Can I be stylish on my bike?! サイクルで着こなせる?!

I was recently struck by some copy on the cover of abbautumn2010cover Japanese mook called Bicycle Beauty (バイシクル・ビューティー、Baishikuru Byuutii).  It included the word kikonasu (着こなす), which translates as something like “dress stylishly”. This made me consider how I dress when I go out for a ride…

When I go to my local bike shop to shop for cycling clothes, I’m not usually thinking about fashion.  Not, mind you, because I don’t want to.  It’s just that the places local to me have a somewhat intimidating, masculine feel to them, and the options have more to do with function than aesthetics.  “After all”, they seem to imply, “we’re in training for next year’s STP” – or at least we feel we should be – “and we’re too serious to care about what we look like”. It seems the focus is on looking hard-core, rather than “beautiful”…

Whatever clothing is available for women, it is pretty much just pinkified, smaller versions of the men’s clothes.  I don’t ever recall walking into the women’s cycling section and thinking to myself, “That’s so cute!” or “I love that cut!”.  Certainly, I’ve never found any cycling clothes that would make be feel “beautiful”…

Is it just me?  Or does anyone else feel this way?

It is true that there are some places online that offer more stylish things, but they tend to be for for climes that are much warmer and drier than here – things that I could really only consider wearing in August, and even then I’d be slightly cold.  I wish I could find things like this in shops near me…

Where is the really stylish windproof, rainproof jacket in a color other than neon yellow or orange? After all, reflective tape could be integrated creatively into something more stylish, and then we wouldn’t have to look like moving traffic cones… 。^‿^。   And could someone please make some jerseys that have some colors other than hot pink and fuschia? It’s not that I don’t like those colors, but enough already! A lovely pale petal pink would be nice, or something in a soft sage or violet would be even better, for the sake of variety  …And the patterns:  Cycle jerseys always seem to have swishes or bold stripes of color, like we’re all football team wannabes!  What about a soft paisley?  A damask?  Some little flowersBirds?

I’ve realized as I’ve begun to ride more often, that I feel better about gearing up to go out when I like what I’m wearing, and in all the gear I have, there are really only a couple of cute things.  I can only wonder, how much more often would I ride, if I was excited about my gear?!

Some day when I retire I’m going to learn how to sew, and then I’ll be able to create some things I actually want to wear and feel beautiful in… Until then, I’m still searching for that great shop that has to be out there…

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