Cycling is fashionable. You can’t move in east London without first looking left and right for a rider in rolled up skinny jeans, Wayfarer sunglasses and Marcel Kittel style haircut.
Bikes are cropping up on posters, greetings cards, shop fronts and adverts while Britain’s latest world champion remains a style icon.
Cycling, or more accurately bike riding, is crossing in to main stream retail like never before as clothing manufacturers tailor their wares for those on two wheels. Levis have been selling cycling jeans for several years now and Ted Baker recently released their cycle clothing.
At the cross over point sit Rapha. A British cycling brand – who quickly identified and then rapidly expanded their previously non-existent part of the market – that now creates some exceptionally good casual wear.
Bringing their favoured merino wool in to leisure clothing saw them make items of clothing that instantly become that ‘go to’ item of clothing in your wardrobe. Comfort, warmth and fit are seemingly as important off the bike as they are on.
Their latest city range now has to compete with some goliaths of the retail industry but their cycling identity has already helped them gain media recognition in the women’s market.
Thankfully their latest range features plenty more Merino wool (you’ll be happy about that if you’ve been wearing it already) including a set of £35 Merino boxer shorts (£45 for the ones with a pad). At that price they’re matching the top designer brands on the high street, and you may ask if you want woollen pants. But trust us, once you’ve worn them for five minutes, you wont want to wear anything else, especially on a cold day.
The £160 track jacket doesn’t feel heavy enough to be considered a jacket, but put it on and you’ll be amazed by the warmth, while the jeans in hipster red could perhaps be skinnier in the skinny fit stakes.
The range features t-shirts, wallets, gloves, belts and other accessories. Rapha’s website has prices and clothing and size range.