4 Skirts Fit for Bicycling

One of the questions I get asked often is, "How do you ride in a skirt?". I don't really know how to explain it...I just do it. In fact, I prefer a skirt or a dress over pants. To me, they are more comfortable and allow a greater freedom of movement than slacks. You could say that I almost always...wear no pants ;-)

While most of the dresses and skirts in my closet work for bicycling, there are some that are better designed or specifically designed for riding a bike yet are still office appropriate. And the skirts don't have to be full and flared either. There are some pencil or A-line pieces out there that could be classic staples in your wardrobe. Here are my four picks of skirts fit for bicycling.

1. eShakti Jacquard Knit Pencil Skirt

The back vent zippered closure is quite clever. Unzip to ride and then zip up at your destination. Plus side seam pockets to store your stuff. eShakti will remove the pockets and adjust the garment to your height at no additional cost. Yet you can customize the length to your taste for a small price.

 

2. eShakti's Graphic Print Crepe Skort

Looks like a skirt from the front but it is a skort. The functional side and back pockets can be removed at no additional cost. Wear this skort with a mustard or pink top or tights to make the hounds tooth pattern pop!

 

3. Betabrand's Bike to Work Skirt

In gray or black, this skirt has a classic pencil shape. It's fitted when you zip close the panels. Unzip them to reveal hidden godets that allow for a wider range of motion when pedaling. Stored inside one of the functional back pockets is a reflective flag you can deploy when riding at night. I have one of each color in my wardrobe!

4. Betabrand's Work-It Skort

Available in black, gray pin-stripe or navy pin-stripe, this A-line skirt has a short built-in. Plenty of pockets (hidden back pockets and in the short leg) to store your stuff!

Should you order from eShatki or Betabrand, use the links below to score yourself a discount.

$40 off at eShakti

Use the link above to receive $40 off your first purchase of $70 or more ($30+ after referral discount) at eShakti and I will also get $40 off my next purchase.

$15 off at Betabrand

Use the link above when ordering from Betabrand. You save $15 and I get $15, that's a win-win!

You don't have to bike in performance clothing or pants, especially if you are just riding around town or to the office. I usually ride in a skirt or dress and I prefer to for comfort and freedom of movement. And with clothing options like the ones I pointed out above, it makes it that much easier to bike in a skirt that is also office appropriate.

Also see related post for tips: How to Cycle in a Skirt Happy riding!!

You can ride a bicycle in a pencil skirt to work!

You can ride a bicycle in a pencil skirt to work!

How to Cycle in a Skirt

My husband, who was a young boy at the time, was on a road trip with his parents when nature called him. Since they were on a long stretch of highway far from the next rest stop, his parents pulled the car over to the side of the road so he could relieve himself. My husband, concerned about his dignity, pointed out to his Dad that other people who drove by would be able to see his private parts!

At this point his Dad, who always has the funniest yet truthful things to say, responded...

If they've never seen it before then they don't know what it is. And if they have seen it before then it's nothing new.

And that was settled.

Whenever I pedal down the street wearing a skirt or dress, this story flashes through my mind. I've mentioned before that I don't like to change in and out of my clothes (and carry them) to ride my bicycle and then have to change again when I get to my destination. So I wear the same thing for my bike commute as I do walking around the office. I also prefer skirts and dresses primarily for the freedom of movement and I wear them often. Even during a 53-mile round trip bikepacking adventure this past weekend! Check out Riding in Reno's Deer Creek Bikepacking Report blog post.

The skirt or dress material and length will determine how well it rides or not. Take it for a test ride!

The skirt or dress material and length will determine how well it rides or not. Take it for a test ride!

There are some things you can do when cycling in a skirt, if you have the same concerns about exposing more than you care to show to the public.

  • Wear tights. I love fashion tights because they also keep me warm during cooler months.
  • Wear shorts underneath. There are bike shorts and bike bloomers in the market to choose from that are designed to be less bulky when worn as undergarments.
  • Choose your skirt or dress carefully for the fabric and the length. But it can be hard to tell what it will do on a bicycle so try it on a short ride first.
  • There are clips and garters available in the market or simply use an office clip and coin to attach it to the liner of your skirt or dress. If you're interested in some suggestions, just let me know!
  • You can also try this little trick with a rubber band and coin. I've tried it and it works in a pinch!

We love bikes. We love skirts. But sometimes these two don't mix well. Which is why we came up with Penny in Yo' Pants. An easy solution to making your skirt bikeable.

  • There are also several skirts designed for cycling. I've worn one that is a pencil skirt that converts with a simple zipper and hidden placket to a skirt that I can easily pedal in. Imagine that! A pencil skirt perfect for the office that you can also ride a bicycle in!
  • When coming to a stop, I usually do not dismount from the saddle but getting off the saddle and standing over your bike could help the skirt to slide back down your legs and keep from riding up your thighs.
Use an office clip and coin to attach to the liner of your skirt to keep the fabric from flying away. Not only does it work while riding a bike, it also keeps your skirt down when walking around on a breezy day!

Use an office clip and coin to attach to the liner of your skirt to keep the fabric from flying away. Not only does it work while riding a bike, it also keeps your skirt down when walking around on a breezy day!

Lastly, it's what you make of it. I've been there. I thought my dress would be fine. Several minutes of pedaling and it rides up in the front or rides up in the back or flies up to my hips or flashes my Hello Kitty panties to innocent people passing by. When wearing a shorter skirt, I try to pedal with my knees together and make sure to wear pretty underwear with flowers and lace just in case! Also, having a bag or purse on the front rack can block the view of people nearby. Besides, I pedal so fast and roll by so quickly that they can hardly catch a glimpse anyway. Remember, there are far worse things than seeing undergarments that we all wear after all and if they've seen it before, then it's nothing new!

No Shower? No Problem! Tips for How NOT to Sweat While Biking to Work

One of the questions I am asked frequently about commuting by bicycle is if I sweat and change clothes once I get to work. It's a great question and I can understand the concern--especially for women. And my answer is "not really, the extent of my perspiration is usually not any more than if I went on a brisk walk in the middle of the day" and "no, I wear the same clothes to ride my bicycle as I walk around in the office with". They are surprised to hear that, especially after knowing that I ride 10-miles one way.

Audrey Hepburn staying sweat-free on her bicycle.

Audrey Hepburn staying sweat-free on her bicycle.

I bike in regular clothing because I like not having to change once I get to the office and having to change back for the trip home. The funny thing is...my colleagues would have thought I drove my car in if I weren't pushing my bike into the office.

Here are some tips to avoid feeling feel sticky and uncomfortable so you don't have to worry about smelling like the French skunk, Pepé Le Pew:

1. Dress Lightly or Dress in Layers

Dressing too warmly is one of the biggest contributing factors to sweating. Even during the winter I try not to wear heavier clothing than I need to. The idea is to dress in layers (for example, a tank top or camisole underneath a long-sleeve t-shirt with or without a button up shirt and a cardigan or light jacket). It is a little chilly when I head out the door but after a few minutes of pedaling, I generate enough body heat to stay warm. I peel off my layers of clothing before I feel my body temperature rising above being uncomfortable and stow them in bag that hang off the rear rack of my bike until I get to the office.

2. Pedal at a Moderate Pace

When you are riding to work in the morning, pedal at an easy pace and save the workout ride for the way home. I often have to remind myself to slow down when I'm having too much fun going fast in order to avoid breaking a sweat. Road cycling has taught me to ride a smaller gear and pedal faster (there are times when you need to do this but it tends to bring my heart rate up). Now when the road is flat, I shift into a bigger gear and pedal slower yet I can still maintain the same speed. It helps to keep my heart rate down. Stop lights are a great opportunity to rest and lower the heart rate to keep perspiration at bay. But you're still getting more cardio and physical activity than driving!!

3. Carry Your Things in Pannier Bags or Baskets

Not only will you feel the weight on your back and shoulders if you carry your things in a backpack but doing so could make your back sweat. It is okay if you're going to change clothes once you get to work but the goal is NOT to sweat so that you do not need to change clothes when you get to your destination.

4. Get a Boost with Electric Assist

If you have a lot of hills along your route, it will be hard not to get sweaty no matter how slow you go. A bicycle with a battery powered electric-motor can help ease the effort to get up those hills to keep sweating to a minimum. Less physical exertion can result in less sweat. If you do not have an electric bike, your best bet is to use a small gear and spin to ease the effort of going uphill--and take your time!! Relax, sit back and spin up the hill. It is not a race.

5. Choose Performance Fabrics

Some clothing pieces have better moisture-wicking fabric to draw the sweat and moisture away from your body than others. This helps you to stay drier and smell less. Look for performance innerwear such as bras, camis, tank tops, tees and long sleeve t-shirts to wear underneath your regular clothing.

6. Consider Multi-modal Transportation

If you have a long ways to go you could bike and bus or the other way around to cut the distance you have to travel. And if you are really concerned about arriving at work in a hot mess, you could bring your bike with you by bus or carpool and ride home in the evening.

7. Have a Backup Plan

Carry (or keep at the office) wet wipes and/or a small towel to dampen and wipe off should you get sweatier than planned. Sometimes during the height of summer I will carry my blouse or button up shirt in my pannier bag and an extra base layer (camisole or tank top). Then after I arrive at the office, I will change out of the sweaty inner layer and slip on a fresh one underneath my blouse or button up top. I also keep a set of clothing in my desk drawer (camisole, button-up shirt, pencil skirt, and socks) but I have never needed them.

What you wear, how hard you ride and how you carry your things will make a difference in how much you sweat. After a few rides you will get better and better at knowing what works for you and what doesn't. I like to pedal at an easy pace to enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors. I wear my office attire when I commute by bicycle and I let my bike do the work in carrying my things so that sweating is one of the last things on my mind.

30 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 5 Minutes

Brrr...it is DEFINITELY fall season out there! And for me, it means all of my fun and colorful scarves come out.

I love neckwear and the many different ways I can style them. Below, you'll find 25 options to tie, knot and wrap them in a cool 4 1/2 minute video (no pun intended). And 5 more wears to wear them in a slideshow.

Certain ties and knots stay put better than others to keep them from unraveling while pedaling on the bike (:eek:). You can also tuck the ends underneath your blazer and keep your neck warm during the ride.

Part of enjoying the cooler weather is making it fun and staying comfortably warm while commuting. If you get too hot, just undo your scarf and slip it in your bike basket or pannier!