As you probably noticed, the new bike shorts invaded the high-street and if last year this item popped up on catwalks now it saturates the influencers’ feeds. And I will admit, in the beginning, I was a little bit apprehensive about this trend, but as soon as I gave it a go, I would strongly claim that the bike shorts are here to stay and they’re worth ditching your leggings for this summer!
First, let me give you a little context about how this trend emerged. We can all remember the iconic style of Princess Diana and if you take a look at her casual/sporty outfits guess what you’ll find? Princess Diana would often wear a normcore sweater, a pair of chunky dad trainers and cycling shorts to stroll around Sloane Square. Fast-forward to the Off-White’s SS18 show, Virgil Abloh had this exact look in his mind and dedicated the entire show to the legacy of Lady Di. Of course, where Virgil went, Kardashians followed and where the Kardashian-Jenner clan went, everyone else followed.
Nonetheless, the bike shorts can be a tricky piece to style! As Miuccia Prada said after her SS19 show where she used cycling shorts with a masculine cut in order to create empowering, feminine outfits: ‘On the one hand, you wish for freedom, for liberation, for fantasy, and on the other, you have this extreme conservatism.’ This statement describes perfectly the cycling shorts, being a paradox of revealing and covering.
After spending a few hot minutes trying everything in my closet in combination with the cycling shorts, I realised that these are, in fact, a blank canvas. They can be whatever you want them to be, as long as you follow a few rules in order to get the silhouette right.
There are two easy ways to approach this trend: first, an oversized blazer and bike shorts is a go-to combo for all those fashionable brunch dates. Add a pair of heels and a belt, you’ve created an office-appropriate outfit. Play with some flirty, feminine tops and puff sleeve blouses for an avant-garde mix, perfect for a fashion shoot (here following the Prada example).
The other way of styling the cycling shorts is taking the trend back to its roots and follow Princess Diana’s sportswear vibes, with an oversized crop hoodie and trainers. The only catch is again the silhouette. You don’t want to look as if you just woke up. My trick for styling these shorts in the most comfortable way is with an oversized tee, knotted up at the waist and with an oversized shirt on top. Although I chose to pair this outfit with boots, you can just as easily wear it with some Vans or Converse trainers.
As you can see, with the right styling tricks, the bike shorts can just as easily be made to look elegant and polished or casual and cool. Another tip I have for you is to avoid wearing something very tight on top as it can easily give the impression that you are heading to the gym, but you also don’t want to completely drown out the shorts (this is the reason why I chose to knot up my top).
Now I hope I’ll leave you encouraged to try and play with this trend. Have fun & be creative!