Trend Watch: How to Wear Cycling Shorts

Post by CM

Kim Kardashian has been doing a valiant job over the past couple of years trying to bring back bike shorts on behalf of her husband Kanye West’s Yeezy label (or rather cycling shorts, as my pink-at-the-front and black-at-the-back pair were known when I was 8, and continue to be this side of the pond). All her hard work is finally paying off; according to pretty much all credible fashion news sources (and us!) bike shorts have finally made their return and are threatening to reveal the camel toes of women the world over.


Cycling shorts can be worn with that hint of irony that brought dad sneakers to the fore. Mixing them up with a tailored jacket, tuxedo shirt and heels subverts the whole functionality aspect of them, but in general they’re not exactly easy to wear. Like the shock of wearing a brightly coloured lipstick when you’re used to nudes, or feeling awkward wearing heels when you usually wear flats fashion trends like these require a modicum of confidence. But once you figure out how to make it work for you it might not be as daunting as you expected.

How to wear?

First of all, your safest bet is to stick with a pair in nice, slightly-more-forgiving black. Like leggings, you’re probably better off covering your arse, unless you’re truly going for the gym-bunny thing (which is an authentic look in itself). In keeping with the luxe athleisure vibe I’d probably pair my cycling shorts with an over-sized sweater/jumper or shirt, depending on the occasion.

Cycle 1

This outfit seen at Paris Couture Week last month is actually kinda wearable, and suggests that cycling shorts may not necessarily as scary as you may have initially thought.

Off White

This is how Off White styled their version at their Spring Summer ’18 show, with Naomi Campbell killing it as usual, even in a pair of shoes that must certainly be based on the plastic-bags-over-flip-flops contraptions often seen in soggy festival fields.

Kendall Jenner out in Paris

Kendall Jenner makes the look work with her yellow top with black accents, and barely there sandals.


A little hint of skin works when you’ve got a denim jacket slung on to keep it cool. Kim K would probably team this outfit with either a pair of dad sneakers or alternatively cage heels.


This is most definitely a lewk; you can tell without even Googling the image that Bella Hadid is in The City of Lights, and putting her own spin on French-girl dressing.

Britain's Princess of Wales departs her London hea

Did you know that Princess Diana’s vintage style is having a bit of a moment? This ensemble would not be out of place in 2018 – bike shorts? Check. Logo sweater? Check. Ugly ole runners? Check. That all white Off White number you saw above? Inspired by the Lady Di herself.


Dolce & Gabbana’s offering is at once a bit 90s, a bit retro and a lot in-your-face. Pop down to your local charity shop, raid the jumper rail and you’ve almost got yourself the look. I’m pretty sure Penney’s and Dunnes will have cycling shorts in their arsenal, and Asos certainly does. You can always cut up a pair of cheap leggings alternatively, especially if you’re handy on a sewing machine and can take the hem up. Just make sure they’re not those thick cotton ones that go see-through after their first wash, mind!

Next year’s shorts trend will probably be long and baggy, if Saint Laurent and Isabelle Marant’s SS18 shows are to be believed. Those paper-bag trousers that are suddenly on every stylish Insta star (inspired by Julia Peilipas, according to Man Repeller)? Think those, but shorts. Until then it’s time to splash out a couple of euro on a pair of skin-tight spandex (or alternatively rob your cycling-mad dad’s lycra).


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