The Summer Survival Guide for Bikin’ Fashionistas

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When it comes to cycling, utilitarianism is not a new wave fashion movement, it’s a lifestyle. Consolidating day to day needs and wants to comfortably transport them from destination to destination on a small metal frame might seem intimidating at first. But when you realize how many pointless objects we carry with us throughout our days, compacting your daily items down to the necessities can truly be a breath of fresh air. I started my journey biking around Austin a little over a year ago. As a devout fashionista, I must admit, I was extremely worried about not having my second purse (aka my car) with me at all times. This left me in a somewhat compromising position. What would I do if I couldn’t have two outfit changes with me at all times? How on earth does one carry all that’s necessary for a full day on just a bicycle? After a failed attempt to go carless last summer, I’ve devised a set of lifestyle tips that will have your local bike lane lookin’ like this season’s runway.

 
 

For starters, you must always adorn yourself in light, airy fabrics. This season’s trends are perfect for bikin’ babes — whether it be light, playful colors or transparent fabrics, you can’t go wrong on a scorching summer’s day. Literally anything sleeveless is going to be your best friend and strappy sundresses are my go-to in this balmy heat. Don’t be apprehensive to bike in a dress. I recommend something that hangs above the knee so you don’t find fabric stuck in your back tire at the next red light. If you’re worried about flashin’ a crowd, the hunt for a pair of colorful biker shorts is worth the payoff. (Or create your own; I practically live in these hot pink tights I cut into shorts!) Come July, I’ll be copping bathing suits as tops most days. With an array of trendy styles that double as cute crop tops or bodysuits, they pair well with any light skirt or short combo. These styles also don’t make me feel like I’m sporting a bra as a top to work, which I’m sure my boss appreciates.

Weightless bags are essential, but they don’t have to be the snore of your look. Backpacks tend to pack on the heat and usually ruin the top half of my outfit since most aren’t water resistant and grossly hold in my sweat from a ride. (Biking can’t be luxurious all the time, but neither are the sweltering 40 minutes I’d spend in my car in standstill traffic after work.) For those who tend to pack a little lighter, I recommend Po Campo's Handlebar Bag. It sits conveniently in the front of your bike without adding too much weight, and leaves your back free to breathe. Designed to convert into a crossbody when it’s not resting on your handlebars, you can easily take this winsome little essential with you anywhere, on or off your bike. The array of different patterns to choose from makes it easier to fit this style into your daily outfits — I chose the lively mosaic print, which has enough color to suit any outfit.

If you need a little more space, strap on the Market Belt Bag as well! This one is a personal favorite, and I have yet to take it off my person since it arrived. This one sits as a perfect fanny or over-the-chest bag, depending on how you like to style it. Equipped with two spacious pockets, this bag keeps all my essentials (a small selection of hair clips; a wand of lip color; and an assortment of hand tools in case my gal needs a little tuneup during a ride) handily located on my hip. I went with this subtle black herringbone which has paired well with every one of my outfits. Each bag is sustainably made with vegan fabrics and is water resistant. Through their partnership with World Bicycle Relief, a portion of Po Campo’s sales go to help deliver bicycles to schoolgirls in rural Africa — obviously, I’m here for any brand that wants to spread the joy of cycling around the world.

This year’s heavy hair accessories game is honestly a gift from the trend gods. With scrunchies, hair clips, colorful headbands, and funky spiral hair ties on the menu, there’s nothing stopping you from beating helmet hair! Each of these can tie into your outfit on and off your bike. Simply clip your clippies to your clothes for a pop or color when they’re not in use, or throw your scrunchie on your wrist as a makeshift bracelet.

The accessory hype is here to stay, and not just when it comes to hair. For cyclists, we have a bit more than just our bodies to dress. Bicycle frames offer a second blank canvas to fill with bright bike lights, fun stickers, and eclectic reflectors. Po Campo has designed a set of creatively shaped reflectors that clip anywhere — I covered up pesky scratches on my bike with some scrap fabric and one of their star reflectors. There’s no such thing as too noticeable when it comes to being both cute and seen when biking at night.

Then comes my choice trim triple threat: shoes, socks, and sunnies. I’m not sure if my love for a good shoe came from my obsession with Carrie Bradshaw or my stylish mother, but either way, shoes are the high note of my outfit. When it comes to takin’ a spin, I recommend finding a closed-toe shoe to protect your goods. But I know when it comes to what the outfit wants, the outfit needs, so if you do end up going with an open style be sure to pair those bad boys with socks. You can never have too much texture or protection once you’re cruisin’ on the open road! As for sunnies, I have a pile that’s taken residence on my nightstand (and really needs its own drawer at this point) for good reason –– I tend to ride when the sun sits highest in the sky, which means I’d be lost without a good pair to protect my peepers. Not to mention sunglasses add an easy splash of character to your look.

Somewhere between the dancing, animated helmets of Nickelodeon's Rocket Power and Frank Ocean’s iconic "Biking" anthem, helmets ended up with a pedestrian rep. Whether it be the fear of helmet hair or their bulky look, helmets are the last thing to make fashion’s ‘what to wear’ lists — however, my helmet is actually my most frequently complimented accessory. I went with a rainbow polka dot pattern that magically matches any outfit I sport on the streets, but go with something that complements your own style. I promise you won’t regret incorporating safety into your look.

From bike shares to cycling clubs, more commuters are ditching four wheels for two. When you’re not out lobbying for more bike lanes around town (wink, wink), show Mother Earth some love and reduce carbon emissions in your city by bikin’ your daily commute. With the right gear, you can be both safe and fashionable this summer. Slap on some sunscreen, and I’ll see ya out there!


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🚴‍♀️ Styled by and featuring Meggie Copeland. Photography and makeup by Magdalena Antuña. 🚴‍♀️