Dashing Summer Tweeds?

Summer Cycling Suit

Summer Cycling Suit

Trisha spotted this post “Dashing Tweeds” on the great blog, London Cycle Chic. The outfit pictured is called a “Summer Cycling Suit.” She emailed it to Greg aka Mr. Dottie for his opinion. Although I would have expected him to say a bit about the breaches, his response focused on the “summer” aspect:

That outfit looks like it would be incredibly hot. I would be sweating after a few minutes; not to mention how restrictive it must be. I imagine: sweat running from neck down through sleeves to elbows, back sweat, chest sweat accumulating to be stomach sweat, waist/leg sweating accumulating at the knees. How long does tweed take to dry and does it smell when sweaty?

Ha. I don’t think tweed smells, but I agree that the outfit looks like a nightmare for summer cycling, no matter how slowly one pedals. Is it nostalgia that makes such an outfit seem like a good idea, the same way that I want to dress like Betty Draper on Mad Men without contemplating the reality of girdles, pantyhose and crinoline? Or perhaps it’s the Vogue magazine phenomenon, with photo spreads of aesthetically interesting clothing that no one would actually wear? Seriously, I love fun clothes, but you gotta draw the line somewhere.

I do covet this cape, though. Unfortunately, 400 pounds is a lot of dollars. And I’d probably wear it with pants.

  • http://melanger.wordpress.com Julia @ Mélanger

    Funny, it’s kind of cool!

  • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

    You all should check out the website. This particular outfit is the most mainstream. The patterns of the tweed on the other outfits is totally over-the-top. I’m logging this brand firmly in the “fantasy” realm. They’re certainly interesting, though.

    • Scott

      I doubt it would be as bad as Mr. Dottie thinks. Tweed is a type of wool, which is the best material for riding in the summer, without question. It has very high breathability, it dries quickly if it gets wet or sweaty, and it has natural anti-bacterial properties that keep any sort of smell to a minimum. The things to watch out for are synthetic blends (even a few % of dacron or something similar will ruin it), synthetic liners that come with almost all clothes these days (just remove them), or low quality wool which can be scratchy.

      I have tried many fibers for summer riding in my work clothes and now wear only wool. This summer I have been very comfortable in the 7.5g tropical wool pants from brooks bros. Even my summer socks are wool. I’m guessing this tweed is a light weight since they call it a summer suit, but it doesn’t say. But I would take even a medium weight wool for summer riding over anything else.

      As far as being too restrictive, Mr D is probably right with respect to the 99% of chicagoans trying to use road or mtn bikes for transportation. But these people never wear business clothes of any kind on the cycle. On the oma, on the other hand, it’s no problem at all.

      • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com dottie

        We wear lots of wool year round, but a long tweed jacket with a collared shirt, tie, breaches and tights is hot. I guess not as bad in the UK winter but today in Chicago I was sweating in a wool tank top and skirt.

  • http://www.pedalandcoast.blogspot.com Sox

    I do like the way Betty Draper dresses. And the cape is cool too; those other tweeds are…interesting….but you know when anything can be ‘viewed’ on Savile Row, it’s bound to be pricey.

  • Scott

    Apart from the fiber, who could pull off this suit fashion-wise? One would look like he is auditioning for the part of little lord fauntleroy.

    • http://letsgorideabike.wordpress.com Trisha

      OK, that’s it — I must include one picture of one of the other Dashing Tweeds for everyone’s entertainment. This one is also a cycle suit.

      I’m not sure even Little Lord Fauntleroy would sport this pattern. More like an Oscar Wilde?

      eta: image post in comments isn’t working — so you’ll have to click here.

      • Scott

        Hehe, maybe this guy would like one http://www.pixyland.org/peterpan/

      • http://la-piernanegra.livejournal.com/ Todd

        I like the IDEA of the suit, I am sure it’s appropriate for the English climate. The thing is that it reminds me a little too much of Angus Young. Wear this outfit with a cycling cap and then watch out! You’d be mobbed by AC/DC fans.

  • Tad Salyards

    Not to mention the fact that if that suit were green, you’d like a member of the Third Reich going for a Spaziergang in the Alps.

  • http://lovelybike.blogspot.com Lovely Bicycle!

    When I lived in the UK, “summer” was 70F max. I will never forget the July of 2002, when my friend and I would study on the grass by the river wearing heavy wool coats over our hopeful summer dresses! So yes, in that sense, that summer cycling suit is entirely appropriate. But in a climate with temps in the 85F+ range and high humidity, light linen has been the traditional material of choice, and I can see a nice cycling suit made of it. As for the breeches, the same look can be achieved in a more modern and “masculine” way by rolling up the pant legs. My husband does this when he rides his roadbike, and it looks great.

  • http://www.intergalactic.nu Meg

    Heh, girdles aren’t actually that bad to wear – I wear both a waist and an an underbust quite frequently. Certainly improves my posture!

    Mind you, I’ve not tried cycling in one but having just purchased my first bike in *mumblemumble* years, I’m sure I’ll get the chance to try it out soon!