How to look stylish when cycling to work

Wear what you want and look great when you cycle.
Today is Cycle to Work Day, some people will don the Lycra when cycling to work but the thought of having to do so can be off-putting for many. Finding clothing that is suitable for riding in but is also respectable to wear around the office isn't as hard a task as it used to be.

Although there are many benefits to modern cycling jerseys and shorts, it's certainly not compulsory to wear 'cycle clothing' in order to ride. There are plenty of occasions when it's far more practical, and easier, to wear everyday clothes. If you're looking for some handy tips on how to look good while cycling to work, here are a few of our do's and don'ts as well as some great places to buy suitable work attire that you can wear while cycling. 

Avoiding a fashion faux pas 

If you wish to wear everyday clothing to cycle in, remember a few simple rules to keep yourself comfortable, stylish and safe:

  • Avoid long, flowing garments that could get caught up when riding.​
  • Wear lightweight clothing, especially in warmer weather. Don't underestimate how much you may sweat especially if you are going to be wearing the same clothing in the office all day.
  • Any tight clothing without stretch should be avoided.
  • Merino makes a great base layer as it wicks away sweat, is good in both hot and cold temperatures, as well as having natural properties that help control odour.
  • Cycle clips will keep your trousers from flapping (or tuck into your socks). Just remember to remove/untuck when you arrive at work.
  • Be wary of light coloured clothing in wet conditions - it'll show up all the splashes.

Find your style

There are nearly as many styles of cycle clothing as there are commuting cyclists, whether your focus is on fashion or functionality. Here are a few of our favourites that will ensure you look smart - or at least mean you turn up to work in a respectable state of dress!

  • VeloVixen have a huge range of clothing, including padded underwear specifically for commuters. 
  • The Endura Urban range has superb value clothing designed for commuters. Recently they've teamed up with Brompton to produce a range that is practical to ride in and just as easy to wear off the bike.
  • "The dashing man is a modern urban knight and the bicycle his steed". Not our words, but those of Dashing Tweeds who make a range of suits, jackets, hats, capes and more for both sexes. 
  • Velocity started with a pair of women's specific urban cycling trousers - now they have a range of stylish yet casual cycling clothing for men and women. 
  • Road Rags do a range of smart jackets and other clothing suitable for on and off the bike, for women and men. 
  • Try comfortable, good-looking and high performance clothing for active people from Findra, with a range of merino clothing that's great for commuters.
  • Rapha do a range of leisure clothing for men and women. 
  • Stylish and functional: Vulpine. Men's and women's range, including jeans.
  • Osloh make a range of jeans for wear on and off the bike.
  • Oxford button down cotton shirt, with rear pocket for cycling? Meccanica have a range of smart men's clothing.

Of course, don't forget we have a range of both lycra and merino cycle clothing in the Cycling UK shop - what could be more stylish? 

How not to have helmet hair

If you choose to wear a helmet you could look for brands such as Yakkay that have options designed to look stylish. Other manufacturers claim to reduce 'helmet hair' by increasing ventilation and many now have holes for ponytails.

If you still suffer from the affliction we've some tips: 

  • Put long hair into a ponytail or plaits - it's easier to comb after riding.
  • Use hair spray or hair gel on arrival to restore your style.
  • Spray the inside of the helmet with hairspray before putting it on.
  • Wear a cap or buff under the helmet to reduce the effect of sweat.
  • If you ride everyday, why not get a shorter haircut that is easy to style with minimum fuss?
  • Remember, the improvement in your complexion and waistline will far outweigh your slightly less than perfect hair!

If you want to really look stylish, why not ask your boss if your workplace can become a Cycle Friendly Employer.