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Interbike show -

Las Vegas, Nevada USA, September 25-29, 2006

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Interbike part 9 - New trends in women's clothing, accessories

by Laura Weislo in Las Vegas, NV

Photo ©: Laura Weislo
(Click for larger image)

Women have always had options when it comes to race clothing, but most of them meant we had to be content to blend in and look like 'one of the boys.' At Interbike, we saw the industry react to a growing demand for cycling clothes in the same high-end technical fabrics as men’s specific clothing, but with a more relaxed fit and stylish looks; clothing suitable for entering a coffee shop after a long ride without looking out of place.

Flirty looks from Sheila Moon

Relative newcomer Sheila Moon's line for 2007 incorporates feminine, gauzy fabrics in showy floral patterns, as well as some equestrian-inspired riding britches in solid black or khaki. Moon says her line of clothing focuses on the woman who is "serious about cycling, but still wants to look like a woman." She has used yoga clothing as a model to remove the elastic band from the waist of her cycling shorts, thereby increasing the comfort. One of her most intriguing items is a mesh tee which looks fragile, but is actually fairly sturdy upon closer inspection. The top features two double-layered pockets with reinforced stitching, large enough for a snack and a cell phone, and is available as a tank-top or shimmel. She also makes matching skirts, arm-warmers, and bolero tops.

Shebeest changes hands

Shebeest has been a mainstay of women-specific cycling clothing for the past ten years. Designer Claudia Ried recently sold the company to Veltec Sports, Inc. in order to devote herself full-time to producing functional and stylish women's technical clothing. Ried's background in the fashion industry provided her the knowledge to pattern clothing specifically for a woman's shape, and years of feedback from shops and riders has allowed her to refine her designs. In past years, the line consisted of a single race-focused, streamlined cut, but demand for more versatility from customers has inspired the addition of two more relaxed fits. Jerseys come in a range of colors from solid, subdued colors, a racier bright color palette, and several bold, modern patterns with matching arm-warmers.

Off-road styles

A prototype jacket
Photo ©: Laura Weislo
(Click for larger image)

On the off-road side of things is the Vancouver-based Loeka Clothing company, who is launching a line of women's mountain bike apparel. Coreena Fletcher and Rory Harmse created the line together after Coreena tired of "looking like a football player in the smallest men's jersey". Their clothing includes baggy shorts, jerseys and jackets that use the highest end technical fabrics, replete with features one would expect from cycling clothes, all the while looking unobtrusively like street clothing. The jerseys can accomodate armor, but are cut so that they look right when worn without. Coreena modeled a full-length baggy pant in black with pin-stripes and an attractive stitching detail at the ankle.

More brazen styles can be found from the team of Terri Tolmack and Michelle Borkowski, who started their company, Dirty Girls, after finding that all the clothing in the downhilling circuit was geared toward men. Tolmack said that they wanted to show that women "don't have to look like a guy to hang with the guys". Their clothing line includes street-inspired hats, sweats, tees and tanks, as well as jerseys in pinks, blue and black, all emblazened with the Dirty Girls logo.

Bags, pouches and packs

Crumper's 'Hoo-Jah'
Photo ©: Laura Weislo
(Click for larger image)

Finally, no outfit is complete without the right accessories. Australian bag-maker Crumpler showed their complete line of messenger bags, backpacks, and laptop bags, as well as a new tote for the ladies called the "Headaitch", and a new pouch for MP3 players or cameras called the "Hoo-Jah". Crumpler's items come in a variety of colors - some bright and fruity, some earthy, some in solids and some in stripes. They pride themselves on highly durable, weather resistant bags that look good but can withstand abuse.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Laura Weislo/Cyclingnews.com

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