Victorian cycle chic


Looking back in history to when the bicycle as we know it today was invented by John Kemp Starley, the concept of stylish cycling was nothing new.

Bicycles were hugely popular with women, not only because they gave freedom in a world before cars, but also because of the ingenius ways bicycles were marketed to this first generation of female cyclists.

The Lady Cyclist, ran for twenty years from 1886, its aim was to inform and excite women about cycling. It did this through stories, interviews, fashion articles with a Parisian correspondent and advertisements for cycle related products.

Designers were like inventors creating and adapting fashions to make them suitable for riding.

Take inspiration from the Victorian style:

  • If you wear lots of long skirts and dresses try putting a clip or safety pin in them or look for bikes with chain and wheel guards.
  • More of a commuter belter: baggy bloomers¬† or culottes retain that vintage glamour but are also airy and look chic off the bike.
  • Hats and headscarves protect from helmet hair if you choose to wear one.
  • Mutton-sleeves give room for your arms to stretch out and allow good ventilation.
  • Nip in waists of voluminous jackets with a wide elasticated belt.
  • Capes are great for shorter rides, choose from waxed waterproof cottons for showery days or heavy woollen designs for chilly Autumn nights. If you've got the money to spare Dashing Tweeds does a fantastic cape with reflective patterns woven through, stylish and bright at night.