Biking to work is the norm for millions of people all over the world. Urban biking is growing in popularity every year, and now fashion is catching up to the demographic of people who want to be able to bike to work in style (and safety).
When I lived in Amsterdam for a semester, I had no choice but to bike to class every day, so I became a quick learner of the written and unwritten rules of biking in a city. I found out it was a great way to learn the ins and outs of the town, and a great way to travel when the trams and buses were out of commission for the night. I even managed to carry my friend on the back rack for a few brief moments (the Dutch make it look so easy).
But New York City is not Amsterdam. There, cyclists have the right of of way, before cars and even pedestrians. I've been biking to work in Queens for the past few months, and now that I've become more comfortable, I've had the bright idea: "Maybe I shouldn't be wearing all black at night when I bike to the bar..."
The good news is, there are more options than ever for cool clothes and accessories that double as reflective and practical bike wear; there are even entire lines of clothes designed to seamlessly transition from commuting on bike to the office.
Here are some of our favorites:
RA Reflective – We are so happy this brand had a successful Kickstarter! Microscopic reflective silica beads make all the garments from RA Reflective hyper-visible, not to mention that all the clothes (for men and women) are breathable, and water and wind resistant. Plus, look how futuristic they are! (Photo: Julia Wang and Mary W. King for RA Reflective)
Betabrand – This brand has all kinds of bike-to-office styles for men and women, but my favorite might just be the plaid shirt with 3M reflective yarn sewn into the fabric, "hidden by day, blinding by night." Betabrand also makes "FlipSlips," foldable neoprene shoes for women to bike in that are cute, reflective, and perfect for commuting if you want to change into your heels at work (or the bar). (Photo: Jason Van Horn for Betabrand)
Vespertine – Designed by Sarah Canner and made in NYC, all the pieces in this collection described as "Haute Réflecture" are both super reflective (visible from 2,000 feet away!) and actually really stylish. From functional vests to belts, to dresses and trench coats, even down to their earrings and bracelets, everything is made from reflective 3M Scotchlite material. (Photo: Vespertine from MarketsofNewYork.com)
Bike Pretty – This blog is run by biking fashionistas Kelly and Melissa, who provide all kinds of tips on functional outfits for women who bike. They also sell Closca helmets, stylish and sleek, fabric-covered helmets designed in Spain that collapse to fit in your bag. They're not reflective, but definitely stylish and safe. (Photo: BikePretty)
Let us know what you're wearing on your ride and which new brands BUST bikers should check out!
Other images via blog.artscyclery.com, Mariana Garces.