The Bicycle Helmet: From Fashion Faux Pas to Chic Safety Accessory

Bicycle helmets have long been regarded as clunky, unfashionable accessories that have the power to render an otherwise adorable outfit totally dorky. A recent article in the New York Times even discusses bicycle fashion trends and admits that “Unlike motorcycle helmets, bicycle helmets have historically had zero cool factor on city streets,” a notion that many cyclists must know all too well. Bicycle helmets are either donned by quirky sidekicks in film and television, or completely omitted when bicycles are used as props in fashion editorials, video, and photography.

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Happily, this notion about the lack of cool factor helmets have is beginning to change. Designers have begun to envision an intersection between fashion and safety, resulting in more stylish helmets for cyclists. According to Jessica Kaplan, an editor for trend forecasting company Stylesight, “I like to call it ‘chic cycling,’ where a man or woman dons an edgy helmet to express their personal style.” Now, instead of only having those sporty, functional helmets to choose from, there are options that come in different shapes, colors, and patterns, which allow cyclists not to be forced to compromise their sense of fashion for safety.

Now, some fashion-forward cyclists regard their helmets as accessories not unlike handbags or shoes, owning multiple helmets to match different looks. Bicycle safety, especially on bustling city streets is incredibly important, so it’s great that the bicycle helmet is finally garnering some attention within the fashion industry. This new trend in helmet fashion sends a positive message to cyclists that says “you can be safe and chic at the same time,” a welcomed change to the former stigmas surrounding helmets in the fashion industry.

Keep a lookout for designer helmets from brands such as Cloak and Dagger, Gucci, and more, as well as other accessories like stylish bike baskets, wine racks, and even skirt garters for lady-riders.

Happy riding, and styling!

Image: Richard Masoner via Flickr

Image: JPH via Flickr

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