Portland entrepreneurs (and sisters) aim to produce “The Bike Dress”

Still from promo video.

Portlanders Amber and Beth Bogdewiecz want to make biking in a dress easier. The sisters are the entrepreneurial duo behind The Bike Dress and they’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to help get their first production run off the ground.

Here’s more from their website:

“Being a couple of stylish ladies, we always have the desire to look good no matter what we’re doing. However, our passion for fashion is conflicted. We also want to be comfortable at all times since we are very active gals!

After years of wearing shorts under our dresses, searching for creative ways to carry all of our stuff, and trying to coordinate everything into a fashionable outfit, we decided it was time to create something new. And thus, The Bike Dress was born!”

Check their teaser vid below…

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Product Review: A warm winter cap from Bella Capo

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A functional hat that also looks nice off the bike.

I love hats! As someone who bikes almost every day year-round, hats do many things for me. They keep out the elements (rain and sun being my biggest threats), they soak up my sweat in summer, they keep me warm in winter, and they also hide my sometimes disheveled hair.

I’ve worn hundreds of hats over the years, and it takes a lot of little things to go right for one to become a keeper. For the past few weeks I’ve been wearing one that has become my go-to this winter.

The Bella Capo winter cap is made in Italy for Portland-based Cyclone Bicycle Supply (suggested retail is $35.98). Unless you’re in the industry, you probably haven’t heard of Cyclone. That’s because they’re a parts and accessory distributor that sells to bike dealers and other retailers all over the country. All the Bella Capo caps stocked by Cyclone are made just for them by hand from a source in Italy.

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On the podcast: Fashion on bikes, from long skirts to Lycra

Producer Lily Karabaic showing her high-heel riding
skills during the Bowie vs. Prince Pedalpalooza ride.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you are what you wear, being yourself is often a challenge for people who ride bikes.

Armed with the practical tips of guest host Meghan Sinnott, our latest podcast episode is here to help. Sinnott joined producer Lillian Karabaic, Jonathan and me to talk about how to make people say “You got here on a bike?

We tackle the best heels for biking in; Jonathan’s affection for sport gear (and the times when he decides to abandon it); whether chain guards are necessary; and whether we should “light up our children like road cones” when they hit the road themselves. Even our recording engineer, Brock Dittus, pops in with a tip about men’s pants.

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Portlanders show off bikes, fashion at ‘Dress Like Your Bike’ party (photos)

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Julia Himmelstein at Tuesday’s Dress Like Your Bike event.
(Photos by M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Did you ever start to realize that you’ve begun to physically resemble your bicycle?

That was the question of the night in a North Portland bike shop Wednesday as dozens of bike riders coordinated their color choices to pose for free shots from a local fashion photographer.

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Local women’s bike fashion company launches ‘Dress to Ride’ project

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Quick Study Clothing makes dresses
that are comfortable while bicycling.
(Photos: Shola Lawson)

Local fashion designer Caitlin McCall is the owner of Quick Study, a women’s apparel company that focuses bike-friendly dresses made in Portland. To help with the launch of her website next month she wants to interview and photograph 16 local women who, “fearlessly adapt their wardrobes to the demands of going by bike.”

‘Dress to Ride’ is the name of the project and all the women who participate in the interviews will be featured in a permanent photo gallery on QuickStudyClothing.com (shot by photographer Shola Lawson) and will be used in McCall’s social media efforts.

This is the first we’ve heard of Quick Study and somehow we missed the profile on the company in the Portland Mercury’s Bike Issue back in May. Here’s more from Mercury fashion writer Marjorie Skinner:

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Levi’s makes Portland first stop on its ‘Go To Work’ bike shop tour

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Levi’s will have experts on hand
for free fixes of bikes and clothing.
(Photo: Urban Outfitters)

Editors at The New York Times aren’t the only ones who know Portland is an epicenter of fashion and bicycling. One of the most respected names in the history of fashion, Levi’s, has announced their six-city 2013 Bike Shop Tour and Portland is the first stop on their list. Themed, “Go to Work” and aimed at promoting their Commuter apparel line, a crew from Levi’s will roll into Portland with their mobile bike shop and sewing studio on August 6th.

Other stops on the tour include San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin and Brooklyn.

Similar to a stop they made here last summer (they set up outside Pacific Northwest College of Art on NW 13th and Johnson), the Levi’s Bike Shop will offer free bike tune-ups and washing, basic repairs, and tailoring. This year, the shop will be located at Wonder Ballroom (128 NE Russell Street) and will be open from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

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NY Times shares Pearl District “bike style” with the world

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Still from NY Times video.

The venerable New York Times turned their video lens to Portland’s Pearl District and is currently sharing the results on their home page for all the world to see. In Intersection: Bicycle Style in the Pearl they capture the personal style perspectives of four Portlanders who bike.

Depending on your feelings about bikes, fashion, the Pearl District, or any combination of the three, the video (below) will likely either amuse, inspire, or annoy. What’s interesting to us is that northwest Portland (which includes the Pearl) was one of only two places in the city to record a decrease in ridership according to the City’s 2012 counts (a 5.7% decline from 2011 numbers). It’s also worth noting that the video was shot on NW 13th, which we hope will someday become Portland’s first shopping street/promenade where parking and through access for drivers is prohibited. The video also shows just the latest recognition of bicycle fashion among the major media — a sign that bicycling is becoming more mainstream in America.

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Two local bike shops set to host fashion-focused events

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Flyer for Giro New Road launch event in Portland.

Seems like everywhere you turn these days there’s news about bike fashion. Whether it’s featured at the National Bike Summit or making major news headlines, bike brands and major fashion labels are falling over themselves to get a piece of the growing apparel pie.

Portland is an epicenter of stylish cycling so it’s no surprise that we’ve got our share of fashion-focused events. Two of them have come on my radar recently…

This Friday River City Bicycles will host a launch event for Giro’s “New Road” apparel line. Giro, a brand known to most people for their helmets, launched their new clothing line late last month and it’s being called a potential “paradigm shift” by the bike media. A local rep for Giro explained the new line as, “Giro’s take on a changing the traditional road clothing (lycra jerseys and such) to something a bit more understated but still performance based.” New Road features merino jerseys that look more like business-casual t-shirts.

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Pop-up shops at Women’s Bicycling Forum puts fashion front and center

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Bandbox Bicycle helmets-2

These helmet hats by Bandbox were a big hit.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Women entrepreneurs are riding the wave of two major American trends: a renaissance in urban bicycling and a surging demand for stylish riding apparel. At the National Women’s Bicycling Forum on Monday, the League of American Bicyclists hosted a pop-up shop full of vendors who see functional and stylish clothing as just another front on the effort to make bicycling more appealing to women.

Helmets are decidedly unappealing when it comes to fashion and they present a quandary for women who put safety first. Not only are helmets notorious for messing up one’s coiffure; but a big plastic dome can also ruin even the cutest outfit. Dr. Cheryl Allen-Munley of Bandbox Bicycle Helmets seems to have a solution. Her helmets look like hats that happen to come with a chin strap. The shells can be wrapped with all sorts of designs — from cowgirl hats to berets and everything in between. Women flocked to her booth all day snapping photos of each other and trying on the different styles.

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Jeff Mandel’s latest: Stylish, custom, and classy bike touring boots

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Tweed Ride Portland 2010-9

Jeff Mandel, shoemaker.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Remember Jeff Mandel? He’s a local leather artisan and master shoemaker based in southeast Portland who also loves to ride bikes. Back when he came onto the scene in 2008 we shared his handmade leather saddles and a pair of his bike shoes. Jeff is still going at it, refining his skills and making beautiful shoes that are purpose-built for pedaling.

I thought you’d appreciate his latest creation: A pair of SPD-compatible boots made for bicycle touring.

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