Svelte are the new kid on the block in terms of cool and casual cycling clothing.
The London based brand originated from a Kickstarter campaign which reached its target in June this year. Now, they're fully fledged and offer a range of jerseys (long sleeved coming soon!), shorts and arm warmers all available to order online.
The kit is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of riders - from city slickers getting around town, to track riders on the velodrome and roadies seeking the open countryside.
The jewel in the Svelte crown is the Heritage jersey. Available in Burgundy, Green and Navy, the jersey is made from a merino wool based fabric that's combined with synthetic materials for extra resilience and durability.
Pulling the jersey on, it feels incredibly relaxed and soft to the touch - I can imagine wearing it on a cafe ride or feeling comfortable commuting around town and running a few errands without needing to get changed.
Merino is known for it's breathability and ability to help a wearer maintain an even body temperature, so it's great for during the changeable seasons of spring and autumn. It also doesn't pick up odors, another plus for a cycling jersey.
Certainly wearing this jersey for rides on the milder days during November, I felt insulated enough without getting anywhere near overheating. Given the lighter nature of the fabric, I wouldn't suggest it as a good option for the depths of December unless you're only nipping out for a quick spin.
The jersey is very much about understated style - with little detailing save some stand out touches, such as the logo-ed button on the left of three rear pockets and another brand stamp stitched in dark green on the hip.
The droptail bottom features a silicone gripper on the rear, which stops at the hip so the fabric doesn't grip too tightly at the front.
The fit is incredibly relaxed - I wore a Small and certainly felt that this jersey would be more at home on a cafe ride than a training ride through the Surrey Hills. There is an Extra Small that would provide a slightly more athletic fit, but this is never going to be a race-fit garment - a massive plus for those who would rather relax in a more leisurely fit but not ideal for an aero-dynamics focused roadie after Strava QOMs.
The collar sits quite high on my neck, creating a cosy feel that's appreciated when riding in the winter months. However, I'd probably be inclined to wear it with a base layer and unzipped an inch or so when off the bike for a more relaxed look.
This jersey does come with a pretty premium price tag - at £90 it's a considered purchase. However, for that you are getting a jersey made from a long lasting fabric, and buying a little individuality by sporting an up-and-coming brand.
Svelte Arm Warmers
Svelte have another cool product up their sleeves - in the shape of a selection of cool and qwirky arm warmers that are much more vibrant than the normal white and black sleeves we usually see.
Available with pink flowers, blue flowers, or (before those of you not so into girly designs pounce!) cool geometric and Hawaiian patterns - these sleeves are probably our favourite offering from Svelte.
With a brushed inner fabric, these are cosy and plenty warm enough for autumnal rides and even the early days in winter. The outer fabric is windproof, meaning it keeps out the worst of the nasty cold breeze so you can keep wearing your summer jerseys for longer.
The fabric is flexible and allows plenty of movement, and these are secured by a traditional silicone gripper. Unlike the fairly roomy jersey, the grippers on the arm warmers in a size small were quite tight - not so much so that I was aware of them when riding, but enough that I felt confident they'd never fall down.
Bright arm warmers can really cheer up an otherwise plain design - and we do love the cool selection Svelte offer - all for just £20.
Interested? Check out the range here.