Wardrobe Malfunction: Tying my skirt

The other day, I wore a full pleated skirt to work, one I had worn while bicycling many times in the past with no problem.  I must have been riding Betty Foy and not Oma those previous times (like here), because this time the skirt kept ballooning up with wind and blowing back.  While the slightly leaned-forward positioning of Betty Foy causes the wind to push skirts down more securely against my thighs, Oma’s laid-back positioning can have the opposite effect.

For a while, I biked one-handed while using the other hand to hold down the skirt, but even that was not enough to tame it.  Eventually I pulled over, grabbed a ponytail holder from my bag, and tied up one side of my skirt, which worked, although it was wrinkled afterward.

Ta-da!

I was really annoyed by this situation at the time.  I know there are lots of people (both bicyclists and non-bicyclists) who think bicycling in a skirt is silly, and I probably looked like Exhibit No. 1 in support of their opinion out there, but I know that bicycling in a skirt is perfectly reasonable.   I do it all the time without incident and never have to worry about changing at my destination.

I should not care what others think, but I am cognizant of being a rarity out there and I want to represent well the idea of everyday bicycling.

In the end, the solution was easy enough – fast, effective and free – and I will simply make a mental note of this particular skirt’s limitations.

See also, Stapling my skirt.

P.S. Since we’ve been talking a lot about pricy specialty bicycling clothes lately, I’ll point out that this skirt, the pearl necklace, and the cashmere sweater all came from thrift stores.

  • http://www.anniebikes.blogspot.com anniebikes

    Yes, those ponytail holders and schrunchies come in handy. You could store one on the handlebars very easily. Dottie, did your skirt look like a parachute?

    BTW, I got five shirts for 10.00 at local church sale. Love it.

  • cycler

    Ah yes, the unexpected skirt malfunction.
    It seems like once or twice a year a skirt I’ve ridden in previously  all of a sudden doesn’t work. 
    Sometimes it’s switching from tights to bare legs, or just a particularly windy day, a different bike or whatever.  Sometimes when I have a dress I suspect will be a problem, or it’s a windy day, I’ll carry a pair of shorts with me just in case. Carrying a binder clip might not be a bad idea…

    I find that the hardest type of skirt is the kind you’re wearing.  Knee length and full.   Longer and full tend to be blown down.   My shorter skirts tend to be slimmer.

  • cycler

    Ah yes, the unexpected skirt malfunction.
    It seems like once or twice a year a skirt I’ve ridden in previously  all of a sudden doesn’t work. 
    Sometimes it’s switching from tights to bare legs, or just a particularly windy day, a different bike or whatever.  Sometimes when I have a dress I suspect will be a problem, or it’s a windy day, I’ll carry a pair of shorts with me just in case. Carrying a binder clip might not be a bad idea…

    I find that the hardest type of skirt is the kind you’re wearing.  Knee length and full.   Longer and full tend to be blown down.   My shorter skirts tend to be slimmer.

  • http://lucitebox.com/ Holly

    This happened to me a couple of weeks ago while wearing a 50s silk dress with a very full skirt.  I was fortunate to have a rubber band on my handlebars and I have to admit, I felt like a genius for knowing just how to deal with the “fly up.” Turns out I’m just as smart as most. 

  • http://lucitebox.com/ Holly

    This happened to me a couple of weeks ago while wearing a 50s silk dress with a very full skirt.  I was fortunate to have a rubber band on my handlebars and I have to admit, I felt like a genius for knowing just how to deal with the “fly up.” Turns out I’m just as smart as most. 

  • http://pin-hole.tumblr.com Dave

    Nice use of what you have on hand to solve a problem!

    My wife has a couple of these for just such occasions:

    http://www.sockdreams.com/products/accessories/sock-garters/double-grip-clips

    If she’s wearing a longer skirt and socks or boots, the skirt can get clipped to the socks or boots, and if in a situation more like yours, she can do what you did and just clip the skirt to itself. She just keeps them in her purse all the time, as they’re small and basically flat.

  • http://pin-hole.tumblr.com Dave

    Nice use of what you have on hand to solve a problem!

    My wife has a couple of these for just such occasions:

    http://www.sockdreams.com/products/accessories/sock-garters/double-grip-clips

    If she’s wearing a longer skirt and socks or boots, the skirt can get clipped to the socks or boots, and if in a situation more like yours, she can do what you did and just clip the skirt to itself. She just keeps them in her purse all the time, as they’re small and basically flat.

  • Eli

    A great solution, Dottie. Thanks for the tip. Beats tying a knot in my skirt, which is what I always end up doing.

    Oooh, and I like Holly’s idea up-thread of keeping the rubber band/hair tie on the bike, as I’m never sure which bag (if any) I’ll have on any particular ride. Keen!

  • Eli

    A great solution, Dottie. Thanks for the tip. Beats tying a knot in my skirt, which is what I always end up doing.

    Oooh, and I like Holly’s idea up-thread of keeping the rubber band/hair tie on the bike, as I’m never sure which bag (if any) I’ll have on any particular ride. Keen!

  • deborah

    I love wearing my skirts while bicycling to!.  Occasionally, especially with skirts of a particular length and weight, I’ve had this problem too.  When I knew the skirt could possibly be a problem I have used a sock garter like this (http://www.sockdreams.com/products/accessories/sock-garters/faux-leather-sock-garters-with-suspender-clips) turned upside down to clasp a flyaway skirt to my leg.  Wasn’t perfect, but solved the problem, much as your hair tie did! 

  • Mayamocha

    Skirt weights are another solution. A woman in Somerville, Susan Lucas, teaches beginner biking.Years ago she also offered a service sewing fishing weights into skirt hems to keep them down while cycling. I think Chanel jackets use a chain in the hem for the same effect.

  • Mayamocha

    Skirt weights are another solution. A woman in Somerville, Susan Lucas, teaches beginner biking.Years ago she also offered a service sewing fishing weights into skirt hems to keep them down while cycling. I think Chanel jackets use a chain in the hem for the same effect.

  • http://twitter.com/bikelaneliving Bike Lane Living

    Ah, yes. The billowing “let me flash you” effect of the wind on a skirt. I’ve had this problem on my Raleigh comfort bike. I either have had to ride one-handed or lean forward so the wind will push the skirt down.

  • Siobhan Dolan

    Why don’t you try a bike garter?? http://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdIndustries

  • SpokesGal

    Why don’t you try a bike garter?? http://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdIndustries

  • Helloclareconnor

    I’ve done this too. And I’m glad I’m not the only person who has also stapled my clothes when necessary. Another use for pony tail bands/elastic bands is to keep slip on shoes on that are a bit loose. 

  • Mfhanks

    The only thing more dangerous than a full skirt while cycling is a wrap dress while cycling! Lesson learned the hard way.

  • Mfhanks

    The only thing more dangerous than a full skirt while cycling is a wrap dress while cycling! Lesson learned the hard way.

  • http://www.northwestisbest.co.uk northwest is best

    This is how I cycle in skirts too! 

  • Camilla Kyndesen

    I will absolutely keep this in mind! I wear my hair down to fit under the bike helmet, so I usually have a ponytail holder in my pocket or bag.

    And the good thing about being on a bike is that people seldom have time to look at you for a long time, since you’re whooshing past them :)

  • Camilla Kyndesen

    I will absolutely keep this in mind! I wear my hair down to fit under the bike helmet, so I usually have a ponytail holder in my pocket or bag.

    And the good thing about being on a bike is that people seldom have time to look at you for a long time, since you’re whooshing past them :)

  • Jeanie

    I second the Bird Industries skirt garter solution.  For $10, you can’t go wrong. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdIndustries?section_id=8061692

  • Jeanie

    I second the Bird Industries skirt garter solution.  For $10, you can’t go wrong. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdIndustries?section_id=8061692

  • Dawn

    I keep a couple of medium-sized binder clips clipped to my bike basket at all times.  I use one to clip the skirt loosely around one leg (usually my left one) to keep my skirts from blowing up.  Works just fine and costs practically nothing.  I also use a clip or two to keep my bag closed while it rides in my front basket (my bags don’t have zippers) or to hold a map or directions in place.

    I ride my bike in skirts and dresses every day simply because that is what I wear every day.  I consider the “weirdness” to be a safety bonus.  Onlookers can think it’s silly all they want, but at least they see me.

  • http://www.anniebikes.blogspot.com anniebikes

    Yes, those ponytail holders and schrunchies come in handy. You could store one on the handlebars very easily. Dottie, did your skirt look like a parachute?

    BTW, I got five shirts for 10.00 at local church sale. Love it.