Cycle chic or bicycle chic is the culture of cycling in fashionable clothes. It is associated with utility cycling in cities such as Amsterdam, Basel, Berlin, Berne, Bristol and Copenhagen, where many people ride bikes. There and in cities in China and Japan, cycling is everyday transport and many wear everyday clothes rather than specialist clothes of Spandex and specialist cycling shoes.
Cycle chic is growing in cities which invest in bicycle-friendly facilities. Some people find it easy to ride around town in normal clothes. News pictures of celebrities such as Agyness Deyn cycling in this way encourages others.
The phrase “cycle chic” was coined by the filmmaker and photographer Mikael Colville-Andersen in Copenhagen in 2006. Called "The Sartorialist on two wheels" by The Guardian newspaper, Colville-Andersen advocates making urban cycling normal, to increase trips by bicycle.
Cycling was fashionable at the end of the 19th century. The height of bicycle chic then was to play polo on bicycles, using long-handled tennis rackets and rubber balls. Women's wear had been impractical for cycling and so rational dress was required. Divided skirts, bloomers and knickerbockers were tried as fashionable women tried to resolve the matter without provoking hostility, ridicule or violence.
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