things that skinnier people do that I’ll never be able to do, like run a marathon. There’s just no way that will ever happen.”

Natalie Coughlin (you’ll remember her as a star swimmer from the 2008 Olympics—she’s the first American female athlete to win six medals in one Olympics), said, “There were times when I wasn’t happy with my body, but I always knew that I was really fit and that it was what allowed me to be successful in the pool.”

From heptathlete Chantae McMillan: “I don’t look in the mirror and think ‘slim’; I look in the mirror and I’m like, ‘Whoa, beast!'”

Feeling inspired yet?

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Your Guide to Stylish Cycling Through Spring Showers: Part 2

Welcome back to our Guide to Stylish Cycling Through Spring Showers! We gave you our favorite spring outerwear in Part 1—check them out here.

Now, let’s get you to hair and makeup. Presenting Part 2: our tips for maintaining your pretty self through a wet commute. Stay tuned for the third and final portion of this handy guide, when we lay out our favorite accessories for topping off your rainy day look.

Hair and Makeup

There is little excuse to show up at your destination with makeup running down your face and hair like you’ve stuck your finger in a socket. Pull yourself together by remembering these handy tips.

Image via ulta.com
Image via ulta.com

There are many, many waterproof mascaras. Pick one! If in doubt, go with the classic: Maybelline’s Great Lash Waterproof Mascara. It’s a no-nonsense no-brainer. $3.59, available here, or any drugstore in the nation.

Image via bareescentuals.com
Image via bareescentuals.com

When venturing out in the rain, remember that liquid foundations have more staying power than a powder foundation. Keep your flawless face in tact with our favorite option, bareSkin® Pure Brightening Serum Foundation from bareMinerals. It’s incredibly light, giving your skin a natural glow without that caked-on effect. Bonus: it’s formulated without oil, silicone, parabens or fragrance. $29, pick it up here.

Image via sephora.com
Image via sephora.com

Let’s face it (pun intended). Your face is going to get wet. With some handy blotting papers, you’ll be able to whisk away the moisture without ruining your makeup. Sephora’s Herbal Rose Blotting Papers should do the trick, and the light floral scent reminds you of all the reasons you love spring (at a moment when you’ll definitely need reminding). $8 for a package of 100, available here.

Image via sephora.com
Image via sephora.com

If you’ve got natural curl in your hair, humidity can be your worst enemy. Pony up for a quality anti-humidity styling cream that won’t weigh your hair down with that early 2000s, gel-like crunch. Living Proof’s No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream smooths and eliminates frizz without those harmful sulfates or parabens. Stop frizz; cycle on. $36, available here.

Unfortunately, the rain isn’t over yet. But we’d never leave you (ahem) high and dry… Stay tuned for Part 3 where we take a look at footwear and accessories!

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Your Guide to Stylish Cycling Through Spring Showers: Part 1

With spring comes the inevitable shower. But that doesn’t hold city commuters up! Now, you know the usual protocols for biking through rain: get yourself a solid fender, outfit yourself with some bright lights, avoid sharp turns, don your SmartWool socks (we’re big fans), and if you’re unfortunate enough to get the dreaded stripe up your backside, pretreat with dish soap.

But what about the finer points of cycling during a rain shower? How do you stay chic on your ride when you’re being pelted with droplets of water?

We’ve got you covered, literally. Here, we present Part 1 of a three-part series featuring our handy tips and favorite products for outsmarting the rain. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3, coming your way soon.

Raincoats (and more)

Just because a raincoat is functional doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish! Check out these BI-approved options:

Images via  shop.hellyhansen.com
Images via shop.hellyhansen.com

The Norway-based Helly Hansen brand is “born in the sea, raised in the mountains,” and totally equipped to outfit you on your rides around town. We love their Nine K rain jacket for it’s sleek design, full weather protection, and cheerful patterns. Breathable, durable, and fashioned with their signature Helly Tech Protection, this number will keep you cool, dry, and oh so swift. $150, available here.

Designed, crafted, and manufactured in the U.S., Cleverhood is a company interested in creating and catering to livable cities populated with biking enthusiasts.  With great attention to detail such as seam sealed zippers, and reflective threads, The Cleverhood is a chic, easy alternative to a raincoat.  It is a high performance street cape that fits your and your bag under its dry cover. Superhero status encouraged but not required. $249, available here.

Image via nau.com
Image via nau.com

Nau’s Poncho Via raincoat has stolen our hearts. Graceful, chic, modern, and sporty, the completely waterproof, pullover raincoat won’t cramp your style or your speed. For the Spring 2015 collection, this sustainability-focused company debuted the coat in an array of colors to suit your mood. Bonus: the coat is on sale. $193 (marked down from $275), available here.

Images via shop.nordstrom.com
Images via shop.nordstrom.com

Okay, so it’s definitely not breathable, and it wouldn’t keep you super comfortable on a longer ride, but this glittering gold, transparent rain jacket from Topshop via Nordstrom is just so cool. You’ll sparkle along as you wave cheerfully at the rows black-clad cyclists. Quite literally, you’re golden. So shine on! If this glittery form wins out over function for you, it’s available here for $85.

Image via rei.com
Images via rei.com

The best part about REI’s Kyoto Trench rain jacket? It covers your butt. Cut extra long with bikeable kick pleats in the back, this sophisticated, sporty, double-breasted trench has our stamp of approval. Bonus: it comes with a zip-off, brimmed hood. $149, available here.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 and Part 3 of this guide, coming soon!

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7 Sundresses Perfect for Springtime Cycling

Ah, spring! Who’s ready to toss those fleece tights and shed that tired Fair Isle? It’s that beloved season where you can throw on a bright, springtime frock and look instantly polished. Let’s face it though: not all sundresses are created equal when your mode of transport is 2 wheels. But with this handy list, you can say goodbye to unnecessary ruffles getting caught in your bike chain, restrictively straight-cut skirts, and overly revealing hemlines.  Before you go: don’t forget to throw your trusty Bird Industries skirt garter (available here and here) in your bike bag or musette to avoid those Marilyn Monroe moments.

So bare those knees and show off your shoulders! You’ve earned it after a long winter of wool layers and spin classes. Here are 7 sundresses perfect for some springtime bike riding.

Image via anthropologie.com
Image via anthropologie.com

Gingham Garden Party Dress; $178 at Anthropologie. 

Anthropologie has the “effortlessly pulled together and worldly” look down pat. This cotton, A-line dress has two of the best elements a sundress can offer: it has pockets and it’s machine-washable. Plus, it’s adorable.

Image via gap.com
Image via gap.com

Floral Fit & Flare Dress; $69.95 at Gap.

Muted florals dancing across a denim-y cotton weave? You can bet this is in our online cart. Wear this number to brunch, museum day-dates, and your favorite alt country rock show.

Pro tip: With the fullness of this skirt, you might require two skirt garters—just to be safe.

Image via madewell.com
Image via madewell.com

Abroad Dress; $98 at Madewell.

Goodbye, LBD! This spring, we’re ready for some color. And this structural yet stretchy Madewell dress does the trick. Go ahead, click on the link and zoom in close. The flattering seams across the bodice and through the skirt give the dress an added layer of sophistication. Bike to work, throw on your blazer and oxfords, and you’re ready to take on the 9-5.

Image via modcloth.com
Image via modcloth.com

When Casual Calls Dress; $54.99 at Modcloth.

Lazy Saturday? Modcloth’s When Casual Calls Dress is the most laid back of the bunch. A stretchy fit & flare that’s made for morning coffees and afternoons on the patio, it will keep you riding pretty.

Image via factory.jcrew.com

Double-Knit Racerback A-Line Dress; on sale for $69.50 at J.Crew Factory.

It this bright, frothy pink doesn’t scream spring, we don’t know what does. Plus, with that chic racerback, the spring sun will highlight your shoulders just so. Need to take this number from day to evening? It’s a snap. Exchange your flats for a pair of nude heels, pull your hair into a top knot, throw on a necklace to compliment the lower neckline, reapply your gloss and badda-bing!

Image via shop.nordstrom.com
Image via shop.nordstrom.com

Donna Morgan Floral Print Fit & Flare Dress; $138 at Nordstrom.

We definitely don’t want to incite the disdain of Miranda Priestly, but for spring, we simply cannot resist a bright floral print. The inverted front pleat of Donna Morgan’s fit & flare makes this dress oh so bikeable. Appropriate for the days when your office’s “innovative open floor plan” needs a jolt of color.

Image via modcloth.com
Image via modcloth.com

Antique Boutique Dress; $54.99 at Modcloth.

Lightweight, chambray, easy, and breezy. What’s not to love? The flattering v-neck and slimming princess seams make Modcloth’s Antique Boutique Dress an easy choice.

Now shut down that laptop and go ride into the new spring sun!

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Cycling in Couture and Ready for NYFW

In the middle of February, we barely allow ourselves to dream of spring sunshine, much less think ahead to crisp fall days. But the fashion world has already moved on. The Fall 2015 New York Fashion Week opens today and we’ll be following along to catch snaps of the fantastic street styles, wispy models, exotic eye makeup, celeb sightings, and of course, the gorgeous sartorial creations.

Image via mbfashionweek.com
Image via mbfashionweek.com

But while we await the haute couture designs that models will sashay in down the runway, we can turn our attention to the newly debuted Fall 2015 ready-to-wear styles. (They were introduced a few days before the official Week.)

The modern woman is always on the move. When she’s not biking through town, she’s jogging around a lake, or sprinting to catch the bus, running errands at the speed of light, answering emails in between meetings, etc. Fashion designers know this well. So we’ve combed through the freshly unveiled ready-to-wear designs (not exactly a chore), and pulled the most beautiful, bikeable styles for you to look forward to.

ZAC Zac Posen

Image via Style.com
Image via Style.com

Zac Posen knows the female form like no other, and his secondary line, ZAC Zac Posen doesn’t skimp on the details. We adore this wool dress for a multitude of reasons. First, it’s totally bikeable with a full, swishy skirt that’s short enough to keep out of your way, but long enough to keep you modest. The seams that nip in at the waistline are ever so flattering. The ombre effect in the wool is sleek and elegant (you know how we love wool!). And last but certainly not least, the pockets! Need we say more? Bravo, Mr. Posen! Browse the entire line here.

See by Chloé

Image via wwd.com
Image via wwd.com

Knee-high boots, plus thigh-high stockings, topped with lacy short-shorts? Be still, our hearts! See by Chloé’s fall 2015 ready-to-wear collection is full of gamine, 1970’s inspired styles that make college-chic cool again. Marcia Brady would definitely approve (just don’t forget your glasses). How many more months before we can don this outfit, roll up to the neighborhood coffeeshop, and order a latte to go?

Check out all of See by Chloé’s fall 2015 looks here.

Sachin & Babi 

sachin-babi-019-1366
Image via Style.com

Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia:  a husband and wife duo creating womenswear designs together since 2009. Their ready-to-wear line for fall 2015 is smart, sophisticated, athletic, and edgy. Perfect for commuting by bike. This look’s slim-fit pants will stay far away from your greasy bike chain, and the sparkly top has built in reflectors—the sewn-in sequins up your visibility. Watch out, automobiles! There’s a sparkling cyclist zooming down the road. Click through the entire collection here.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby 

Image via Style.com
Image via wwd.com

Never thought you could pull off florals, fringe, plaid, and stripes? Think again. Derek Lam 10 Crosby’s fall 2015 collection proves that mixing patterns pays off. As with the See by Chloé collection, these new designs hint that 1970s styles are back in the game. In this look, VP of Design Elizabeth Giardina paired smart masculine trousers with a detachable skirt. We can’t say for sure if this was the intended purpose, but we think that skirt would make an excellent cover-up for those days when you forget your fender. Did your ride down the road splashing up mud and yuck in a terrible stripe up your back side? Simply throw on the skirt with a flourish and you’re as fresh as can be.

Browse the entire Derek Lam 10 Crosby fall 2015 collection here.


And for a sneak peak of the designs unveiled over the week to come, Blue Carreon for Forbes has pulled together designers’ sketches. Here are a few of our favorites. All bikeable looks, of course. Check out the full list here.

Banana Republic

Image via forbes.com
Image via Forbes.com

“On the move”  Marissa Webb, Creative Director

Rebecca Minkoff

Image via Forbes.com
Image via Forbes.com

“The rock-inspired style of Patti Smith and the bohemian culture of New York in the early 1970s.”

Vivienne Tam

Image via Forbes.com
Image via Forbes.com

“Chinoiserie – where Western meets Eastern sensibilities and styles.”

psst: Riding a little wild these days? Don’t fear, that shoulder poof should cushion any fall!

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Tech Savvy Cycling: The Latest

For better or for worse, technology has permeated our lives. And over the past few weeks (namely due to this month’s Consumer Electronics Show), a new crop of wiz-bang tech products have popped up to enrich the world of biking. But we’re wondering: do we need them? What’s the role of electronics when we push our pedals down the road? We love biking for its simplicity, darn it.

But on the other hand, it would be game-changing to know the location of our bikes should they ever be stolen. And who’s to argue with tech advancements that increase the safety of both cyclists and drivers?

Below are five new tech gadgets designed to enhance the cycling experience. What do you think? Like ’em? Despise ’em? Already clicking “complete your purchase”?

BitLock

Powered by an app on your phone, BitLock is a triple threat. The app senses your proximity, identifies you as you come within 3 feet of your bike, then allows you to unlock your bike with the push of a button (goodbye, U-lock key!). Having a space cadet moment and can’t remember where you locked your bike? Using the GPS on your phone, BitLock records the location of your bike, too. You can even set up a ride share program with your family and friends, giving them access to unlock and lock your bike. Bonus: the app also tracks your miles, calories burned, and how much CO2 emission you saved.

Volvo smart helmet

Image via digitaltrends.com
Image via digitaltrends.com

The number of cyclists killed or injured in the U.S. each year is hard to swallow (close to 50,000), and Volvo has decided to do its part to combat this. The company has partnered with protective sports gear manufacturer POC and communications company Ericsson to design a helmet that links drivers and cyclists, alerting one another before potential collisions.

Using a phone app, cyclists’ position is constantly pinged to a Volvo cloud and can be shared through the cloud to drivers and vice versa. Imagine your helmet flashing red as a car zooms past your intersection. If you’re in a vehicle, think about a bicycle symbol flashing via your heads-up display if a cyclist is in your blind spot.

The helmet was presented at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month and is still a prototype at this point. Stay tuned.

smrtGRiPS

You’re biking along to meet your friend when, crap—you can’t remember if the coffee shop is on 2nd Street or 2nd Avenue. You pull off the road, grab your phone, and hunt around for Google Maps. After twisting and turning to avoid the glare of the sun, you realize it’s actually on Cedar, and you have to double back.

Introducing smrtGRiPS. Currently raising funds on Indiegogo, the high-tech handlebar grips tell you where you need to go through buzzing. Right hand buzzed? Turn right. Same deal with the left. The vibrations build in intensity as you near your turn. Keep those peepers on the road, smrtGRiPS offers eyes-free navigation.

The grips also act as a bike tracker. Should your bike be stolen, whenever another biker using smrtGRiPS comes near your bike, you’ll get a notification and be able to retrieve your bike. So the feature is only helpful if smrtGRiPS becomes ubiquitous. But if tracking down a stolen bike is your main concern, read on…

Connected Cycle pedal

Image via connectedcycle.com
Image via connectedcycle.com

Another product that debuted at Consumer Electronics Show: the Connected Cycle pedal, a stylish piece of mind. Synced with your phone, the French company’s high-tech pedal  instantly notifies you if your bike is moved, and allows it to be located at any time. Installation takes under 2 minutes, however the pedal can only be removed using the owner’s specially coded key. Get ready to stop crime in its tracks.

Connected Cycle’s pedal also automatically records the speed, route, incline, and calories burned during your bike ride. Because why not.

Carbon fiber 3D printing

Ah, carbon fiber. So strong, so light, so sleek. And now, ready to be 3D printed. Another marvel of the Consumer Electronics Show, the company MarkForged showed off their “significant advancement in materials science,” the Mark One. It’s the world’s first 3D printer producing fully functional, beautifully strong carbon fiber parts. No word yet on how the Mark One will transform the cycling industry (cheaper carbon components?), but revolution can’t be far off.

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