ICYMI June: More Bike Fashion Happened

Well, half the year is gone already. The Mechanic and I booked a trip for March 2016. I guess I’d better start my Christmas shopping list, since the holidays will be here soon enough!

I realized a lot more stuff happened in June that I thought it had – I thought it was a pretty relaxed month, especially compared to what July is going to be (out of town half the month, not at home for three of the four weekends!). So to catch you up a bit on other goings-ons, here are some photos:

Thor Nebula Scarf from ShadowplayNYC

Thor Nebula Scarf from Shadowplay New York

I’ve loved Shadowplay New York for a really long time, even though I’m much more into oceans and trees and flowers for patterns and prints. I love their concept of taking real NASA photos and making fabric out it them, and turning them into clothes and accessories. The first dresses I wanted were unusual shapes as well as fabric, but out of my price range, so I’ve been stalking them ever since. They’ve expanded their collection to cool mineral and meteorite prints as well. Anyway, I got an Etsy giftcard for my birthday and went straight to their page and pre-ordered the Thor Nebula scarf. It arrived in June and I love it! Its huge, and I admit that I’m scarf-challenged, but I’m going to wear it no matter what.

I normally wear small earrings with a back closure, so that I don’t risk losing them when putting my helmet on and and pulling it off. But The Mechanic and I had a date night that I wanted to dress up for and wear big earrings, so I braved the helmet strap. And it worked! These hoops are so fun, with this cool 3-D flower, but a bit too heavy, so I don’t think I’ll wear them as much as I’d hoped.

Oops, twisted backwards under the strap!

Oops, twisted backwards under the strap!

While I was making my reflective hummingbird top, I found a bird-print tee shirt at Target that I had to have. I have a thing for bird stuff (this pre-dates Portlandia, I’d like to point out), and was happy to add this stylized Northern Flicker to my collection. Target Flicker Tee ShirtTarget also continues to surprise and please with it’s bike accessories collection. They are really expanding their urban/casual bike rider line. I love the baskets and bags, and almost bought a mint green bungie net. And liked the Bell helmet that looks kinda like a Yakkay bike helmet cover.

How cute are those lined baskets?!

How cute are those lined baskets?!

Target Bell Bike HelmetI like to think that because Target is based in one of the most bike-friendly cities, they understand the demand for a wider range of bike styles.

Speaking of bike styles, one day I had emails featuring models and bicycles. Sure, two were bike companies, but one was Ann Taylor Loft! And the model is wearing the cutest floral print jumpsuit, the perfect thing to go biking in. I can’t wait to get mine made! Bike adsIt’s the Fourth of July weekend, and I need to get my latest sewing project done. I’d like to take it on one of my upcoming trips, so the pressure is on! And then I’m going to start the jumpsuit I’ve been wanting to make FOREVER (or so it seems), after doing some mad pattern measurements and adjustments. But having several projects queued up didn’t stop me from buying a new pattern – this Simplicity pattern was only to be found by an individual seller on Etsy, so even though I’d had it in my hand at JoAnn’s, I was forced to buy it before I’m ready for it. But doesn’t it scream for some reflective fabric?! Simplicity 0419July will be a month of few blog posts, and fewer completed sewing projects, I’m afraid. You can always keep up with my travels and adventures on my Instagram account in case the blog posts don’t come in fast and furious enough! I hope your summer is also full of adventures – who has fun travels planned?

On the Road (Bike) Again

A male friend recently commented that he doesn’t read my blog anymore because it’s so fashion-oriented. Well, David, here’s a post for you! It’s all (well, almost all) bike related.

The Mechanic and I dusted off our road bikes today and went for our first ride in about 18 months. Yes, since I completed the Sea Gull Century in 2013, I simply haven’t ridden my road bike. That was mostly because our weekends became full of wedding planning, and after we returned from the wonderful bike honeymoon in Europe, we were uninspired to bike anywhere around here. But we decided to get back on the saddle and thus signed up for the CASA River Ride in Shepherdstown, WV. casa-river-century-sm1Neither of us have the interest in doing a century, and it’s not that far away, so a half-century it will be. Since we both bike to work everyday, I don’t feel like either of us are completely out of shape, but 50 miles is definitely more than we’ve done in a long, long time. Therefore, Sunday we started our “training” slowly with a quick jaunt on the Arlington Loop. Arlington-Loop We purposefully choose to bike Sunday, rather than Saturday, which was the better weather day. We hoped/assumed that a cooler overcast day would mean fewer people out on the trails. It was pretty crowded, so I can’t imagine what Saturday was like, when sunny weather topped 80*F. We saw tons of Spandex, several family groups, groups on hybrids, a woman and child on a tandem tricycle (never seen one of those before!), and several women with their dogs in the front baskets of their bikes. I’m glad so many people were out! But it made for slow going in places. At least, that’s what I blame our low MPH on… Arlington Loop 041915I was completely in love with the bright colors of every flower and blossoming tree, and wish I could have stopped to photograph every scenic spot we passed. I did pull over at the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial because I couldn’t resist the vivid red tulips. This is one of my favorite memorials in the DC area; I love the moment of it. 01828ad2eed53e095c9c53fde9434e9c12a4d1d469Despite the fact that I haven’t biked more than 13 miles in any given day (and that not all at once), I feel pretty good. My elbows ache and my right shoulder that hurts from desk stuff still hurts, but I don’t feel it in my legs. Thank goodness! I think even with a few weekends of long rides, we’ll be ready for 50 miles. After all, isn’t it a mere 15 or so mile between pit stops?!

In other bike-y news, we went to Target yesterday (dammit I missed the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection release Sunday morning and everything I wanted had sold out by noon!) and found some slightly horrific bike assembly. I was admiring the manly “Utility” bike bags (which I think are really great, by the way), and we wandered over to see what sort of bike they had available – what a mistake! The fork on a cute red Schwinn was on backwards, and the handlebars on another bike were on backwards. Yikes! This is obviously one of many reasons to buy from a small bike shop (any bike shop), but it’s so horrifying that employees put these bikes together incorrectly, then some unsuspecting person purchases them and doesn’t know the difference and hates biking because it’s uncomfortable. Gah! I Tweeted a picture and Target actually Tweeted back to inquire at which store this was, so they could contact management. I appreciated that – although I still wouldn’t buy a bike there.

It felt really great to get out and do some serious biking on my lightweight bike (whee, speed!) and feel that muscle burn that I’ve missed. I did have to psych myself into our ride this morning but now that I’ve done it, I can’t wait to go again! Is it sad to hope the weather is less than stellar so that there are fewer people out?!

Prepping for our road bike adventure today proved challenging - I think I need to organize my bike crap!

Prepping for our road bike adventure today proved challenging – I think I need to organize my bike crap!


That’s a Bike Rack?!

The Mechanic and I had a fun morning at a horse show somewhere in the wilds of Maryland. The horse show world is a very different world than cycling, even though both involve saddles and riding. It’s very concerned about posture and position and show. Thank goodness cycling is not like that! At least, not in my world – maybe the pro world?




Afterwards we went to Tyson’s Corner for some errands at the mall. We were surprised to see fun bike racks in front of L.L. Bean! I was irritated that after we’d parked the Big Green Van, some car had parked next to the bike racks to load up something big from L. L. Bean, ruining the good shots of two of the four racks. IMG_5521




We couldn’t quite decide if the Cannondale was a prop from the store or not. I am pretty sure L. L. Bean doesn’t sell that line, which would make me think shopper or employee, but the tires looked brand new. Despite the fact that they weren’t really being used, and that I don’t think Tyson’s is very bikeable at all, I was pretty pleased to see them, and know that if I biked out there, I’d have a hard time choosing which “shopper” rack I would chose.

Then we headed out to Bailey’s Crossroads, where I was shocked to see cool bike racks at the PNC Bank. IMG_5516

PNC bike racks cropped

They are the PNC logo! How cool is that?! And the logo actually makes a really great design. I could see that as a pendant on a chain or something. I love that PNC actually had the wisdom to install creative racks that match their brand! I wish more companies would get on this bandwagon. I’d love to see big red bullseye bike racks in front of every Target. What other companies have logos that would be perfect for bike racks? Or what other company logo or theme bike racks have you seen? I know there are some in DC and NYC, I’ve seen them, but there must be some in other cities. Anyone wanna share?





Fall Fashion Fantasies

It’s September, and you know what that means – the September Vogue!

September 2012 Vogue

Technically, this arrived on my doorstep (literally – it doesn’t fit in my tiny apartment mailbox) in August, but I haven’t had time until this week to peruse all 916 pages. I was surprised at the ads with bicycles in them – okay, only a few, but still, compared to a few years ago?

Longchamp has a 4-page ad featuring a tandem bike!

An ad for Target’s Kirna Zabete capsule collection

Between this, and the huge stack of catalogs that arrived this week, I’m obsessed with fall clothing.

My wish lists always fall into two categories, but this year I have a third. The first category is always the fantasy clothing, the stuff in the ads, pure design, something I would never wear even if I could afford it. Okay, I might wear it…

Haider Ackermann Fall Winter 2012

John Galliano Fall Winter 2012

Alexander McQueen Resort 2013


If it was Ralph Lauren, I would wear it. I’ve always loved his tweeds and country roots. His fall collection was is clearly inspired by “Downton Abbey,” and is totally the kind of stuff I love.

Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2012

Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2012

Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2012 (not Downton Abbey but I love this!)

The second category is stuff that is more in reach – J. Crew, Eddie Bauer, Boden, Garnet Hill, Jack Wills, Lands End, Ann Taylor Loft. I love these companies, and make my wish list from them.

Boden (yep, with a bike!)

J. Crew Liberty of London Shirt

L L Bean Signature Camo Print Dress

Clearly I’m obsessed with dresses and skirts this fall! And tweed – I always want tweed blazers and the perfect corduroy pants. From this list, I zero in on the few things I consider Must Haves, and try to figure out how to work them into my existing wardrobe.

This fall I’m adding a new category – bicycle fashion! There are several things on this list, some practical, and some not. Practical means I’m already thinking about biking to work in really cold weather, so gloves, and a non-vented helmet. Not really practical are the new Merrells I want but can’t really justify… and the cute stuff at Terry, like the cute Sharrows sweatshirt.

Terry Sharrows Sweatshirt (this would be so much cuter if it was reflective!)

Regardless of what I end up getting, I always create a look board. I have a bulletin board where I cut out magazine and catalog images I like and pin up. It reminds me at the least that I can mix up what I have to create the looks I like. Like everyone else, I get stuck in a rut sometimes, so it’s good to have a reminder to shake things up!

My inspiration board – with athletic and travel images as well, it basically focuses everything I love

I’m sure that I will be sharing items from my lists in the future, as I agonize over which items I really truly want and need. What sort of things do you want for the fall?









Biking in Bloomers

This Momentum Magazine article inspired me to write a blog about bloomers. I’ve actually been wanting to for a while, but since I’m inspired, I will just do it now!

This is a great idea – the author Jess Matthews photo-logged her bike outfits for an entire month, to show that it is possible to bike in normal clothes. Actually, the article didn’t inspire me so much as the author’s comment that she wears “tri” shorts under her skirts. Those seem a bit bulky to me, especially when there are so many other options! I don’ t know how far her commute is, so maybe she needs something with a bit of padding. My commute is only 4.5 miles, or almost 5 if I take the trail instead of surface streets, so I don’t need padding.

But I do wear shorts under my skirts. I always have, actually, and have a well-worn collection of different types of things I collectively call “bloomers.” Technically, only a few of these items are really like bloomers. Bloomers were introduced in the 1850s, and shockingly popularized by Amelia Bloomer.

Mrs. Bloomer was not the first woman to wear them, but because she wrote about them in her women’s rights magazine, the new style was nicknamed after her. Unsurprisingly, the style was mocked, and Mrs. Bloomer herself eventually stopped wearing them.

A “bloomer” suit from the 1850s.

Nevertheless, the style remained as a women’s undergarment, having developed over the centuries. I’ve always loved the look of the ankle-length, straight-legged bloomers under tea-length dresses, commonly worn by little girls in the 1830s.

A little girl in 1838

I actually started wearing bloomers under my skirts and dresses when I was in elementary school. My mother had made me a pair of shorts that had elastic on the hem, and I remember wearing them under dresses with pride – and it meant I could play on the monkey bars without fear of my underwear showing.

Fast forward to my adult life. I still wear them. My favorites are from The Vermont Country Store, where they are called “pettipants” and made in nylon to keep skirts from sticking, just like a nylon slip does. I also have some from JC Penneys, where they are a bit cheaper. Hey, when you own several pair, the cost adds up!

Pettipants from the Vermont Country Store

Pettipants from JC Penneys

As lovely as these are, they are obviously a bit bulky under some skirts, especially pencil skirts, which I too love. So I also have a collection of now old cotton exercise shorts from Target. They are fitted, long, and prevent my thighs from rubbing in the summer (don’t tell me you don’t have that problem too!). They don’t carry them any more, so these are the closest I could find in terms of images:

Target gym shorts

Then of course there are Spanx-type shorts, which I also have.

Spanx Assets Mid Thigh Shaper

I have a few pairs of these Spanx Assets shapers too – slightly less expensive than Spanx. These are fine but they are a bit too constrictive sometimes, and the waist is higher than I want to wear sometimes – I don’t want my underwear waistband to stick out over my skirt waistband! Is that too much to ask?

Imagine, then, my delight at discovering Jockey’s Skimmies SlipShorts. Low rise, non-constrictive, slippery, comfy, cool – exactly what I’ve been looking for my whole life! I swear! I’ve already bought three pair – completely worth the investment.

Jockey Skimmies SlipShort

This is exactly the thing I need for wearing under skirts when I am on my bike. If the skirt blows up, or I’ve hiked it up to fit over my top tube (drawback to riding a men’s bike), I am confidently, yet comfortably, covered. And I don’t worry too much about showing too much leg. When I ride my road bike, and wear my Pearl Izumi bike shorts, I’m showing just as much leg. More, even, because my things and rear are outlined in tight black spandex. I am so enthusiastic about these that I’ve convinced three other colleagues to buy them as well, to both wear under skirts when biking, and just in general. I feel like Jockey should give me a commission or something! Even if you don’t need to worry about what to wear under your skirt while you are biking around, these are worth checking out.


Reflective Tassel

Although the title sounds somewhat like a bicycle safety porn star’s name, it’s really the mini project I just finished tonight.

I realized the gold reflective fabric I bought in New York matched my Jason Wu for Target purse, so I whipped up a simple tassel with my pinking shears. I attempted to tack the pieces together on the ring, but broke a needle in the process – maybe I need to try a leather needle next time.

Anyway, what this means is I now have the ability to add reflective tassels to everything! Woo hoo! Hm…

Jason Wu for Target

I realize this doesn’t seem particularly “vehicular” because it’s about Target, but bear with me for a minute.  It is related, I swear!

Today was the launch of the latest Target “capsule” collection, this time by designer Jason Wu.  Haven’t hear of him? Most outside of fashion haven’t, but let me just say that he is very popular with celebrities including First Lady Michelle Obama.  Most of the collection at Target is dresses and skirts, and I don’t really like dresses (because I don’t like the way they generally fit on me).  But I was intrigued by the “Cycle” Dress, given my growing obsession with bicycles and my new job in transportation demand management.   And heck, after the frenzy over the Missoni collection last fall, I wasn’t about to miss out on this one!

The Missoni for Target Cardigan I Got in the Fall

So I left The Mechanic’s apartment at 7:30 this morning, since he lives conveniently close to a Target, and locked up my bike in front of the store before joining one of two lines of die-hards waiting for the store to open at 8am.  Wouldn’t you know, the door I was standing in front of, where we could seem them putting out the purse I was after, was the door they announced they were not unlocking at 8am.  So we all dashed over to the other line.  Yes, we were in a line, just like Disney World.  People take this stuff seriously!I was feeling the shopping pressure though, and ordered a dress online through my iPhone while I was waiting – that was fun! (And slightly dangerous….) When I got home and looked at it on my desktop, the “dot” print is actually the wheels as well!

Jason Wu Cycle Print Dress

I didn’t run, when the doors were unlocked, but others did, and thankfully I managed to get the last purse on the rack!  Ha ha! Victory!  Then I saw a large navy scarf with the “Cycle” print on it – naturally I had to grab it.  Turns out that bike wheel pattern was used on a ton of stuff!  And the dress I ended up ordering while I was in line? It has the same wheel design!  So even though I didn’t get the original dress I thought I wanted, I ended up with the design anyway!

Jason Wu Wheel Scarf

Cycle and bicycle themes on clothing is apparently a trend anyway, since Target also had a cute red bicycle print skirt on the website, although it isn’t available anymore. 

Anthropologie had some cute bicycle themed stuff as well, like this cute (but pricey) tote, and they carried a bicycle-printed dress last spring, too.

Anthropologie Bicycle Tote Bag

Or maybe I just notice it all more now that I’m one of those crazy bike-riding people!  But I think it would be funny to wear some subtle yet professional bicycle print business clothing!  I may make a spring top or something…  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my Jason Wu loot!

Jason Wu Loot