Confirmed: Bike Shorts Are the New Leggings

July 16th, 2020 at 9:09am
Confirmed: Bike Shorts Are the New Leggings

I was shocked the first time I saw someone wearing a pair of bike shorts in the office. Not because of how they looked, because, TBH, everyone wearing them looked amazing. It just never occurred to me that a piece found amongst my gym clothes would ever classify as “business-appropriate”—or even just appropriate to wear with a cute shirt and heels to brunch. In my mind, bike shorts were always an item meant strictly for SoulCycle classes and cross-country cycling trips. 

But then, I had a sudden flashback to my 12-year-old self asking my mom for a pair of metallic gold lamé bike shorts from American Apparel (if you know, you know). Thinking back to the spandex with fond memories, I realized that it’s actually not that surprising that I’m seeing bike shorts literally everywhere I turn. Fashion is cyclical, after all. So, just like I did back in my trend-loving middle school days, I decided to embrace bike shorts wholeheartedly.

Ok, halfheartedly. I haven’t actually bought myself a pair yet, but I have been slightly stalking the Instagram accounts of the College Fashionista community to find all the best ways to style this summer-friendly piece for when I do decide to take the plunge. In the meantime, I’ll be using the outfits ahead as inspiration until I finally work up the courage to wear this piece outside my workout.

Bike Shorts With a Blazer

PHOTO: Anna Lei, College Fashionista Alum

Add a Professional Edge With an Oversize Blazer

This is the most common way I’ve seen bike shorts styled this summer, and it’s also my favorite. If athleisure is your go-to style, sneakers make for a cool addition to the blazer and shorts combination; otherwise, some strappy heels provide the perfect finish to the high-low mix of this ‘fit.

Bike Shorts With a Tube Top

PHOTO: Hannah Fyfe, Columbia College Chicago

Embrace the Throwback Trends With a Tube Top and Fanny Pack

I personally don’t want to wear anything but a bikini come July, but a crop top and bike shorts are a pretty solid alternative. Echo the ‘90s vibe of the strapless top with a statement fanny pack and big chunky tennis shoes for some major nostalgia. When it’s 101 degrees outside, you can be sure this is the look I’ll turn to.

Bike Shorts Under a Clear Skirt

PHOTO: Kally Cera, Fashion Institute of Technology

Layer a Clear Skirt On Top For a Playful Twist

Not ready to commit to the full naked dress? A see-through skirt over bike shorts is a genius alternative. Get even more playful with a fun printed crop top.

PHOTO: Daneshé Henry, University of Pennsylvania

Show Off Your Sporty Side in an Oversize Tee and Sneakers

If you’re just excited about the bike shorts trend because you love athleisure, I feel you. Stick to sporty basics but make it fashion with an oversize vintage tee and a distressed denim jacket.

Bike Shorts With a Silk Camisole

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert, Iowa State University

Pair a Camisole and a Blazer With Dad Sneakers for a Mishmash of Styles

Not sure how you want to wear this trend? Pair them with every style you own. The juxtaposition of the silk cami and athletic shorts and sneakers in this look provide a fun unexpectedness to the look, and the blazer gives it the polish it needs.  

Have you tried out the bike shorts trend this summer? Show us how you’re styling it on Instagram by tagging @cfashionista!

Opening image by Kally Cera.