May is National Bike Month, and that means a lot more of us will be biking to work—almost making spandex is office-appropriate attire. Here are our picks for biking to work in style.
Women have come a long way from pedaling around wearing a heavy, full-length skirt and restrictive corset—a cumbersome ensemble that was once the socially dictated reality of women’s cycling style.
But, in the 1890s, when cycling in America really came into vogue, knickerbockers and baggy, Turkish-inspired trousers—a.k.a. bloomers—revolutionized women’s fashion. These liberating styles preserved women cyclists’ sense of modesty while making it easier and safer for them to ride without treacherous long skirts ballooning in the wind or getting caught up around pedals and chains.
And the so-called “rational dressing” revolution’s influence didn’t stop at women’s fashion—it was also instrumental in propelling the Women’s Suffrage Movement:
“I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of freedom, self-reliance and independence.” – Susan B. Anthony, 1898
Today, Anthony’s vision of “untrammeled womanhood” wears anything it wants—skinny jeans, bike shorts, mini-skirts with leggings and yes, even dresses—while biking. So, pedal and rejoice. (And wear a helmet!)