Fail: spandex shorts under dress

We’ve been talking a lot about dealing with unruly skirts and dresses recently.  I shared my experiences of tying my skirt and stapling my dress.  To avoid such a faux pas in the future, I decided to wear my old Nike spandex shorts (no padding) under suspicious new dresses.

Such was the case with a dress I thrifted last week (ahem, new with Nordstrom tags, I gotta brag).  The skirt was full and the fabric light, making the dress a candidate for floating-up-with-the-wind syndrome, so I threw my spandex shorts underneath and thought I managed to be both clever and chic.

Um, nope!

I realized only when I got this film photo back from the lab that the outline of the shorts was totally visible under the dress fabric.

*sigh*  The dress never behaved inappropriately on the bike, anyway.  Such is life, I suppose.

At this point, the garter-belt-pinned-to-dress idea is looking like the best.  I’m noting that for the future.  :)

  • Lafs4

    Try the skinny britches short from spanz.  They are cool and comfortable not to mention very slimming underneath the skirt. You will not see the lines.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Thanks for the tip!  I have a spanx full body slip that works great.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Thanks for the tip!  I have a spanx full body slip that works great.

  • Erica Satifka

    Maybe I’m missing something, but… so? I wear shorts (not spandex, more like “gym shorts”) under my dresses and skirts and yeah it looks like I’m wearing a diaper when I’m off the bike, but I take them off as soon as I get to the office. Usually in the elevator, if I’m alone in there. But hey, never said I was classy. :)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      I wasn’t going to the office, I was going to the park and the wine shop and the book shop, biking from place to place.  Not gonna keep putting them on and taking them off.  I don’t want to walk around looking like that.  

  • janet

    Love the dress and the bike.  Very smart.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Thanks!

  • phenager

    Still – a very cute dress.  And weather to wear it — Woo Hoo!
     

  • http://www.bikestylespokane.com/ BarbChamberlain

    This is why I love-love-love Pedal Panties.  They have just a tiny bit of softness at the crotch but not “the full diaper” and no squeezy elastic, with no panty line issues (let alone “leg line” issues like what bike shorts create). My review: 
    http://bikestylespokane.com/2011/07/07/happy-bottom-pedal-panties-review/

  • http://www.bikestylespokane.com BarbChamberlain

    This is why I love-love-love Pedal Panties.  They have just a tiny bit of softness at the crotch but not “the full diaper” and no squeezy elastic, with no panty line issues (let alone “leg line” issues like what bike shorts create). My review: 
    http://bikestylespokane.com/2011/07/07/happy-bottom-pedal-panties-review/

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Cute, I’ve never heard of those before.  Not quite as much coverage as I would prefer, though.

  • Lady Flame

    There is an online Australian shop called CycleStyle which sells skirt garters that have clips. I love mine!

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Thanks for the tip!  I love CycleStyle.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Thanks for the tip!  I love CycleStyle.

  • Dominique Duguay

    hahaha…I usually wear shorts under dresses unless I’m wearing nylons. you just need some with less seams/ribbing. 

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Yeah, prominent seams were the downfall.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Yeah, prominent seams were the downfall.

  • cycler

    I think this year I’ve had a lot of problems with unruly winds from unexpected directions.  The other day I was having all kinds of problems, but mostly AFTER I got off my bike while I was trying to lock up.   
    I have some non-padded cotton-spandex “workout shorts” which hit just above the knee (about the length of your skirt).  They provide a different problem, which is peeking out underneath the hem.   I mostly don’t worry about it though, because I take them off at my destination.  If I absolutely had to arrive at my destination looking ready to go, I’d wear a skirt with no need for “insurance”

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      The idea of cotton shorts peaking out underneath the hem of a dress is actually super cute.  I guess not professional, but still.  :)

  • steve_a_dfw

    Did you really want to be wearing spandex shorts all day at work any way? Or a garter belt pinned to your dress? The conclusion is inescapable – wear the spandex or do the belt pin and then do finishing touches at work. Like Erica, Cycler, and at least two other commenters. Nobody’s going to get distracted by those lines while you are en route.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Like I said above, I was not going to work.  (I would never wear a dress like that to work.)  I was biking on several weekend errands, not conducive to changing in between bike trips.

  • Lady Flame

    I’m not sure whether this ate my comment or not, but I posts earlier so here it is again: there is an online Australian shop Valle CycleStyle that sells skirt garters. I found it very useful :-)

  • Hayley Zeller

    i totally use garters for this, and i find it’s the best solution for nearly every dress or skirt i own.  and i think it’s overkill to use a pin — i just tuck a bit of the fabric under the garter to hold my skirt in place while i’m on the bike, and then pull it out when i stop.  works great and no pin holes!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Thanks for the tucking tip! I’ll try that.

      • April

         I second the garter tip.  I made one from jersey fabric and elastic strip. It took about 15 minutes, but I saw a tip from another lady to use an old srunchie or head band once, I can’t remember where.  I use both the tuck method and the pin method depending on the skirt and the wind. If the skirt has a liner, I pin the liner instead of the skirt. If there is no liner and skirt is thin, or the skirt is still going up despite the pin I tuck it in the garter.  Works like a charm.

  • RobW

    i dont envy you ladies the task of trying to look pretty and stylish, and fighting to maintain modesty while cycling.  I CAN appreciate not wanting to “suit up” in clothes just to get from point A to B, then change.  Gorgeous dress, and a great find.  Hopefully you will be able to find a solution that does just the trick for your riding without getting in the way of how you look once your off the bike.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Thanks!  I can’t complain because I always feel bad that guys can’t wear skirts.  Bummer for you all! 

      • RobW

        (Grins and looks around carefully)

  • http://twitter.com/Mark606 Mark McClure

    Jeez, a little panty flash never did anyone any harm.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      I’d rather not.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      I’d rather not.

  • Tanya Brown

    I wear shorts under my dresses all the time.  There’s ALWAYS wind here blowing at 10-20 mph, so blowing dresses/skirts is the bane of my existence.  I’ve never found a good way around it.  I wear my bike shorts and tuck the ends of the dress under the silicone grippers of the bike shorts.  And most times I wear my bike shorts all day at work (most of my shorts are tri shorts with a minimalist chamois that I hardly even notice I’m wearing. 
    I don’t think it looks bad at all- in fact, I had to do a double take to even see the line of the shorts after you mentioned it.
    Great find on the dress (I LOVE thrifting- just found a brand new cutie myself this weekend). 

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      Good to know.  :)  I never tucked my skirt into my shorts, but that’s a good idea.  I figure if I have shorts on, I don’t mind so much if my skirt flies up.  

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      Good to know.  :)  I never tucked my skirt into my shorts, but that’s a good idea.  I figure if I have shorts on, I don’t mind so much if my skirt flies up.  

  • francis

    There was a time when clothing came with liners or were simply made of a non see-through material to avoid this issue… it’s fascinating how as lifestyles grew more sedentary and car-oriented fashion also got less practical.

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      True, not only sedentary lifestyle, but a desire for quantity/cheapness over quality.

  • francis

    There was a time when clothing came with liners or were simply made of a non see-through material to avoid this issue… it’s fascinating how as lifestyles grew more sedentary and car-oriented fashion also got less practical.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      True, not only sedentary lifestyle, but a desire for quantity/cheapness over quality.

  • David

    Wouldn’t a slip deal with that problem? 

  • David

    Wouldn’t a slip deal with that problem? 

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      That’s a really good suggestion.  I should try an old-fashioned slip.

  • http://twitter.com/kara_lara Kara

    This is so something that would happen to me. But it is a fab dress nonetheless. 

    • http://myaudienceisowls.blogspot.com/ Dottie

      :)

    • http://letsgorideabike.com/blog Dottie

      :)

  • http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/ ladyfleur

    Panty lines are annoying whether they’re bike shorts or regular panties and whether you’re on a bike or not. When I ride in dresses, I usually wear a standard slip with a stretch lace waistband and bike “liner” shorts that also have stretch lace waistband and leg openings.

    Slip: http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/intimates/slips/PRD~c10941/Vanity+Fair+Body+Foundation+Pettiskirt.jsp

    Bike Liner Shorts: http://www.teamestrogen.com/prodSM_9952.html 

    I usually take the bike shorts off when I get to work, but not always. The slip stays on regardless. Right now I happen to be wearing both underneath a cotton knit dress and have no panty lines whatsoever.  :)

  • Karen

    I’ve tried this and it does create visible lines but it works for modesties sake.  I’m thinking of switching to capris length tights instead this year under flowy dresses and skirts.  I see other women doing this and always think it looks rather nice.

  • Karen

    I’ve tried this and it does create visible lines but it works for modesties sake.  I’m thinking of switching to capris length tights instead this year under flowy dresses and skirts.  I see other women doing this and always think it looks rather nice.

  • Jack R

    I recommend two skirts for riders, since they don’t require you to wear shorts under them: the JC Penney American Living black denim skirt and the Merona blue denim skirt from Target. Unfortunately, neither is on their websites at the moment, so you’ll have to check with the stores directly; hopefully they can take mail orders. Some skirts ride up after a few miles, but not these.  I rode this weekend in both; they stay where they belong in part due to the elastic in the denim.  You don’t have to worry about that breeze Tanya Brown mentions, like you would with a looser skirt or dress.  PS:  I like that beautiful blue dress of yours so much, I didn’t notice the shorts line until I read your comment.

  • Lisa

    Miss seeing The Betty….

  • Dave

    maybe not welcome coming from a guy here.. but my fiancee has a great little skirt tip:   use a strong magnet (rare earth, should be about a buck). she has a diamond frame and the magnet is just stuck to the top tube most of the time. weather and circumstances permitting she just sticks her skirt to the top tube. easy on, easy off, no permanent modifications needed, and cheap too.  only works on steel bikes though. another use for the rare-earth magnet: stick it to the bottom of your bottom bracket and it will help to set off the magnetic triggers at stop lights. keep up the good work. 

    • http://twitter.com/turtlepacing Run Turtle Run

      That’s VERY clever.  Might have to try that.  Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/bikeyourlife Bike Your Life Green

      That’s VERY clever.  Might have to try that.  Thanks!

  • Sam

    I don’t think I would have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out

  • http://www.facebook.com/onewomanarmy Tiffy Gleason

    As an avid cyclist and very much a skirt and dress kind of lady, I wear spandex under my skirts and dresses all of the time. I buy spandex shorts that are pretty thin (reducing or illiminating short lines, maybe look for soemthing that is not sport related i.e. Nike. I buy mine at Ragstock, American Appearal, or sometimes I spot them at cheapie stores like Forever 21) and I have found some that have lace on the bottom openings of the legs making them that much more feminine! You can also look for (while you are thrifting) vintage short slips, I have a few of those too and they do not show lines either and are still quite fashionable.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Lace on the bottom – love that idea! Thanks!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Lace on the bottom – love that idea! Thanks!

  • Velovogue

    You need to buy yourself some pedal panties! No VPL. http://www.pedalpanties.com/

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  • antome

    It’s not a fail to me. First it’s not so visible unless attention is drawn to it, second, it doesn’t look bad at all :).