The transition from summer to fall is always a hard one for me. I try to keep a hold on the long days, extending my rides in and outside the city, feeling eternally like a kid who doesn’t want school to begin again. But then a magic moment happens: the fall issues of the fashion magazines arrive, and I find myself excited to cover my limbs and figure out the season’s new looks.

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is written by Tanya Quick, a principal of the design and branding firm Language Dept., Tanya pilots a stylish blue roadster by Beloved around town.

This year, I’ve been particularly inspired by how many clothing trends lend themselves to everyday city cycling. There’s a sporty feeling in streamlined, space-age silhouettes and graphic color blocking. Capes are popping up as alternatives to more restrictive coats. And gilets — long a transitional favorite of road cyclists — abound in fur and faux fur options.

The best thing is that these looks support layering, which means that I can peel or pile, depending on the temperature inside and out. Crisp mornings, with their long shadows, are perfect for taking the long route in, but shorter days mean it’s cooler and dark when I head back home. To make sure I’m comfortable in all situations, I look for:

    • Pants with stretch to allow easy movement while riding; there’s nothing worse than pedaling in pants that cut or pull down in the back
    • Base layers that can stand alone: colorful cashmere, thin turtlenecks or short-sleeved tops that move
    • Coats that don’t pack too much weight, but are long enough in back to keep me covered
    • Longer gloves to act as arm warmers and add a block of color
    • Bright coats and accessories to add visibility to this black-centic New Yorker’s look

Here are a few of my favorite transitional pieces, chosen with practicality and possibility for variation in mind. (Click on the photos for shopping links. Different versions of these looks can be found at a variety of prices):

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  • Stretch merino leggings or trousers are easy to ride in and to wear with layers. Alexander Wang kicks them up a notch with zippers up the back.

  • This down shrug by Terry is perfect to layer over a bright sweater or long knit gloves for instant color blocking.

  • Extra-long, bright yellow fingerless gloves double as arm warmers.

  • Bright blue coat with hip flair from Zara.

  • Color block, lightweight cashmere at Club Monaco.

  • Capes by Collette Dinnigan (left) and Club Monaco (right)

  • The gilet, a favorite layer of road riders, in faux fur from TopShop. (at left found on eBay)

  • Tweed peplum top by Rebecca Taylor provides the practicality of longer coverage in back with a flattering feminine shape.

  • Joe Fresh cross-body bag injects a shot of color.

4 Responses to Fall Styles That Travel With Ease on a Bike

  1. jesse.anne.o says:

    That peplum is pretty cute. Finding decent pants is the bane of my existence.

    • Susi says:

      Thanks, Jesse. Don’t know if you’re looking specifically for a commuter pant, but I’ve found that Outlier OGs for women move well on a bike — without looking bike-specific once I arrive at my destination.

  2. Maureen says:

    Great selections – all would look stunning on or off the bike! Susi – I didn’t realize Outlier made woman specific pants. I’m always a little smarter after reading VeloJoy! Thanks!

    • Susi says:

      Maureen, thanks as always for your comment. I bought a pair of the women’s OGs and am road-testing them — so, stay tuned!

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