Wrap it up

If, like me, you’re wrapping presents now, <this> photo article by Daily Candy offers some great ideas on how to jazz up your presentation. My favourite of course has to be the bicycle bell bow!

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Staying Dry

After our mini heatwave in the last couple of weeks it’s time to think about the opposite of April showers, and consider staying dry in Autumn. Thanks to the ladies who responded to ‘wet wet wet‘ in July I can share with you two companies that create beautiful waterproof coats for chic cyclists. Why make do with unsightly standard cyclewear or standard clothing that isn’t quite up to the job?

First up, it’s the Cambridge Raincoat Company, a home-grown design company that addresses the lack of functional coats for cyclists that don’t want to sacrifice in the style-stakes. The waterproof knee length coats come in red, green, mauve or yellow, with matching polka dot lining to stop the wind chills from filtering though. Plus if you opt in for the reflective embroidery you’ll be sure to be seen without the need for a hi-vis vest that may ruin your look. Get one here for £135 and ‘like’ the Facebook page for a peak at some more pictures.

Water Off a Duck’s Back has had a fair bit of attention recently (check out the review in The Guardian), and if you’re not feeling bold enough for a splash of colour then their black macs might be for you. The main difference is that this is a wrap coat, meaning that there are no buttons to hold the coat closed, just a belt at the waist, and rather than the optional hi-vis, each mackintosh comes with reflective strips that can be cunningly hidden and revealed as required by folding up/down the sleeves and collar, and turning the belt sash. Buy here for £130 in either black or stone and check out the recently launched Men’s version for £140.

woadb cambridge red
Left: Water off a Duck’s Back mackintosh in Black.
Right: The Cambridge Raincoat Company mackintosh in Poppy Red.

wet wet wet

The last week has demonstrated a myriad of weather conditions; We’ve sweated in the muggy suffocation, we’ve indulged in summer sunshine, and we’ve dashed between awnings as the clouds finally break. On afternoons like we had yesterday, we need to ask ourselves how not to end up like this:

drenchedI managed to get indoors before the real downpour started, but this served me as a reminder that being prepared for the elements is no laughing matter.When it comes to staying dry, there really is nothing better than a good cape. Not one of these fashionable cropped capes that sit ineffectually over your shoulders, no, a proper cape with buttons or clasps to keep it pulled to over your knees.
Last winter I did a write up on Cycling in… a cape, and for a few more pointers on choosing your perfect cape – or even where to start looking for one – there’s plenty more in the tags.

And shhh! ASOS has slashed the price on their cotton hooded cape in this year’s sale.

Looking behind, looking ahead

I stumbled across “London Cycle Chic?” by Cycling London – Urban Commuting by Bike, and it raised some interesting points. Personally, I don’t think that Cycle Chic is necessarily a sunshine-only habit. I cycle throughout the year and don’t own a single pair of lycra shorts – which has never impeded me from riding rain or shine (or snow for that matter).

Since 2008 when the blog was posted, cycling has made enormous leaps and has been embraced as a practical way to get around. The emphasis has moved from zooming across town in tight shorts and HI-VIS jackets to appearances on film, tv and all over the press, of daintily dressed ladies with flowing locks and a soundtrack of Regina Spektor. Have you noticed how bicycles are now being propped up outside shops and restaurants to suggest welcoming rustic comfort? When you think of modern cyclists does the word aerodynamic come to mind, or do you think of vast d-shaped wicker baskets?

If you consider yourself a fair-weather cyclist, have a look at my previous posts in ‘A/W‘, ‘Cycling in…‘, and ‘How to…‘ for a little inspiration on how to prepare yourself for Autumn.

My personal tip for A/W cyclists is, of course, the cape: it keeps you dry and ventilated, what more could you ask for?

Something for the weekend…

December starts of Sunday, next Sunday, won’t you feel happier then?
Not strictly true, it’ll be January, but Regina Spektor has a song for everything, and whereas Lady is my autumn song, Summer in the City is my springtime song, and Hotel Song tends to rule my summer, December will always be stuck in my head right the way through winter.

Happy new year, let’s see what 2011 has to offer…..