Friday, October 26, 2012

Gearing Up for Cold-Weather Cycling


Actually, a prelude first.  I started writing this post over a month ago when we were experiencing a cool snap.  I felt totally inspired to start thinking about the joys of cold weather, but then the heat returned and it felt weird to even think about cooler weather.  (I think cool weather is easily spooked away from Texas—it’s very skittish that way.)  But today, we have been blessed with another cold snap, and this one is predicted to last through the weekend.  I’m seizing the day and finishing this post! 

* * *

I’ve been cleaning out my wardrobe lately, saying good-bye to clothing that I never wear, that doesn’t flatter me, that doesn’t fit with the grown-up style I’m trying to cultivate.  Having been in school for most of my life, including most of my adult life, it’s exciting and a little scary to bid farewell to my student wardrobe.  As a student, I had little time or money to spend obsessing over my clothing.  Now, as a postdoc, I don’t have much time, but I do have a little more money.  And I have a different set of circumstances now: I live in a hot place, I bike to get around town, and I’m trying to cultivate a look that says, “I’m not very old, but I am a professional.  I am not a student!”

One trend that I’ve been resisting is the skinny jean.  The two reasons behind my resistance: 1) I haven’t felt the need to buy any jeans, period and 2) skinny jeans/pants tend to bunch around the knees, which drives me slightly bonkers.  And yet, skinnies can create such a nice silhouette that my resistance has been faltering…

Another point in favor of skinnies: tight pants are fantastic for biking.  They don’t get caught in your bike chain, and I always feel sleek and fast when I bike in dressy tights or running tights.  From the Feels Like Flying archives, here are two photos of decent winter biking outfits:

Dressed for Winter Cycling

Terrible Awesome Saturday Outfit

(Wow, my hair is so long in that first photo!  Also, if you are wondering why I’m not wearing a hat up there, January in Texas can easily be 40+ degrees F.  A person can overheat quite easily, especially in the evenings when the heat of the day is still in the air.)

What I’ve realized from thinking about these two cycling outfits is that I’d love the best of both worlds: tight pants that are dressy enough for work or hanging out.  When you wear dressy tights, you have to worry about your skirt riding up (which it inevitably does—see above).  When you wear running tights, you’re wearing obvious work-out gear.  What I want is surreptitious work-out gear, stylish stuff that I can easily wear for riding.

These leggings, cleverly disguised as real pants, are my top choices for a wardrobe update.  Both pairs are from  The first is a denim legging (jeggings!) and the second is a corduroy legging.


{Image source}


{Image source}

I always feel a bit uncomfortable about the blatant materialism in style posts.  I’m trying to tell myself that materialism itself is not the evil that my overly critical brain tells me it is.  After all, we have to wear something, and if I am diligent about using what I buy and being fiscally responsible, isn’t that something to be celebrated?  Does anyone else struggle with their love for pretty things because they feel shallow for caring?  I feel like I can’t win: I’ll be judged for my appearance, and I’ll be judged for caring about my appearance.  And you know who the first judge is?  ME!

Anyway, I’m excited about getting some tight pants and/or leggings for biking around town and for wearing with boots.  In addition to these cute pants from, I also saw some jeggings at Charming Charlie’s that I might pick up this weekend.  They are about half the price of the hue pieces here, and they’re made of a soft fabric, not denim, but the color is a denim blue.  And they have back pockets!  I love pockets.

I’m curious: do you buy and/or wear clothing with biking in mind?  How do you feel about skinny pants?

(PS  Happy Friday!)

No comments:

Post a Comment