As the season transitions into spring and then summer, it can be difficult to get your cycling clothing just right. Either you're too hot, too cold and it doesn't help if you live in an ever-changing climate, like the UK.
Not all commuters and urban riders like the feel of compression lycra and blinding high-vis clothing when they ride, it's a personal preference. Luckily, there are a number of awesome technical jerseys and garments which look cool and casual while featuring a number of tech benefits.
Howies have long been making functional, stylish activewear as well as comfortable casual wear for the outdoor adventurer. They've introduced a limited number of spring/summer items in their collection, and we've been trying them out.
Howies Kawai Merino Jersey
Merino wool is fantastic to cycle in. It's light, breathable, keeps you warm, soft to the skin and helps with odour control. It ticks more boxes than you knew you had, and the Kawai jersey is no exception.
This short sleeve jersey has been inspired by traditional Japanese cycling fashion. Carefully knitted, this top is striking with bold horizontal lines across the chest and around the back.
You can choose to wear a jersey like this on your commute with jeans or casual bottoms, or with bib-shorts for a more lengthy ride. However, if you decide to wear bibs underneath then bib straps are likely to show underneath owing to the thinness of the merino wool (as you can see in the photos) - definitely not a black bra jersey.
The slim-fit cut is flattering without being too restrictive and the stretch of the fabric allows ease of movement as you ride. While I'm not the biggest fan of yellow, I couldn't help but feel both casual and active when wearing it. Ideal if you don't want the hassle of changing after a ride, and perfect if you have to sprint into action at a moments notice.
Howies Clearer Jacket
Confession time - So, I've been reviewing the Clearer Jacket from Howies alongside the Kawai jersey, but then I had an accident. Foolishly forgetting to photograph the jacket before riding and getting it filthy, I attempted to wash the jacket unbeknownst to me that a rogue crimson t-shirt was lying in wait within my washing machine. Safe to say, the Clearer jacket didn't come out so clear, but I quite like its new pale pink hue...
Even in its new shade of pink, the Clearer Jacket is an essential piece of kit to roll away and pull out in an instant. It's waterproof, windproof and breathable... all in one. I've worn this on windy days and on drizzly rides and each time I've been blown away by how something so small and light can be so protective.
Mesh panel underarms allow air to circulate throughout so there's no worry about overheating and feeling like a hot potato. There's reflective detailing on the jacket that adds an extra level of protection for when you're caught out in low-light conditions.
Howies never fail to impress with their high-quality cycling apparel for women. It's clean and comfortable without all the frills, and yet it gets the job done.
The Kawai jersey is perfect for both urban riding and for longer days out on the bike. It looks great with casual bottoms and just as good with cycling shorts as well.
Despite my rookie error of un-clearing the Clearer jacket, it's an awesome piece of kit and while £59 may seem like a lot, I can tell I'll be wearing this jacket for every pound that it's worth in future cycling adventures to come.
Friendly reminder: check your washing machine before washing kit and always follow care instructions on the label.
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