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THE HOW-TO GUIDE TO COLOUR BLOCKING YOUR CYCLING KIT
At the Emporium we understand the importance of looking good both on and off the bike no matter the occasion, whether you’re heading out for a solo escape through the hills or a local coffee shop ride with your mates. Seasonal colours or patterns have become just as much a part of cycling apparel style as it has our casual wear. It’s a trend that’s here to stay, and we can only see it gaining popularity. That’s right – we’re talking about Colour Blocking.
Colour blocking (verb): the simple, yet stylish method of putting an outfit together to ensure you’re always looking your best – achieved through the use of contrasting blocks of solid colour that complement, or contrast, each other to create an outfit that seamlessly blends together.
If you’re not sure where to begin, using your complexion as a base can be a good start. If you have fair skin then deeper, richer shades will work best (think navy, dark emerald green, charcoal or black.) If you have darker skin or are sporting a hard-earned cyclist’s tan, you can add more vibrant, brighter options to your ensemble.
Once upon a time black was the only colour option for bibs. Jerseys didn’t offer up much choice either. Now, the choice of colours is practically endless. To make sense of all the colours and tones we have broken down the sub-groups to guide you through the process of upping your colour blocking game.
I. NEUTRALS: LAYING A FOUNDATION
Whether you’re gearing up for your daily commute or preparing to look your best for the weekend hit-out, having a fundamental base of colour shades to mix and match is essential. Neutral colours will work with almost anything; this is why they are a solid foundation of any discerning cyclist’s wardrobe. A great place to start is navy, grey or black, which can be easily interchanged.
II. BIBS DON’T HAVE TO BE BLACK (BUT THEY CAN BE)
For many years, opting for anything other than black knicks was seriously frowned upon and could have you excommunicated from your local bunch ride. Luckily, however, those days are long behind us. A staple of any cyclist’s wardrobe should include several different colour block bib shorts to easily mix and match with multiple jerseys.
Navy bibs work with just about anything from darker neutrals such as blacks and greys right through to brighter shades such as reds and oranges. Don’t be afraid to throw in the occasional pink jersey as well – you may be pleasantly surprised.
Green bibs work best with lighter shades such as white and beige. However, they can also work with darker tones depending upon your skin complexion. They say rules are made to be broken, so go for something that scares you (just not white!)
For those that are ready to add some colour into the mix, but aren’t quite ready to stand out completely from the crowd, try adding soft tones such as maroon, pastel shades or blues to your selection of colour block jerseys. Single colour jerseys are easiest to match, but look at half-and-half jersey options too, for that next step up in style.
V. SEASONS CHANGE: SO SHOULD YOUR KIT
No matter which hemisphere you call home, as the seasons change so too should your cycling wardrobe. This applies not just to those extra layers and warmers, but to colour as well! Just like the leaves turn in autumn, or the green buds of spring signal the end of winter’s greyness, this too can apply to your colour choices as the days grow warmer or cooler.
Warm tones such as greens, reds, oranges, greys and navy blues are better suited for winter.
Softer tones such as light blues, whites, bright reds and pinks will reflect heat in the summer, ensuring you keep just as cool as you look.
VI. CLASHING OR CONTRASTING: BREAKING ALL THE RULES
‘Red and green shouldn’t be seen’ – or so the saying goes. Don’t be afraid to risk it all by matching reds & greens, blue with black, light and dark, warm and cool. Set your own style, and find what works best for you. Sure, your riding buddies might let you know if they think you’ve made a fashion foul… but what do they know?!
VII. ACCESSORISE: THE FINISHING TOUCH
This is where you can add the finishing touch that takes your look from weekend warrior to Euro pro. It can also be the easiest and most cost-effective way to add some colour to your kit. Matching the colour of your socks or gloves with your jersey is a simple trick that keeps your ensemble from looking like you grabbed whatever was at the top of your drawer in the dark. This also applies for warmers. However, it should be mentioned that knee and leg warmers work best if they match your knicks for the chic monochrome look. Channel your inner Tom Boonen.
Inspired by our colour blocking suggestions? Shop the latest products available on the Emporium.