How to style: Cycling shorts

Jenessa Williams

Cycling Shorts; an 80s style that many may want to forget, but one that has found its way firmly back onto the high street...

Normally seen as something to keep in your gym kit, this shape has flourished into something that has been dressed up on catwalks, and best of all, it’s an easy and affordable trend to try out thanks to the simple shape, size range and abundance of patterns available.

Still not convinced? Here are some grown-up ways that demonstrate just how flattering these little shorts can be…

 

Day to Night

An easy look for a dinner date or cocktail catch-up with friends, this bold pair of stretch shorts are dressed down with a more typically-feminine silk vest and belted blazer. Choose a pointed flat to elongate the leg further, and keep accessories in the same warm palette – think brown, black khaki and beige. A subtle rose lipstick is all the colour you need, contrasting well with the natural flush of skin in the summertime. 

New Look Blazer, £27.99 | Dorothy Perkins, £10 | H&M Shorts, £12.99 | ASOS Flats, £18 | Anthropologie Hairslides, £16 | Jigsaw Clutch Bag, £49 | Urban Decay Lipstick in ‘Fuel’, £15.50

 

Pastel Palette

For those who fear the dreaded VPL, the above-knee jean short still counts as a cycling short, as long as the fit remains tight to the leg. Contrast the 80s print of this style with a slouchy off-shoulder sweater, and summer rattan accessories. An oversized denim jacket is a useful wardrobe staple to have on hand, and the stitched detail and rivets tie in well with gold accessories. Want to pay true homage to the 80s? Get a fresh-faced, youthful look by stripping back your make-up routine to a simple tinted moisturiser, and sweep hair into a high ponytail or clip behind the ears. 

BooHoo Sweater, £13.50 | River Island Shorts, £15 | Topshop Jacket, £39 | Superga Trainers, £65 | Weekday Tote Bag, £20 | Orealia Necklace, £18 | Coach Keyring, £60 | NYX Tinted BB Cream, £10

 

Beach Getaway

If you’re planning a hot summer holiday, a pair of basic black cycling shorts are a packing essential. Not only are they great for wearing under dresses to prevent chafing, they make for a wonderful sun-lounging alternative to skimpy bottoms. Team with a supportive balcony bikini top and a sheer, longline shirt, perfect for protecting delicate shoulders and upper arms from the sun. Experiment with your preferred colour palette and include your favourite summer accessories—sandals, sunglasses and a headwrap are all practical pieces that can show off some extra personality. 

Marks and Spencer Bikini Top, £16 | H&M Shorts, £6.99 | George Cover Up Shirt, £8 | Teva Sandals, £80 | Blacks Beach Bag, £27 | ASOS Hairscarf, £7 | Quay Australia Sunglasses, £40 | Aveda Sun Care Hair Protection Spray, £18

 

Festival Fun

Channel your inner Woodstock hippie this festival season with the rough ‘n’ tough biker short and boot combination. Your favourite oversized band t-shirt should hang over your waistband and settle at a flattering mid-thigh, pairing down the loudness of the short and allowing just a few inches to peek through under a hardy waterproof jacket. Don’t forget your festival glitter—biodegradable of course.

Truffle Shuffle T Shirt, £16.99 | Zara Shorts, £12.99 | Doc Marten Boots, £139 | Love Your Socks Socks, £14.95 | Joules Jacket, £54 | Silk Fred Headband, £12 | River Island Bag, £34 | Skinny Dip Biodegradable Glitter, £9 

 

Luxury Legs

Tapping into both the horse-riding and middle-eastern trends that were so visible on this season’s catwalks, this look plays wonderfully with the proportions of a balloon-sleeve shirt and skinny-fit shorts. A kitten heel is all the height you need, but for true drama, look to your accessories— 60’s style, spidery lashes, and monochromatic chunky rings bring opulence and glamour. 

Silvia Tcherassi Blouse, £278 | Prada Shorts, £735 | Souilers Martinez Heels, £340 | Coach Bag, £136 | Alison Lou Check Ring, £840 | Annie Haak Ring, £42 | Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lipstick, £19 | Lancome Hypnotic Mascara, £25.50