Review: Bird Industries Bike Garter

When I saw bike garters from Bird Industries available in one of those email flash sales a few months back, I decided to give one a whirl. This particular bike garter had been recommended a few times in our comments section, and I have a few skirts I like to wear on my bike that give me occasional modesty issues. The bike garter is pretty simple: It’s a garter with a clip much like an actual garter, but the clip is meant to grab your skirt, not a stocking. The Bird Industries garter I chose was a bright pink and size large since I wanted to make sure it was not too snug. The inside of the garter has a silicone grip, and it stays put on my leg without pinching (though it’s not the sort of thing you really forget you are wearing).

The clip is not difficult to use, but the way it works was not intuitive to me: instead of pinching the end of the clasp to make the end that opens open, you push it up to open the clasp.

The first time I wore the garter, I fixed the clasp to the hem of my skirt, on the side. It made a bit of a bubble hem, but looked pretty normal.

Skirt with garter clip clipped to the hem—note the slight bubble

You can also attach the clasp to a spot on the underside of the skirt.

rear side of skirt clipped to garter

skirt with the garter clip clipped to the underside of the skirt

Both clasp methods worked to keep the skirt from flying all the way up, and did not impede my pedaling ability. However, neither kept the garter from showing. This is clear on the Bird Industries store, so it isn’t like they’re misleading anyone, but I was surprised by the way exposed garter made me feel. It still seemed that something was showing that ought not to be—and that “something” was bright pink! I didn’t take pictures of this situation for that reason. But it was easily resolved by tucking a small portion of my skirt hem under the edge of the garter at the side. I am not sure I would feel comfortable wearing this garter with a shorter skirt, like the ladies in the Bird Industries photos. Which is odd, because I don’t consider myself that shy about that sort of thing—it took me four years to buy one of these, after all.

Garter clip in action, with garter safely covered.

As I mentioned, I bought my garter clip on super clearance through one of those “final sale” flash shops, but the normal retail price is $12. Overall, it is an effective method of keeping your underwear under wraps, as long as you don’t mind flashing a garter instead.

Do you use a bike garter?

  • http://lacyclechic.com/ Cosmo

    I have not used a bike garter. I don’t know if I would either. I’ll give you my fashion designers perspective on why this particular garter was something you felt the need to hide. It strongly resembles a bra strap. most women prefer to hide their bra straps. walking around with ones bra straps showing is a bit sloppy/tacky. I don’t think you are the sloppy/tacky type.

    I think that if this garter were more ornamental and decorative and the clip didn’t look so plastic you may have been less inclined to want to hide it. It doesn’t look as though it was designed to be seen. I think that even on the model it doesn’t create a flattering line. With it below the skirt it cuts off the leg in a weird way. Also the space between the skirt and the garter in the model photos shows an unpleasant visual tension is created there. Mostly though I think it is the bra strap thing. It looks like there is a bra strap wrapped around the models leg.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Great thoughts. You nailed me when it comes to the hidden bra strap type. :)

  • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

    Delete.

    • cycler

      Thanks!

  • Ken C.

    Wow! $12 is rather pricey for such a simple article; that fancy clip must be expensive. As a guy, I wore one of those reflective tape, velcro-fastening trouser cuff garters [they were "approved" for wear with our military uniforms] to keep my right pant’s cuff out of the chain [we could also wear helmets vice hats while cycling]. Of course, that’s a completely different situation from wearing a thigh garter, which is more like lingerie, I suppose.

  • Alissa Conaty

    I just wear bike shorts most of the time. The hem of my shorts are just shy of the length of my shortest dress/skirt. It provides both modesty, and something (the leg band) to tuck the hem of my longest dress into (to prevent the dress from getting caught in something). Only exceptions are if I’m wearing yoga shorts to class, or if I’m wearing Spanx with a dressier outfit on my way to a date/event.

    Either way there’s always a something under my dress/skirt to prevent flashing both while pedaling or while caught up in a strong Chicago wind gust. It’s a habit I started right after I moved down here, and had an unfortunate moment on a windy day while wearing my favorite mid-calf dress w/ a flowing skirt (which provided enough loose material for the wind to pick up and blow way, way, -way- up).

  • Alissa Conaty

    I just wear bike shorts most of the time. The hem of my shorts are just shy of the length of my shortest dress/skirt. It provides both modesty, and something (the leg band) to tuck the hem of my longest dress into (to prevent the dress from getting caught in something). Only exceptions are if I’m wearing yoga shorts to class, or if I’m wearing Spanx with a dressier outfit on my way to a date/event.

    Either way there’s always a something under my dress/skirt to prevent flashing both while pedaling or while caught up in a strong Chicago wind gust. It’s a habit I started right after I moved down here, and had an unfortunate moment on a windy day while wearing my favorite mid-calf dress w/ a flowing skirt (which provided enough loose material for the wind to pick up and blow way, way, -way- up).

  • Amanda

    Thanks for posting this review. I really like your creative idea for clipping it to the underside of your dress, too!

    Just for a little background, those garters were in the flash sale because they were “last season’s stock.” I am continually making improvements to my products, and the current garters sport a more intuitive and durable metal clip (with plastic teeth). You can specify your choice of color when you order on Etsy, too, if bright colors aren’t your thing.

    Shorts underneath a dress are another solution a lot of people use. The more ideas out there, the more people will feel comfortable riding, and the more people will ride. That’s the goal — enjoy the ride!

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Thanks for responding. I did notice the clips on the garters on etsy were silver, and wondered if that had been a design change. Personally I hate wearing shorts under a dress — I don’t like extra layers that aren’t actually a part of my outfit — but I know that solution works well for others.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Thanks for responding. I did notice the clips on the garters on etsy were silver, and wondered if that had been a design change. Personally I hate wearing shorts under a dress — I don’t like extra layers that aren’t actually a part of my outfit — but I know that solution works well for others.

  • Enzo

    Perhaps the problem, as someone already mentioned, is the bright colors of this garter which makes them obviously noticeable and based on the description on etsy ( “I can look sexy on my bike.”) the fact that they are meant to be seen. On the flip side, had the garter and clasp been skin-toned color or clear (like certain bra straps) would you have had the same reaction if it were showing? I am guessing not.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

      Yes, clear would have improved things, I think. When I bought it, I thought the pink color was fun but in practice it did seem like too much of an attention-getter.

  • ridonrides

    i use this garter and love it. although it’s a cute color (i got the same pink), i don’t wear it showing either. instead, i wear it one or two inches above the hemline clipped to the inside side seam. i used to wear shorts underneath skirts, but hated it during summer. the whole point was to stay cool and shorts did not help. so the garter is a good alternative for me.

    • http://letsgorideabike.com LGRAB

      Yes, that’s exactly how I feel about shorts under skirts. Plus, bike shorts aren’t a part of my wardrobe and I didn’t want to buy something extra that would reduce my comfort level. (Of course, in the winter/fall, tights make the modesty question moot.) Maybe I’ll try wearing it the way that you describe and see if that makes me feel better about it.

  • http://lacyclechic.com/ Cosmo

    I have not used a bike garter. I don’t know if I would either. I’ll give you my fashion designers perspective on why this particular garter was something you felt the need to hide. It strongly resembles a bra strap. most women prefer to hide their bra straps. walking around with ones bra straps showing is a bit sloppy/tacky. I don’t think you are the sloppy/tacky type.

    I think that if this garter were more ornamental and decorative and the clip didn’t look so plastic you may have been less inclined to want to hide it. It doesn’t look as though it was designed to be seen. I think that even on the model it doesn’t create a flattering line. With it below the skirt it cuts off the leg in a weird way. Also the space between the skirt and the garter in the model photos shows an unpleasant visual tension is created there. Mostly though I think it is the bra strap thing. It looks like there is a bra strap wrapped around the models leg.

  • http://letsgorideabike.com Trisha

    Great thoughts. You nailed me when it comes to the hidden bra strap type. :)

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