Not everyone arrives to work in a car. Whether it’s because of a lack of funds, the coding schedule, or a genuine desire to go green while simultaneously getting some exercise, some people choose to head to the office on two wheels instead.
There’s nothing wrong with riding a bike to work, of course. But the usual sweat and stress induced by the entire endeavor can cause some serious sartorial issues. From scraped crotch areas in your pants to soaked-through button downs, a lot can happen on your way to the office that can turn your getup from workplace-appropriate to unemployment chic.
Now, there’s an obvious solution to this problem that many experienced bike commuters employ: bringing a change of clothes. Without a doubt, this is the smartest way to go about things; unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of being able to change (and maybe even shower) in the office. So for those fellas who cycle their way to work and don’t have the chance to switch clothes, here’s how you can dress yourself without sacrificing either style or function:
When choosing your top, find shirts made from breathable and/or water-resistant fabric, that way you won’t bring those unseemly sweat and water stains straight to the office. You’ll also be best served with a shirt that’s a little loose in the arms so you don’t pull or stretch anything while gripping the handlebars.
You really can’t go wrong with a nice button-down, and a well-tailored one made from fabric with a bit of give in it will tuck in nicely and still look crisp when you get to your destination.
Since you’ll be doing a lot of pedaling on your commute, you need trousers that can stretch around your thighs and groin. Cotton-blends that are also water-resistant and durable will be your best bet for a comfortable ride, and they come in a lot of classy colors that will make you look extra sharp in the office.
If you work someplace where you can be more casually dressed though, take advantage of this opportunity and pull on a nice pair of slim-fit (so the fabric doesn’t get caught in the chain) high-rise (so you don’t flash the innocent people behind you) jeans. Some pairs even have reflector cuffs to make your cycling experience on the road safer.
In both cases, if you want to avoid chaffing or ending up with questionable rough patches, only wear pants that have a reinforced, gusseted crotch. You’ll be much more comfortable, that’s for sure.
Should you decide to wear your blazer while cycling, follow the same rules you would choosing your shirt: a bit roomy in the armholes and made from breathable fabric. This will let you avoid ruining the lines of your jacket, saving you from arriving at work a wrinkled mess.
Now that we’re inching our way to the rainy season, you can switch to a nice tailored windbreaker which will protect you from the elements while still looking stylish. One with zippered pockets and a dropped hemline in the back will have you cruising with ease. We also suggest you go for dark colors—not only will it hide any stains accumulated from the ride, it’s more suited for the office.
When it comes to footwear, always keep sturdiness in mind. Whether you’re wearing kicks or derby shoes with suede or leather uppers, you have to make sure your soles can handle the wear and tear it’ll definitely be going through. That being said, tough rubber soles will work best when you’re riding your bike, and thankfully, quite a number of styles can be fitted with them. For office attire, we suggest a more formal cut, but low tops and slip-ons in conservative colors and designs will also work well.
Pro-tip: Since you’ll be putting your feet to work, make sure to wear anti-microbial socks that also absorb and wick sweat away to stop the stink from following you to the office. Low-cut liners will let you flash some ankle and pull off the sockless look, but you can also try on some statement socks for a bolder look.