cycle chic touring

calivintage: cycle chicon the third and fourth days of the bike tour, we opted to stay put in monterey to avoid the weekend traffic through big sur. so while we got some rest and relaxation, i decided to put together a cycle chic outfit post to show you the few items of clothing that i chose to bring for this particular ride. having done two similar tours of the california coast in the past, i’ve come to figure out what works best for me in terms of comfort for both riding a bike for several hours a day and camping at night. this is obviously a very personal thing and everyone has different preferences, so keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for how to prepare for a trip like this.

packing for this tour, i was most concerned about comfort and weight. i have to carry everything i bring in my panniers, so keeping a light load makes climbing those big hills a lot easier. but you also want to make sure you’ve got enough to keep you covered for all weather. this means breaking it down to only the most esential items. so this is what i brought:

women’s daily riding pants courtesy of outlier: i am so happy to have discovered these riding pants. they’re made of a super stretchy and lightweight material that is so much more comfortable than the spandex bike shorts and pants i used to wear. they’re less restrictive and far more fashionable, and they stay completely dry all day. i also like that they miraculously repel dirt, so they stay clean for days. seriously, i cannot recommend these enough and i am so glad that outlier was kind enough to send me a pair to try out for the tour when i contacted them.

canari gel liners: the only draw-back to the riding pants is that they don’t come with a chamois, but i’ve got myself covered (literally) with this pair of cycling “underwear.” i feel especially lucky because canari happens to make the most comfortable gel chamois liners for me. it can be trial and error finding just the right padding to keep yourself comfortable, but fortunately, i’ve found the right pair!

american apparel chambray shorts: i think after trying the outlier pants, the ideal shorts would just be the same pair, only hitting somewhere at the mid-thigh length. but since i didn’t have anything else, i opted for these shorts to keep cool on those hot days in southern california. they are made of cotton, so beware sweat.

outlier ultrafine merino wool tank courtesy of outlier: i’ve already told you how much i love wool for cycling and camping. when cotton gets wet, it stays wet and gets smelly, but a high quality, ultra-fine merino wool will regulate your temperature, and never gets stinky. don’t believe me? try it and see!

j.crew chambray shirt: this was the first time i took a shirt like this on tour and i actually really liked it. i can layer it over a tank top if i get cold while riding, and layer it under a wool sweater at camp. the only drawback is that it is 100% cotton, so some mornings it was still slightly damp from the previous day of riding.

urban outfitters wool cardigan: again, i love wool and this was a cute and fashionable option that is working out perfectly for me on this ride. but really, any merino wool sweater, hoodie, or cardigan would work just fine.

jeffrey campbell oxfords courtesy of modcloth: i picked these because they’re fashionable, but they have nice big cut-outs at the side for ventilation. i can’t stand sweaty feet while riding, so these are perfect. when we ride in a really hot climate, i often just wear simple flip flop sandals to keep my feet from overheating. i know they make special bike shoes that clip into pedals, but then you have to bring an extra pair of shoes for camping and going out for meals. i just have cages on my pedals and wear one pair of trusty shoes the whole time!

giant crochet riding gloves in cream and tan, and another pair of black and brown crochet riding gloves i scored at the thrift store: extra padding for your hands when you’re riding long hours is definitely helpful. they protect my hands from blisters, and i like the vintage feel of crochet gloves.

rayban round wayfarers: to protect my eyes while riding, even if it’s not sunny. they make special “sport” sunglasses, but i already owned these and they work just fine for me.

smartwool long johns and socks: i mainly bring these in-case it gets too cold while camping at night. smartwool makes a really lovely soft and ultra-fine merino that keeps you extra toasty when it gets chilly out.

a helmet: mine isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s crucial for safety on the road. i was posing for these outfit shots at the campsite, so i’m not wearing it, but you’ll notice it’s always on when i’m on the road.

calivintage: cycle chic
calivintage: cycle chic
calivintage: cycle chic

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bike tour, day 2


so today marks our second day of the bike tour, and after writing yesterday’s post, i realized that i left out a lot of details about my trip! the whole thing was so loosely planned, that we didn’t even know exactly what date we were leaving on until a day before. we still don’t know how long we’ll be on the road, but our destination is my hometown: redlands, ca. it’s about 60 miles east of los angeles, and we’re thinking we’ll get there after 10 days on the road, including days off. i know some people do the ride much faster than that, but we’re looking at this as more of a vacation, so we’re taking our time. i also noticed in the comments of my last post that people had various questions about my clothes and gear, so i promise to post more about my bike, panniers, and choice of clothing next week!

but for now, onto the ride: we woke up this morning to the sound of the ocean and the cool, damp air. i had gotten to bed pretty late, so i wasn’t in much of a hurry to get up. suffice to say, we got another late start after taking our time at camp and then stopping for a delicious brunch at a nearby cafe. this time, we also ordered some sammiches to go so that we wouldn’t find ourselves out in the middle of nowhere without lunch. the ride out of santa cruz to monterey is mostly agricultural and we were lucky enough to pass through endless fields of ripe, fragrant strawberries. but the nice part of this ride is that there are lots of bikable side streets, so we were able to avoid the busy highway for long stretches of the ride. once you hit monterey county, there’s a nice bike path for about 15 miles that leads you right to the fisherman’s warf. i’d say the ride today was about 40 miles, and even though it’s only our second day, we opted to check into a hotel. it is a vacation, after all!

blouse: j.crew chambray shirt
tank: outlier ultrafine merino wool tank courtesy of outlier
pants: women’s daily riding pants courtesy of outlier
shoes: jeffrey campbell oxfords courtesy of modcloth
gloves: giant crochet riding gloves
sunglasses: rayban round wayfarers
bike: surly long haul trucker
panniers: arkel grand touring

bagel sammich breakfast with a cafe au lait.
the traffic was so heavy on hwy 1 that bikes overtook cars at this point!
stopped in an artichoke field for lunch.
sand city, ca.

we made it to monterey bay!
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and the winner is…

mary is the winner of a $50 gift card to small earth vintage!  she was selected by the random number generator at congratulations mary!
thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest, but no worries if you didn’t win this time! there are many more opportunities to win great prizes each week thanks to the sponsors of calivintage.
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and we’re off! bike tour, day 1


and so my blog coverage of the bike tour begins! i am right now writing this post late at night in my tent at the newbrighton beach campsite outside of santa cruz, ca. we started our ride in half moon bay this morning and rode 56 miles to our first destination. and of course, as you might expect on the first day of a tour, there were lots of mishaps. we didn’t start off bright and early as planned because we had so many little last minute errands to attend to, so we left half moon bay at around noon after getting a ride to the coast from brendan’s dad. the coastline was quite foggy and cool most of the ride, which was actually pretty nice since you really work up a sweat with all that riding. along the way, we stopped for a break at bean hollow beach to take a look at the tide pools. then we stopped to check out the pigeon point lighthouse. it’s the second tallest beacon in the country and you can find whale bones along the beach there.

we foolishly continued on without a stop for lunch, so we were a bit delirious when we arrived in santa cruz. we had a bunch of supplies we still needed to buy, so we kicked around town until 7:30pm before heading off to the campsite. as you can probably imagine, we didn’t make it to the site until after sunset, so we set up the tent and ate sammiches in the dark! It was certainly an exhausting day, but i’m feeling good laying here in the tent with the sound of the ocean lulling me to sleep.

blouse: j.crew chambray shirt
tank: outlier ultrafine merino wool tank courtesy of outlier
pants: women’s daily riding pants courtesy of outlier
shoes: jeffrey campbell oxfords courtesy of modcloth
bike: surly long haul trucker
panniers: arkel grand touring

Bike trip day one
Bike trip day one

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peachy keen

well folks, this is my last normal outfit for the next two weeks! we’re officially leaving for the bike tour tomorrow morning, so i thought i’d get all dolled up in this pretty little lace chiffon dress before we left. i still kept the styling simple because i had a lot of running around to do, but it was fun to feel pretty and girly in the flowy chiffon. oh, and what’s this? if you don’t follow me on twitter or tumblr, then you may not have seen the new cut i got on monday. i finally decided to go jean seberg/mia farrow short. only i’m like the busty, brunette version. and of course, i have shannon dean at revamp salon to thank for this handy work. seriously, i can’t recommend him enough. if you live in san francisco, or are in the area, you gotta hit him up!
but for now, i must be going! we have last minute preparations to attend to and i need to get in a good, healthy meal and a solid night’s rest! of course, i’ll be blogging from the road, so you can expect to get updates on the trip starting tomorrow.
sunglasses: ray ban round wayfarers
brooch: thrifted vintage plastic rose

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wow, i feel like it’s been a while since i’ve updated with an outfit on here! i have to admit, i’ve been pretty busy lately getting ready to go on my bike tour of the california coast. we’re not sure exactly when we’re leaving, but probably within the next couple of days! obviously, i’ve still been getting dressed every day, but my styling has been pretty basic for running around to pick up last minute supplies and cleaning up around the apartment. i also came down with a little bit of a cold, so i’m trying to get in little cat naps here and there between the madness of preparations and summer celebrations. and life in general has been swirling up around me with an exciting fervor that’s got me pretty charged up and ready to tackle the bike trip, new york fashion week, and all sorts of amazing new projects that i can’t tell you about just yet!
but in the midst of it all, i did take a moment to style up a little pre-fall look. i should probably enjoy it because once i leave for my bike tour, i won’t have access to a closet full of clothes and i’ll have to carry everything i bring in the saddle bags on my bike. styling is going to be pared down to the very minimal, so there won’t be any knee socks or high heels or eyeliner and lipstick for about two weeks!
scarf: thrifted vintage silk scarf
jacket: thrifted vintage jacket
shoes: vintage suede mary janes from small earth vintage

i was not compensated for this post.

a special thanks to the sponsors of the little black dress project:
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$50 gift card giveaway to small earth vintage!

win a $50 gift certificate to small earth vintage!

this week, our giveaway is courtesy one of my sponsors, small earth vintage! this lovely vintage etsy shop is run by an equally lovely lady named karen who has been selling vintage clothing full-time for the past ten years, and she has quite an eye for impeccable vintage fashions. small earth vintage features an extraordinary selection of mid-century clothing, accessories, and decor. she runs a beautiful shop and has so many lovely things it was nearly impossible for me to pick only a few of my favorites to feature in this post. so definitely check out the shop to see the entire selection for yourself!

see something you like? small earth vintage would also like to offer you a 20% discount on all items in her shop now through august 24. simply enter the code “calivintage” in the note to seller during checkout.

to enter:
1. visit small earth vintage.
2. leave a comment in the section below telling us your favorite item in the shop.

this giveaway is open to international readers, so anyone can enter. just be sure to leave your e-mail address if your profile doesn’t link back to your contact info so we can contact you if you’re picked. the winner will be randomly selected and announced at 10am. p.s.t. on august 20.

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dear creatures fall 2010

dear creatures is definitely one of my favorite designers out there right now. ever since i got my first dear creatures piece, the modcloth calivintage dress, i’ve been head over heels for this vintage-inspired brand. and their fall 2010 collection certainly doesn’t disappoint! they still have the vintage, nautical vibe, but this time they’ve added a bit of outdoors and camping elements that are right up my alley! i was especially excited to see the look with the fur hat because i bought one last year, but never had the courage to wear it. and the best part is that i know these pieces will be much more affordable than most designer collections, which means if i save my pennies, i’ll certainly be sporting an item or two once these pieces hit the shops!

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outfit favorites august 14

that style, those colors! this outfit really does speak for itself. it’s pretty much perfection on so many levels.
as you all know, i’m a bit of a cycling fanatic, so discovering this cycle chic feature shot by mr. newton was a treat! my favorite look is this casual shorts ensemble. perfect for a day riding about town.
i’ve been very interested in getting my hands on a sheer skirt like this, and i love her creative styling. good inspiration for when i finally get one!
take your nautical inspired look up a notch by adding your own rope belt! it’s amazing how such a tiny accessory can really transform a look!
geek chic all the way. i need her glasses and i wish my granny’s closet had such cool pieces!
it’s all about her necklace! and i’m delighted to say that they carry a similar (if not the same) necklace at modcloth. i think i must get one. a great collegiate look for fall.
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after posting my “bloopers” yesterday, i have to tell you, i’m feeling very liberated and more comfortable than ever. i was embarrassed to post them, so it took a leap of faith, but i’m really glad that i did. just confirming what i already knew, but sometimes forget: it’s always good to have a sense of humor about yourself, and life in general! so when i went outside to snap a few pictures of my outfit yesterday, i took the spirit of the bloopers and tried to be more fluid in front of the camera. the resulting shoot ended up showing a lot more movement than usual! and it just goes to show how much your attitude can affect your actions, even if it’s something as seemingly simple as a daily outfit post. it’s not to say that i had a bad attitude before, but it’s good to have a reminder that you don’t have to take things too seriously!
ok, now enough with the unsolicited advice! it’s really just my own reminder, but i thought i would share… my outfit today was actually based around these new jeffrey campbell oxfords i got in the mail. i actually ordered them for my upcoming bike trip, but of course, i couldn’t resist wearing them the moment i took them out of the package. the combination of dusty olive and cognac leather makes them really versatile and the cut outs keep them cool and breezy. but i should probably stop talking about them so much because you’re about to see me wearing them probably every day for the next two weeks! more on that later. but for now, happy friday!
blouse: steve alan via gilt groupe
shoes: jeffrey campbell oxfords courtesy of modcloth
sunglasses: karen walker (i found them still available at need supply yesterday!)

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