Pass notes

No 3,938 Black cy­cling shorts

The Guardian - G2 - - Shortcuts -

Ap­pear­ance: Black cy­cling shorts.

What are they? Black cy­cling shorts.

Ah, yes. I think I’ve seen these. Are they the things I get stuck be­hind when­ever I drive uphill on a sunny Saturday? That’s right. Cy­cling shorts are tight, stretchy leg cov­er­ings that stop above the knee and of­ten con­tain the bot­tom, thighs and gen­i­tals of an ob­ses­sive ped­aller.

Oh, be­lieve me, I can see ex­actly what they con­tain. I have to stare at them for hours while I wait to over­take. My sym­pa­thies.

But it is prac­ti­cal to wear them for a long bike ride, I sup­pose. Ab­so­lutely. They are aero­dy­namic and al­low your legs to move freely while you ex­er­cise. And they keep you rel­a­tively warm and dry.

I achieve the same ef­fect by plac­ing my­self in­side some kind of build­ing, such as a house or pub. Each to their own. But, of course, cy­cling shorts are at the cut­ting edge of fash­ion.

No, they’re not. Oh yes they are. Black cy­cling shorts were part of Dior’s and Dolce & Gab­bana’s lat­est cat­walk shows. Both Ken­dall Jenner and Bella Ha­did have re­cently been seen wear­ing them. While ped­alling up Ditch­ling Bea­con? No. While pranc­ing about be­ing fa­mous.

Did they have those padded bot­toms? The shorts? Yes. I don’t be­lieve so. These are de­signer shorts, re­mem­ber, from la­bels such as Vatanika. Think of them more as cut-off leg­gings.

OK. And they don’t ab­so­lutely have to be black. Naomi Camp­bell wore white ones at Off-white’s cat­walk show in Paris.

Can they have brightly coloured spon­sors’ lo­gos all over them? They can­not.

So what will be­come fash­ion­able next? Metal clips on the soles of high heels? Weird, creepy gog­gles? A wa­ter bot­tle strapped to your clutch bag? Punc­ture re­pair kits? I doubt it. This trend is more about the skintight sil­hou­ette than any great de­vo­tion to cy­cling. It’s not as if fash­ion mod­els and com­pet­i­tive cy­clists have much in com­mon, af­ter all.

Apart, of course, from a re­puted fond­ness for leg-shav­ing? Yes. Apart from that.

Do say: “Bring­ing to­gether the lux­u­ri­ant shine of kan­ga­roo leather and the punk aes­thetic of de­tach­able metal studs, foot­ball boots are the per­fect choice to fin­ish any week­end out­fit with éclat.”

Don’t say: “Ac­ces­sorise with shin pads.”

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