WSJ: fashion and bicycle advice?!?

A friend sent me an email tipping me off to a short article in the Wall Street Journal  that offered fashion advice to professional women interested in riding a bike to work.  I was a bit suprised that the WSJ even had a fasion reporter.  The fashion reporter interviews Julie Hirshfeld, owner of, a purveyor of eurobikes in Manhattan.  If women biking to work in fashionable professional attire has made it into the Wall Street Journal, the US cyclechic movement must have legs. Here is the article:


Q: For my birthday, my husband gave me a city bike for commuting to work to Columbia University (a distance of less than four miles.) How should I change the way I dress for the office now that I’m riding a bicycle instead of taking the subway?

—B.O., New York CityA: With the expansion of bike lanes across cities like New York and Washington, D.C., commuters can whiz to work as easily—and fashionably—as the folks who have been biking in suits and dresses for years in Amsterdam and Berlin.

If you’re traveling on flat streets and not going too far, “it’s really unnecessary to make adjustments to your wardrobe,” says Julie Hirshfeld, owner of, a New York retailer of bikes and cycling paraphernalia. She pedals about four miles to her shop every day.

Skirts and pants alike will work. On a low-slung city bike, you’re sitting upright and usually pedaling slowly enough that you won’t wind up sweaty. With covered chains and fenders, city bikes won’t make your clothes dirty. So go ahead and wear khaki pants and other light-colored clothes.

You don’t have to wear flats. “It’s much easier to bike in heels than walk in them,” says Ms. Hirshfeld, who often pedals in three-inch heels or high wedgies to work.

A smart bike-to-work look for women could be a pleated skirt and a short jacket such as a pea coat—layered with tights, quilted vests and leather gloves when the weather is colder.

Choose a bike helmet that’s chic, such as the tweedy brimmed-cap helmets marketed by Yakkay or the solid, sleek helmets in dark green, purple or brown from the Nutcase Helmets label.

Carry your laptop, purse and extra clothes on a sturdy rear bike rack, instead of driving with a backpack, which will make you sweaty.

On warmer days when you may have to change tops after commuting, stay fresh while biking with underlayers that wick sweat away from your body.

Consider, for example, lightweight wool T-shirts or tops made of high-performance materials. The brands Rec-Tech and Under Armour are favored by runners.

—Email questions to

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

One thought on “WSJ: fashion and bicycle advice?!?

  1. Great article, love the illustration! Chuckle of the day…”it’s easier to bike in heels than to walk in them.” So true…the things we ladies do for fashion.

    Dave, you seriously need one of those Retrovelo frame bags on the adelineadeline site. Niiice.

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