As an early adapter of “man-pris,” bright colors, and Euro-tight shirts, I often hear friends say, “I’d never be able to pull that off, but you can get away with it.” And while I’m still not sure I know what they mean, I’ve translated their “you can pull that off” as a way of saying, I’m enough of a clown that I don’t care if I stick out. Others have told me that it’s a certain confidence and comfort level with my masculinity that allows me to select my wardrobe based strictly on its sheer performance, rather than fear of looking too Euro. You too can pull this off, but be warned—the following performance apparel is only for those who don’t mind pushing the fashion boundaries in the name of function and comfort.
Built with Italian denim made for the British cycling outfitter extraordinaire, these velo jeans are designed with the city rider in mind. The cotton, nylon and elastane blend offers stretch, quick drying and durability. The fit is tailored for pedaling, including the offset seams to avoid chafing. The pink lining on the inside will catch drivers’ eyes—and the right rear pocket is even reinforced to fit a D-lock.
Club Ride Pin’It Shorts
You know skinny jeans, how about skinny shorts? Club Ride, a hip company out of Sun Valley, Idaho, makes them (the Pin’It Shorts are even pin striped). It’s not just hipster flair—the stretch fabric is technical and burly.
Club Ride Bolt Shirt
Even with its off-angled plaid shoulder fashion statement and a zipper and snap button combo that would keep Dapper Dan busy, the Bolt is nonetheless a performance top. Constructed out of a plush quick-drying material with underarm mesh venting, the shirt is highly functional.
Rapha Hi-Vis Gilet
This vest may be a bit much for regular wear, but if you want to mix safety and fashion, nothing beats it. That said, it might be over the top for hunting safety or when cycling in Red states where drivers might not be too friendly with “Pinkos” or those who put homophobic motorists on edge. The pink vest or “gilet” packs the pop with its eye-catching qualities and added reflectivity and comes in men’s and women’s versions.
Dynafit Trail Short Sleeve Tee Jersey
A true Euro-cut, “athletically tailored” top that uses body mapping technology for a conforming fit that matches different materials for performance, durability and wickability. The t-shirt features micro mesh, silica protection, an MP3 pocket and even a sunglasses wiper.
Pearl Izumi Canyon Short
Complete with a detachable mountain biking chamois, the Canyon Short is a utility vehicle for subtle statements like the stripes of the lightweight stretch fabric from which they are constructed. You get plenty of freedom in these 11-inch inseam shorts that feature an adjustable interior waistband and zippered side pocket.
Ashmei Classic Jersey Short Sleeve
Thanks to the temperature-regulating qualities of wool, the Classic Jersey is less likely to get you sweaty in the first place, but if it does, it naturally wicks the moisture away and is quick to dry. Ashmei, an edgy British company, even stylises this jersey with an “iPod cable tidy system,” two-way pockets that accentuate the piece.
I/O Bio Glory Zip
The Glory Zip is a hoodie made of ultra-light and buttery soft Australian merino wool with a touch of lycra. It breathes, dries quickly and sports functional versatility like thumb holes, a deep vent chest zipper and a snug-fitting hood that easily fits under a helmet.
La Sportiva Atmosphere Long Sleeve
Want to look like an Italian superhero? This seamless, contoured, silky-soft top is body mapped for ventilation and insulation where you need those qualities. The fabric is resilient and contains an anti-odor treatment. The long sleeves have integrated thumb holes.