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Work appropriate bicycle commuter fashion?
July 10, 2012 12:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find work appropriate clothing that is made with bicycle commuting in mind. I'm particularly interested in button up shirts that are well tailored. I'm lucky enough to work in a creative industry but I still like to look nice-ish in my own quirky way. I'm done wearing t-shirts to work but I still ride my bicycle in almost every day. I've found a couple good pairs of paints via Levis and Mission Workshop here in San Francisco, but finding shirts with the commuter in mind seems almost impossible! Help me look snazzy while staying comfortable and non stinky!
posted by matt_od to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Try Outlier, specifically this dress shirt. My husband and a couple of his friends all commute by bicycle and look awesome in their stuff. They have sales every so often if you get on their mailing list.
posted by bedhead at 12:19 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, if money is no object, Rapha is the place to go for such things.

That said, can't you wear your t-shirt on your bike and bring or keep button up shirts in the office?
posted by misskaz at 12:19 PM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do the Don Draper thing and keep clean shirts at your desk. Wear a tee on the bike, change into your clean shirt when you get there.
posted by inturnaround at 12:19 PM on July 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I pack my button up shirt and put it on in the bathroom when I arrive. If SF mornings are too chilly for just a t-shirt then wear a hoodie or something and stow it while you're at work.
posted by theodolite at 12:23 PM on July 10, 2012


Betabrand thought of just such a product! Pros: they look awesome. Cons: they also look like they're intended solely for rail-thin guys with lots of disposable income.
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:24 PM on July 10, 2012


I also pack a clean shirt. When you're biking to work in the summer in New Orleans, you're in no kind of presentable condition when you get there. Regardless of what look I'm going for that day, a clean shirt is a must.
posted by Scientist at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2012


Nau used to be all about this (performance wear styled like awesome modern clothes) and they still have some things in that vein. I still wear a lot of their older pieces for bike commuting (I am a woman), but lately the pieces just aren't as versatile or good for active use.

I haven't bought anything lately because of the styling. I put this in small because for the most part, the quality hasn't declined--with the exception that the STRIPED merino fabric is not as soft and does not wear as well as the SOLID merino--but the styling and the fit is not as good as it used to be.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:02 PM on July 10, 2012


Outlier, Chrome has a few items, Mission Workshop as you already mentioned, SWRVE, Narifuri, Nau.
posted by carmel at 1:11 PM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the recommended brands! I had heard of Outlier before, they have nice stuff and Rapha looks great. This stuff is so expensive, huh?! Man, you'd think you could get something closer to $60 than $100, but I guess not! Keep the recommends coming if you have more! Thanks!

Also, telling me to pack a normal button up shirt doesn't answer my question, thank you. I'm not dealing with New Orleans style heat, nor do I have my own office where I can stash stuff.
posted by matt_od at 1:21 PM on July 10, 2012


I carry along a clean undershirt (T-, not wife-beater - none of the latter in my wardrobe). On the ride in I wear a T-shirt under my button-down, and when I arrive, I take off both shirts, swab my pits with the used undershirt, replace with the fresh one, then replace the button down. Strap the used T to my rack, under the helmet, and go.
posted by Rash at 1:22 PM on July 10, 2012


also, Nonetheless and Ibex (wool is your go-to garment for non-stinkiness in cooler weather).

I have the Nau Riding Jacket (1.0) and it's pretty awesome as a cycling garment that can do dual-duty in the office (it's also my default travel/unstable weather blazer). Holds up well in light rain, but sleeves roll up if I need additional ventilation.

One reason why some of the bike commuter stuff is spendy is that the fabrics tend to be higher quality to deal with weather and/or bike wear/tear. Also, tailoring a shirt to work on a bike is a little different than one that is intended for purely pedestrian use. You'll want longer sleeves and a broader shoulder so that it doesn't bind as much when one is riding in drops. So, I'd also imagine that the we're taking about smaller/odder lots for more niche customers. Therefore garments have to be sold at a higher margin to make up for lower volume (and/or company acknowledges that consumers in this market are more particular and affluent and therefore don't mind selling something to them at a premium)
posted by bl1nk at 2:00 PM on July 10, 2012


[Some comments deleted; I know folks are trying to be helpful, but the OP has confirmed that he's interested in garments to wear, not ways to carry/store different clothes to change into, so let's stick to recommendations for clothing items to wear and leave off the alternate suggestions. Thanks.]
posted by taz at 12:50 AM on July 11, 2012


I saw a display for exactly this (jackets and pants for commuters on bike) in lululemon last weekend. I'm not seeing it on the website, but don't have time to search in-depth right now. I think there were some pants that looked like jeans and a matching shirt.
posted by halseyaa at 11:31 AM on July 11, 2012


A shirt designed for horse shows might work. The sleeves are longer and allow much more freedom of movement, and they are available in coolmax and similar fabrics. The women's shirts have different collars but men's shirts have standard dress collars.
posted by sepviva at 8:22 PM on July 11, 2012


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