Now that Portland is pretty much looking like this most of the time:
and occasionally like this:
It’s becoming a bit more important to have appropriate clothing that can keep you both dry and warm while you’re out in it. I’ve just gotten a few items that have proven quite useful in this regard, so I thought I’d post about them.
I know some people might tell you that natural materials both handle the weather well, and have a nice, classic look to them – and those people are certainly right.
I have a number of wool coats (see here, here, and here), and they just can’t be beat for both repelling rain, and retaining warmth. I’ve ridden in dumping rain for half an hour, arrived where I was going, and been completely dry under the coat.
I also have a few wool hats, the newest being this felt fedora:
I wouldn’t wear the fedora in pouring rain so much, but I have a wool driving cap (http://www.flickr.com/photos/poetas/3480260927/) which I do wear in the rain often, and keeps my head very dry. Both hats keep my head quite warm, even in rather cold temperatures, though I do want to find something good that goes over my ears.
Hands are one of the first things to get cold on me while riding, and when it’s rainy, it can get a bit slippery as well trying to shift or just grip the handlebars. Good gloves help with both problems, and these wool knit ones have been fantastic so far.
I’ve also got some good leather gloves that repel wind a bit better, and are a little more classic looking.
When it’s wet and cold out, you want your feet to stay dry and warm, and my next addition has proven to be even better than I expected in that regard. I just got these short leather boots, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much warmer they keep my feet than my leather shoes even did. Being leather, they are pretty well waterproof, and will keep your feet nice and dry. Good, textured soles and the heel nearly eliminate any slight problems with feet slipping on the pedals when it’s wet (I have shoes with completely smooth soles, and still don’t find it much of a problem), and they look great to boot. Hah. No pun intended.
For some good sock/tights recommendations for wearing with your boots in the winter, check this post and comments from Lovely Bicycle.
It may go without saying, but this is the same stuff I would be wearing if I were walking, taking the bus, or even driving (with the possible exception of the gloves). Practically stylish, good for any of your day’s activities, on or off the bike.
For those interested, here’s a rundown of the items listed:
- Navy Wool Peacoat, acquired at Bombshell Vintage, Portland.
- Wool Tweed Overcoat, acquired at Bombshell Vintage, Portland.
- Long Wool Overcoat, acquired at Maxima, Vilnius Lithuania.
- Wool Felt Fedora by Dorfman Pacific, acquired at Hollywood Vintage, Portland.
- Wool Tweed Driving Cap by Glen Eske, acquired at Bombshell Vintage, Portland.
- Wool Knit Gloves by Ibex, acquired at Clever Cycles, Portland.
- Leather Gloves by _______ (will fill in from home later), acquired at Clever Cycles, Portland.
- Black leather boots by Aldo, acquired at Aldo, Portland.