February 6, 2011

Street Style Lesson: Looking Good on a Bike


San Francisco packs so much awesomeness within a small piece of land. Public transportation is used regularly by everyone here, and getting around is pretty quick and easy. It makes sense that the famous bike culture of SF was spawned first out of practicality. I mean, Lord knows even I have tried to bike around the city. I still have a bike and was commuting regularly on it, but only to and from my boyfriend's house. We now live together so my bike has been on the rack in my garage for a while. Besides, I am too lazy to bike anywhere anyway I ran out of commuting-via-bike outfits which made it really hard to stay interested.

I like heels, boots, and leather shoes, and those just don't fly when you're biking in a city full of hills. My outerwear is limited to comfortable styles sans belts, notions, etc. that won't get caught in the chain. "But Jerome, whattabout all those fashun people on The Sartorialist who have bikes and still look good?" you ask. When I was living in Milano I bought a bike and maintained my normal appearance (which was pretty uptight at the time). It made me realize that riding in the city is vastly different from riding in most of the European countries I have been to. In Milan, you can wear anything you want while riding a bike because you mostly cruise around. I don't know what my top speed was, but the most stress I ever had on my bike was keeping my cute basket in place when going over bumpy cobblestone. In SF, you have to pedal hard, duck, and swerve on the daily to make it up hills and dodge vehicles. I couldn't make riding work for me here in the city because I would have to limit my wardrobe choices.

And then I saw this guy a couple mornings ago and wanted to kill myself. He looked FLAWLESS on his bike in a full suit and leather shoes. Spotting him was one of those moments you have to pretend to be looking for signal while secretly taking photos of the person in front of you. I guess it is possible to look that good on a bicycle without sacrificing style. But don't think I will be biking just yet because WHERE THE EFF WOULD I PUT MY HANDBAG??

- jerome

10 comments:

  1. I think that he's wearing one of the Dries Van Noten chocolate brown suits we put on Sale recently at my work - don't hold me to that tho! Did he have a skinny lapel?

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  2. I don't recall. But the fact that it was a DESIGNER suit makes me feel even worse about my "but I can't ride my bike wearing this, it's expensive!" excuse.

    - jerome

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  3. bicycling Destroys one's clothes, period!! I don't screw around with nice clothes on my bike anymore. Btw, on the bike my average speed is usually 10-35 km/h. I guess that is average speed for anyone who uses it as a means of transportation, and does not have time to waste. Too scared to mess up my nice leather boots on a bike, and tired of getting new trainers every 3 months; so switched to mountain bike shoes with clip-on/clip-less pedals. I suggest y'all to look in to proper bicycle clothing if you use it as a means of transportation. You can always change once you get to your workplace. If you are just going for a coffee, it really is okay to wear Gap or Uniqlo jeans rather than Helmut Lang.
    p.s. if I saw the druide in the picture as I was riding to destination x, I would prolly be suffering from hysterical laughter (internally), and he would probably eating the dust of my rear fender after one curb. lol.
    on a more humble note, the guy is using Ergo bars, so he might actually know how to ride a bicycle, let alone a road bike. (and thank heavens he is not on a 'fixie').

    i apologize for the rude post, but sometimes i can't help myself from laughing. ;-p

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  4. I see your points and don't disagree in the slightest. as long as you admit that it was rude, though.

    - jerome

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  5. hey jerome,
    i sincerely apologize for being rude. but honestly man, we have to admit, that bicycling and fashion don't mix. ;-)

    i love your burberry gladiators. kinda makes me sad that they would put such a non-durable cork and rubber sole on such a beautiful sandal. oh well...such is life.

    take care, and best of luck.

    (sorry for the deleted comment above, i made a typo, so decided to repost)

    best rgrds,
    parallel..

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  6. also thank you for publishing this blog and putting up links to such aesthetic treasures that can be easily acquired online. you really have good taste my friend. for example, the Dannijo website is just killer.
    and keep riding bikes; don't ever give up. make some racer friends (if you have not already). they will really teach you how to ride a bike, and after that you will never look back. haha.
    ;-)

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  7. Thanks! I just moved to New York so I haven't been able to update at my personal standard, but I hope to resume soon. As for biking, my brother is a professional cyclist and has tried to get me to keep going. The ironic thing is that I would love to start again here in NYC (especially because there aren't any crazy SF hills to worry about) but for whatever reason my bike didn't make it in the moving truck! But I hear there are special boxes to ship bikes in so I'm looking into that.

    Stay tuned!

    - jerome

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