While I quite liked a few of the items in the Bradley Wiggins Fred Perry range (namely the shoes and the zippy white cycling top) I must admit I wasn’t exactly blown away by them.
And three new items which have been put on the site of the retailer The End (spotted first here) aren’t going to change my mind either.
You can pop here to see the Fred Perry Bradley Wiggins Zip Cycling Shirt and the Fred Perry Bradley Wiggins Half Zip Knit, but the pick of the trio is then the Fred Perry Bradley Wiggins Harrington which is pictured above.
It is basically a Harrington designed for cyclists which in theory sounds like a great idea. It is in a striking Navy Blue (they call it Dark carbon) – which maybe could have been a little more fluorescent – and features two button pockets and a zip. There’s also aback pocket which these days are pretty de rigeiur for any cycling jacket.
It is made from 100% cotton and retails for £150.
If you don’t fancy it then check out H&M’s cycling range here which has a few very cool items in its range. There are loads of Harringtons here too.
If you fancy one of their polo shirts, or anything else for that matter, now is a very good time as the company has just started its winter sale.
Pictured is the £45 (down from £55) Slim Fit Twin Tipped Fred Perry Shirt, which has the company’s trademark twin tipping which runs across a slightly smaller collar and each cuff. It is also a slimmer fit and available in a variety of colours.
There are also stripey polo shirts, long sleeve polo shirts, check shirts T shirts and this rather striking £94.95 Fairisle lambswool jumper. Most are discounted by around 10-25%.
Every year at the Oscars fashion houses vie to kit the hottest stars in their latest outfits knowing that the coverage generated by that star can make or break a range.
Conversely the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year event isn’t something that fashion brands are too concerned with, but maybe, just maybe, the suit that the winner was wearing last night might spark a new trend.
Bradley Wiggins looked ultra sharp in a suit with a double breasted jacket that was made in London by tailor Mark Powell. It was also made from velvet, which is a key trend this year. So classically stylish but very contemporary – Wiggins hit the jackpot once again. It is such a refreshing change from footballers kitted out in the latest threads from Italian fashion houses.
So might the Wiggins suit help the double breasted suit jacket become a very hot fashion item in 2012?
Well at the moment if you want one they are pretty hard to come by.
Firstly not all double breasted suit jackets are created equal. There are high collar jackets and low collar jackets. Wiggins last night wore a high collar jacket where the top button and the flap of the collar is high. These have roots in Edwardian clothes and were revived during the mid-60s Mod years – where Wiggins, and another high collar double breasted jacket devotee Paul Weller, get their inspiration.
The lower collar ones have the buttons and the flap around half way down the chest. These were popular in the 70s and 80s and I seem to remember Jarvis Cocker wearing one in an ironic way in the 90s. They are one 80s item that is unlikely to be revived and in many ways are responsible for killing the double breasted suit jacket off.
If you want a double breasted suit jacket now your choices are fairly limited. You could always do a Bradley and give Mark Powell a call. If you are a bit more limited in your resources and want to buy an off the shelf suit then you don’t have too many options. Specialist 60s store Atom Retro has a few in stock, but that’s about it.
A few words of warning though. They tend to look good on tall, skinny fellas like Wiggins and Weller. If you are short or bigger built then maybe stick to a more conventional two/three collar standard jacket.
Also while they look great with the buttons done up they can, like some pea coats, look a bit messy with the buttons undone. That’s fine for tired and emotional moments at the end of the evening, but not good for meetings with the boss.
Atom Retro Rare Breed Madcap England Retro Mod Suit £174.99
It seemed a pretty much done deal last night that Tour de France/Olympic Time Trial Champion would win the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. So in this parish at least it was as much about the suit he chose to wore as it was scooping the award.
Wiggins plumped for a bespoke velvet (very on trend) double-breasted suit made by Soho tailor Mark Powell. Wiggins has worn a lot of Powell’s clothes before – at the GQ awards in September, for example, he wore another Powell double breasted suit this time in grey.
Powell is a London-based tailor who has made bespoke suits for among others – George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Powell has worked with brands in the past including M&S and has recently launched a collection of eyewear. He says of the eyewear
‘My new ready-to-wear range, comprising 12 styles, is very retro but with a contemporary twist. A lot of designers are doing this at the moment, but mine is a nicer version.’
But then he could say that about his suits too.
If you do fancy one Powell has a ready to wear range, including some rather lovely double breasted jackets here.
Nothing splits cyclists more than the concept of electric bikes. For hardcore Wiggins types they are an affront to everything that they cherish. However, more casual cyclists and tech heads see them as being not just cool but maybe the future of bikes.
Anyhow for commuters who want a quick way of getting to and from work electric cycles are a very good option especially if between your two destinations are sizable hills. Having used several electric bikes before I can nail the myth that if you use an electric bike any exercise goes out the window. Most electric cycles are designed so that the motor kicks in when you need a bit oomph. Not that many are powerful enough to take you long distances without you having to at least do a little pedalling. Besides there is nothing quite as invigorating as pedalling furiously and then letting the engine kick in- you really do fly. It is Wiggins speed for less than slender and not quite totally fit types.
While I love the look of the GoCycle 2, the latest electric bike to hit my radar is the Kranium KR3Platimum from bike dealer Velorution (among others). So what’s cool about this. Well first unlike a lot of its rival, the battery is integrated into the frame, so it doesn’t even look like an electronic cycle. It has five pedal assisted speeds with the top one reaching around 20MPH. It has a pretty powerful battery on board too and everything is controlled by an on board computer which tells you how far you have cycled and how much power you have consumed.
Finally , also unlike a lot of its rivals, it is light enough to be picked up. Santa might have a few issues getting it down the chimney though. Yours for £1,895.
The worlds of bespoke style and bicycles collide at Mango Bikes, who let you pick the colour and style of virtually every component of their custom rides.
From frame colours to handlebar styles, there’s a near-infinite amount of bikes that can be put together through all manner of part combinations. Check below for our attempt at a Tron-inspired Light Cycle!
Single-speed bikes, a Mango Bike weighs just between 10 and 12Kg by dumping the extra weight needed for gears. According to the shop’s FAQ page:
“When you ride a Mango Bike, you’ll soon see that there is no need for any gears when traveling around town (or country for that matter – we do 50 mile road rides with hills and headwinds, no problem!). The bikes are light, streamlined and hold their speed. Single speed is the way to go.”
Bikes arrive 90% assembled and are shipped with City Link and tracking codes. Front wheels, pedals and bars need to be put together manually, but Mango Bikes provide all the relevant tools and documentation in the box to make this an easy process.
I was never really a proper mod, but have worn mod gear for most of my life. Even more so as I have got older. Maybe the assertion that mod clobber is something that is perfect for the elder gentlemen has a grain of truth in it.
Personally I have never really got on with so called ‘mod parkas.’ Actually let’s call them ‘classic parkas’ to differentiate them from the man-made fur trimmed zip up variety so beloved of 70s school kids and birdwatchers. While most mod gear from button down shirts to three button jackets seem to perfectly encapsulate the mod creed of ‘clean living in difficult circumstances’ and look sharp, parkas seemed to be a bit of an anachronism for me. What is the point in investing in that perfect mohair suit if you are going to stick a large shapeless and rather scruffy looking coat over the top? Also the original fishtail parkas back in the 50s came from Army Surplus stores and were often the worse for wear.
Fishtail parkas remind me of the part time mods from the 80s who couldn’t be bothered with the trappings but just flung on parkas adorned with Who badges to keep in with their tribe. A few weeks later they morphed into casuals. In fact you could argue that their popularity largely stemmed from the association with Quadrophenia. Maybe Phil Daniels is the only person who ever looked cool in one.
Sure if you are scooting round town on your Vespa parkas make more sense, but for me parkas especially of the classic fishtail variety are a bit of a retro revival too far. Surely the ultimate mod coat is a very smart three/four button crombie style in mohair.
It is interesting though that the classic parka seems to be making a real comeback this year. Part of this is being fueled by stirrings of a mini mod revival – you really ought to see this - but I guess the re-emergence of the parka is largely due to the fact that prominent retro brands from Ben Sherman through to Merc and Pretty Green, are all exercising a very serious pull over style conscious 30 and 40 something blokes. And they all have parkas in their range.
What is also interesting are the various ways in which the parka is being reinvented. The North Face, and other decidedly non-mod leisure brands have their own take on the parka. Then there is this bizarre coat from Ben Sherman which adds leather (!?) trimmings. Very odd.
Anyhow, if you do fancy a parka here are few to look at.
Team GB have already picked up one London 2012 cycling gold medal thanks to Bradley Wiggins’ dominating performance in the time trials yesterday. This week sees the doors to the velodrome open, where Team GB’s Victoria Pendleton is well placed to grab another top podium place. We caught up with her last week to discuss the new sportswear innovations from Adidas that are driving here and the rest of the Great Britain cycling team forward.
When it comes to Great Britain’s gold medal chances at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Victoria Pendleton is a name that springs straight to mind. At the peak of her career, she’s cycling’s golden girl. Winning gold at the Beijing Olympics and coming off the back of great successes at the World Championships, her rivalry with fellow cycling sprinter Anna Meares of Australia promises to deliver some of the most nail-biting action of the games.
Looking for every advantage they can get out on the velodrome, Pendleton and the rest of the Team GB cycling team (including Chris Hoy, Laura Trott and Geraint Thomas) will be using a unique training aid – Adidas “Adipower” trousers.
Dubbed the “Hotpants”, the custom-fitted trousers are battery powered and are designed to be worn after an athlete’s warm-up. Heated filaments in the trousers direct heat to the core muscle groups in the legs, maintaining an ideal 38C temperature, meaning that Team GB’s legs should be limber before each event even if they’ve had a lengthy wait between their warm up session and the competitive races. There are even quick-release zips, letting the athletes get the Adipower kit on and off in seconds.
“We’ve had them for a couple of months now,” Pendleton explained to Tech Digest.
“They’re really easy to use and heat up almost instantaneously; you can really feel the temperature going up on your quads and hamstrings. For me as a sprinter, I have lots and lots of short events that are spread out over a day so it’s essential my muscles maintain their temperature after warm up.
“In cycling we talk about ‘marginal gains’ all the time; we’re training to the best of our abilities and have so many experts working with us. You want to make sure every detail is taken care of, and that we have every advantage possible. These trousers are another example of how Team GB is achieving that.”
Designed over the course of four years with input from Team GB and other top cyclists from across the globe, Adidas’s innovation spokesperson Udo Mueller stated that the Adipower trousers were exploring an area where few other sportswear manufacturers were venturing:
“There is a clear lack of garments being made where we do nothing illegal to push athletes to do their best. There’s a marginal gain to be made by using these ‘hotpants’ and we have to capitalise upon it. We did the same within the new swimming regulations and created a swimsuit lighter and faster than ever before. These new innovations should encourage and inspire other countries in the long haul to take advantage of that.”
And what of Pendleton’s chances against Meares? Will the “hotpants” give her the edge she needs to grab the gold?
“Anna and I are both competitive, determined, tenacious individuals. People who know us say we’re quite similar in character, and I’d expect that from someone of the same sport as me.
“I have huge respect for Anna Meares and I know she has a lot for me too. We’re just both hugely competitive individuals, and our form has converged at the same time.
“When it’s all over we’ll probably have a sit down and have a good laugh over all the hoohah we’ve read in press about each other over the last ten years!”
But the time for friendship comes later. For the rest of these games at least, we hope Pendleton remains fired up by the rivalry that could lead to one of Great Britain’s key gold medal wins.