Nadia Stamp – fashionista and model for this year’s cover of our Love Your Ride magazine gives some advice on how to look chic in the saddle. 

I’ve always loved fashion and bikes. From a young age I designed my daily outfits around my cycle commute and enjoyed the challenge of looking stylish without reverting to sports attire.

On a visit to cosmopolitan Milan I experienced the leisurely commute – using a bicycle to visit bars, clubs and restaurants while wearing pretty summer frocks and wedges or heels. Over the years, my passion for the bike has evolved into more serious road cycling, joining groups on rides for fitness and fun.

It’s great because it is low impact and non-contact but still offers the chance to be competitive. A tough grind uphill and the sheer elation of the descent gets your adrenaline pumping. But cycling as a female fashionista – whether casually or competitively – can be a challenge. Initially, I was frustrated to find that most cycling apparel is malespecific – which means it is a poor fit for women and often comes in drab/ masculine colours.


Nadia & her prized treadly

Over the years I’ve scoured every possible cycling apparel website and shop looking for unique, stylish and functional clothing for my bike – for both the daily commute and my fitness hobby. My motto is – If you are going to ride, do it in style. The two kinds of cycling I do follow different fashion guidelines. I can be a fashionable commuter or female roadie. But I believe you can enjoy both kinds of riding in style.

So here are my best tips for looking great on a bike (at any speed):

The Female Roadie

  • Choose a headband and helmet with a ponytail hole, let your lovely locks be free and avoid the helmet forehead indent.
  • Try Specialized Propero 2 with the Hairport (from Bike Society, Anzac Hwy)
  • Kmart wireless T-Shirt Bras are my cheap comfortable best buy
  • Favorite bib shorts are made by Assos – perfect for comfort and fit

The Fashionable Commuter

  • Avoid skirts that waver in the wind and use a Tandem N Y Skirt Weight •Avoid a sweaty back from a backpack.
  • Instead carry your handbag in a Schwinn quick-release wire basket.
  • Find a style that suits you: a knee-length skirt with kick pleats; wide -leg culottes; chino shorts matched with light merino wool knits.
  • Wear a cotton or fine merino singlet in nude, black or white. Try Rapha’s base layer sleeveless in black, these are great under blouses, tops and dresses. If you do sweat a little, it protects your outer layers and can be taken off during the day.
  • Top up your fragrance with a matching body spray.
  • Avoid helmet hair and choose styles that work, such as side pony tails, a braid and plait. Pack a straw or wool fedora that matches your other garments

Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments below. 

This article originally appeared in Bicycle SA’s 8th edition of Love Your Ride Magazine.