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Reservoir togs: cycling suits

Smart suits for when cycling becomes a serious business.

Suits for cycle commuting
Sam Larner
18 Jan 2016

Think of cycling in a suit and you may well picture a straw-haired London mayor wobbling awkwardly along a congested cycle superhighway, his trousers tucked into his socks and blazer billowing in the wind. But it need not be so.

A few tailors have seen the opportunity to create a functional outfit for the bike that a non-cycling civilian may find acceptable in the office. An authority on the subject is João Correia, one-time pro with Cervélo Test Team and some-time writer for men’s fashion mag Esquire. ‘There are a lot of great brands starting to make tailored clothing that works well on the bike,’ he says. ‘The things I would look for are smart features like a collar with a hidden button that can be done up to keep the wind away. Then there are obvious things like breathable fabrics and reflective material that doesn’t look like reflective material during the day.’

Well, as it happens, three tailors have come up trumps. Ted Baker, Parker Dusseau and Owen Scott have all made fully fledged cross-city commuting suits, and reflective material is the first thing to strike the eye. Ted Baker and Parker Dusseau both favour subtle flashes of reflective material under the collar and trouser hem, while Owen Scott has gone for a yellow lining and fluoro pocket flaps and collar.

Dealing with dampness

Sweat patches are a mortal style sin, so Parker Dousseau has added a ventilation zip on the inside of the sleeve. Ted Baker takes a slightly different approach, siding for a ventilation mesh on the back of the jacket, while Owen Jones has dedicated more thought to chillier temperatures, with a button to hold the unfolded collar in place for wind protection.

Ted Baker has similarly considered all-weather riding, with waterproof fabric on the trousers and jacket. Concealed zip pockets are also a clever addition given the pesky tendency of keys to shake free of trouser pockets.

While ditching the lycra for formal office-wear might be considered heresy (just ask Frank Strack), if you must break The Rules, you might as well do it in style.

Suits left to right

Parker Dusseau Commuter Suit, $720 –

The Tour Suit, POA –

Ted Baker The Commuter Suit, £539 –

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