Work clothes to bike in

Clothes Illustration

Riding to work

Smart IdeaClothes at work

  • On the weekend or start of the week, take five days’ worth of clothes to work.
  • At week’s end, take your clothes to the cleaners.
  • Pick up your cleaning from work and leave it at work.

Dressing For The Ride

In warm weather…
Wear loose t-shirts, tank-tops, and shorts for good ventilation. If sweat gets in your eyes or face, wear a headband.

In cold weather…
Wear loose cycling clothes, your work clothes, and windbreaker in layers that you can remove in layers as you heat up.


In a coast-to-coast survey, over 85 percent of people who bike to work or school said they don’t shower at their destinations. Do they just smell bad? No. Most erase bad odor by simply toweling off and changing into fresh clothes. If they want to feel even cleaner, they sponge off and apply talcum powder. As for clothes themselves: When weather’s mild, they bike in the clothes they wear at work. On days when they’ll sweat, they change clothes when they get to work.


Riding to Work

Riding to Work

  • To cut down on sweat, leave earlier and cycle more slowly.
  • If your route involves hills, find the roads with the most gradual inclines.
  • If you commute into the sun at dawn or sunset, wear a red or deep orange top. Don’t wear white, because sun-blinded motorists behind won’t see you.

How to Pack Wrinkle-Free

Wrinklefree graphic

Bags for carrying clothes

Bags for carrying clothes

Cleaning up at work

  • Change clothes and clean up in a washroom. For privacy, use a toilet stall. Use wheelchair-accessible stalls for the most room.
  • Remove your work clothes from your bag and hang them up. If stalls don’t have wall hooks, buy adhesive ones and put them in the stalls yourself.
  • Take off your cycling clothes and put them in your bag. If you’ve nowhere to let cycling clothes dry, put them inside a plastic bag.
  • If you store your bike in a secure, private area, lay your cycling clothes on the top tube and handlebars to dry.
  • Use a towel to dry off sweat.
  • If you feel smelly: Carry a package of disposable, moist towelettes and use them to sponge off. Or use a washcloth.
  • Apply talcum powder.
  • Towel off hair, wet it if necessary, and brush, comb, and/or blow-dry.
  • Put on jewelry away from toilets and sinks so you don’t drop it in.

Skirts and dresses

Skirt illustration

A good cycling skirt

  • Isn’t too tight to let you open your legs enough to pedal.
  • Comes down no farther than the knees.
  • Won’t get caught in the back brakes.
  • If it’s shorter or wider than modesty allows, wear cycling shorts underneath.
  • Try a “skort”: a pair of shorts that look like a skirt.

“It’s hard to find a work skirt I can cycle in. Women’s skirts often aren’t flared enough. So I’ve bought skirts made for teen-agers, which work fine.”

Long dresses or skirts

  • Wear a belt.
  • Pull one or two feet of material up until the dress hangs at knee height.
  • Tuck the material into the belt.
  • If you have no belt, tuck the dress into the waistband of your underwear.

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