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Monday, April 28, 2014

Men's Cycle Fashion could use a little more High Fashion

As I have made clear in previous posts I am not a big fan of some of the cycling gloves or cycling helmets that are sold in stores. So I apologize if I rant about cycling fashion for a bit.

They're not very manly and I wouldn't get caught dead wearing some of the outrageous form fitting clothing that are often sold in cycling stores.

Just because Lance Armstrong wears it doesn't mean you should. There are lots of things Lance Armstrong does that you should NOT do.

Are you a professional cyclist who races for a living?


Then stopping wearing those ridiculous clothes.

Sorry if I go all fashion police, but I firmly believe that men can dress much more sensibly when on a bicycle.

Let us say for example that you are meeting someone for a date. Possibly even at a fancy restaurant. And if you are a true Toronto cyclist then you will probably bicycle there because you don't own a car.

Now when you show up at Ritz Hypothetical your date is not going to be very impressed if you show up all sweaty and wearing tight fitting latex.

But she might respond quite well to your handsome appearance if you showed up looking like one of these guys from Kish Wear - Men's High Fashion:

It is basically following the same golden fashion formula all cyclists do...

The Cyclist Golden Fashion Formula - Wear form fitting clothing that is fairly tight to the body. Nothing baggy that might get caught in spokes or gears.

That means you can wear dress shoes and socks.

It also means you can wear tight fitting pants, like the pants below also from Kish Wear. Or the sweater, again, same place. This means you don't have to look like a sweaty cyclist and can show up looking posh and suave for your date. First impressions matter.

Next let us pretend for a moment that you are going to a job interview instead of a date. Assuming this is an office job you probably don't want to show up for the job interview looking like a sweaty cyclist who doesn't know how to dress properly.

But you would probably score points if you showed up dressed like this:

"Oh but I am an individual and a non-conformist. Why should I have to wear an uniform to get a job?"

Seriously. What world are you living in?

If I was the HR rep you are meeting and you show up in either:

A. Cycling gear covered in sweat.

B. Dirty jeans and a ripped t-shirt.

Then I guarantee that unless your job is to be a cyclist fashion model or a construction worker, then you are not getting the job.

So if you're hoping to get a job in an office then you better get with the program and wear the uniform. And to be fair, all clothing is uniforms. It is just different kinds of uniforms.

If I taking my girlfriend to the ballet - eg. The Ballet Creole, which I love - then I will be dressing accordingly. Washed, freshly shaved and wearing nice shoes too.

Same goes if I were to go to a classical music concert. Or any event where it is expected that people dress accordingly.

And truth be told, I admit, I probably would not take my bicycle there because I live in uptown Toronto now and it is rather a trek to either of those locations via bicycle. So we would probably take the TTC or drive instead. (Sue me.)

If it something super important, like a wedding or a funeral, I might even wash the car first.

What I am definitely not going to do is show up at a funeral wearing cycling clothes, sweaty, and then bicycle from the funeral home to the cemetery.

Not such a big deal to go to the cemetery when you are just cycling through and enjoying the purty trees et al. But not such a good idea when you are actually there for a funeral.

I think part of the problem with some cyclists - the ones who wear cycling clothes a LOT, like on their way to work, on their days off, on dates, etc - is that they really have no life outside of cycling, that they are essentially cycling snobs, and that they are also clueless of how ridiculous they look.

And I am not just talking about the ridiculous helmets cyclists sometimes wear.

Nor am I talking about the idiots who buy professional cycling team jersey kits. You know, the ones with matching socks, shorts and jerseys that look completely idiotic when you wear them. Especially if you have belly flab sticking out the bottom of your too tight shirt. Buy clothing that fits and actually looks good. Looking ridiculous only makes you look like a moron.

Nor I am talking about the guys who wear baggy pants and then get "rookie" grease stain marks on their pants from where the chain and gears are rubbing against your calves. That is clearly a case wherein people need to learn how to wipe down their bike regularly and learn how to dress themselves properly for cycling.

Now I am talking about the idiots who wear hydration packs on their backs because they are too lazy to get a water bottle installed and then use it accordingly. Oh look. Its a camel back. Are you riding a mountain bike in rough terrain far away from the convenience of Starbucks? No? Then taking that stupid thing off your back.

What I am talking about is all these things and much more. The people out there who apparently have no fashion sense, wear ridiculous things that they don't actually need, and then apparently think that everyone else is an idiot for not wearing a special helmet, jerseys, hydration packs and everything else that you THINK you actually need.

The truth is you don't need any of it.

What you do need is your bicycle, some shoes and socks that fit, some shorts that fit, possibly some cycling gloves, and that is it. (And for female modesty, maybe a sports bra and a shirt.)

And if you are going somewhere special then you should dress appropriately for your DESTINATION.

Dress for your destination and dress stylishly when appropriate. Dressing like a loser / cyclist snob isn't going to score points with anyone else.

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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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