First Look! Ligne 8 Cycling Apparel

Ligne 8 Jumpsuit for Cycling

The source of the newest line of fashionable clothing for urban cycling may surprise you. It’s Champion System, a label you are most likely to recognize for jerseys and shorts the company customizes for cycling clubs, teams and special events. If you ride in a pace line, chances are you’ve taken note of the Champion name.

Now, a new sister company, Ligne 8 cycling apparel, has launched women’s and men’s lines that are as far removed from body-hugging spandex as a classic steel single-speed is from a carbon-fiber time-trial bike. That’s a good thing for growing numbers of people who want style and comfort on their ride to work and throughout their day, especially women, whose options in that department have been limited.

“We found that there was a lack of choice for female commuters, and we wanted to address that void,” says Ligne 8 CEO Cecilia Allen, a former fashion executive.

Ligne 8 Isobel Convertible Cycling Jacket
Isobel Convertible Jacket $280: A water-resistant riff on equestrian style, with cut-away in front, dropped hem in back and zip pockets galore.

The new line appears to be the most complete, coordinated collection of urban clothing to debut since Giro introduced its New Road collection. Ligne 8 includes tailored pants, skirts, tops, shirts, jackets and more, all constructed of fabrics that move, finishes that help repel moisture and stains, and with details that add comfort and utility on and off the bike. Premium Japanese denim jeans are included, as well.

Ligne 8 Women's Jumpsuit for Cycling
Anson Jumpsuit, $240.

One of my favorite selections for women is the Anson Jumpsuit (above). Its on-trend silhouette and styling are indistinguishable from juumpsuits offered by fashion labels. So I asked Stephanie Wong of Linge 8: What makes this “bike?”

She says it’s all about the fabric and functional details for cycling:

  • First, the fabric: Four-way stretch material (nylon with a touch of elastane) moves, resists abrasion from repetitive pedaling motion and is treated to resist stains. It also dries quickly and shuns creases to help the rider arrive at her destination looking fresh.
  • In terms of function: Three-quarter, turn-back sleeves and an inverted pleat beneath the back yoke support reach to the bars, while the adjustable drawstring waist and legs that taper to an elasticized and zippered ankle aid mobility.
  • Two zipper pockets at the chest and one at the rear make it easy to carry essentials, while two cargo pockets at the front add interest. This piece can be worn with sneakers for a relaxed outing or paired with heels and accessories for a dressier look. i.e. You could live in it.

Fashion styling combined with sensible fabric choices and features are found throughout the line, a few examples of which follow:

Ligne 8 Saskia Dress for Cycling
Saskia Dress, $188: Little black cycling dress in four-way stretch crepe with lace-up front, on-seam side pockets and deep back pleat.
Josianne Skirt, $138: Relaxed fit A-line unzips at the front to reveal fabric panel to support pedaling ease.

As interest in cycling for transportation continues to grow, a number of makers are creating clothing focused on the urban ride. Among them: Terry, Club Ride Apparel, Novara (REI), Isladora, Hub and Bespoke and more. But Ligne 8 is the first urban offering that approaches the scope of the Giro New Road collection, which launched in 2013. Giro quickly followed the men’s line introduction with a similarly robust collection for women in  2014.

Shop the Ligne 8 women’s and men’s s collections here:

Ligne 8 High Waist Short for Cycling
Nico High Waist Short $128: City short with on-trend high waist, in water- and stain-resistant stretch cotton, quick drying.

Photos: Ligne 8

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  • Once again, it seems that since bicycling has become chic, prices have climbed beyond the means of average folks. $138 for a skirt? Champion makes fitted workout shorts and capris in light weight, wicking fabrics. I pull them on under my skirts. the cost $30 or less, and keep things modest.

  • Nina, you get what you pay for. Do you know where your Champion shorts were made and at what “cost” they are under $30? I am not saying that everyone should have to buy $138 shorts, but our society has a misconstrued understanding of “value” in apparel. If you believe in the bike you should be thrilled that designers are popping up with new options. We are all on the same team. For us designers, the prices you see reflect the values we put into the products. For instance, the My Alibi Bloomers support a community with living wages, highest standards of environmental protection and will out live your Champion shorts X3 with the highest quality fabric and chamois. When I do the math, this comes out as a better long term wardrobe investment. I can’t vouch for the full integrity of these products, but I am stoked to see such beautiful designs with bike function in mind. Inspiring the bike one pedal stroke at a time.

  • I had the opportunity to touch and try on the Ligne 8 women’s apparel in-person at Interbike 2014 and I must say I am in LOVE. I love the tailored style, the functionality of the pieces, the fabric is high quality and the stitching/seams are nicely done. The Adrienne Reversible Coat gives you two looks for the price of one. I know I am looking to replace the items in my closet with Ligne 8 because I bike to work every day and I want high quality clothing that will hold up to my commutes.

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