Last week we had a string of warm, sticky days in the Twin Cities. It’s cooled off a bit since then, but summer is here and it’s just going to get hotter and humider. I’ve been thinking a lot about my summer cycling wardrobe, and this outfit is my favorite so far. I got it all on the cheap, too!
Thanks to Michelle Obama, sleeveless is now appropriate for any warm-weather occasion. Patagonia’s Bandha top is synthetic and sweat-wicking, with subtle draping at the neckline that says polished, not paceline (though I am thinking of wearing this as part of my “kit” on an upcoming tour – more about that in the next few weeks).
The Bandha is low-cut, but tight enough that I’m not showing too much, even cycling with my drop bars. The length is also great – no back crack. With a drapey scarf or cotton cardigan, the Bandha is appropriate for work and sexy enough for happy hour afterwards.
I’ve noticed the beginnings of a farmer’s tan forming around my biceps, so this fits my new resolution to do more biking in sleeveless tops and less mid-day riding in t-shirts. Like the Bolle top I blogged about earlier this spring, the Bandha is double-lined in front but not in back. There are some minimal bra-lines in back as a result, but whether it’s the cut or the fabric, the lines are much more subtle than with the Bolle.
There isn’t really an interior bra in this tank, which is good, because I generally find built-ins to be unflattering and unsupportive. What it does have are small openings on either side of the lining material. I guess you could slide in the cups from a bikini and wear the top solo if you wanted. Interesting touch.
The black color is in Patagonia’s Web Specials Section right now (I bought mine on sale this spring at Midwest Mountaineering). I’m eyeing the turquoise they have, too.
I’ve also been biking a lot in these lightweight polyester capris – a thrift store score. I love capris for summer – no need to roll up a leg or use pant clips, and for most of us it’s hard to get away with shorts at work.
I also thrifted these OTBT Park City Flats. I’m pretty psyched about them, because I like the look of ballets but hate the way I feel like they’re going to fall off while I’m riding. Often I end up with dress shoes in my panniers and tennis shoes on my feet for the commute, but that adds to my baggage. The elastic on these keep them snug and the rubber soles have just enough traction for me and my pedals. They feel great until the temps get over 80, at which point leather shoes with no socks means I have sweaty feet.
A very lightweight silk scarf and pearl drop earrings make everything a bit more feminine and polished, and keep me from looking too goth or sporty. So far I’ve accomplished both riding 20 miles at a time and meeting with lawyer-type clients in these clothes. Success.