Bike Shorts: A 2018 Trend I’m Considering

In the search for clothes that fulfil the need to be comfortable and speak to personal style, it’s no wonder people are embracing bike shorts. In their current revival, they make their periodic transition from something to be worn under clothing to something to be worn on their own as a stand alone pant. The trend, said to be inspired by Princess Diana in the 90s, who wore bike shorts paired with tube socks and over-sized sweaters, continues to pick up speed in the world of style, and following the recent appearance of bike shorts on the Chanel runway at the Spring 2019 show, it’s likely they are going to remain in the fashion sphere for sometime longer — thanks Karl!

Handshake Creative’s Girlboss Emily Friend trend forecasting bikeshorts from a young age.

Handshake Creative’s Girlboss Emily Friend trend forecasting bikeshorts from a young age.

Despite constantly seeing the trend sported by It Girls and celebrities from Bella Hadid to Kim Kardashian, it wasn’t until I saw Flex Mami (Lillian Ahenkan) — TV Presenter, DJ, TV Host and Beauty Youtuber (and one of the best personalities on Instagram), and Elizabeth Tamkin — Market Assistant and Office Coordinator at Man Repeller, on Instagram styling the trend that bike shorts seemed like a viable style option to be incorporated into my wardrobe. The reason for this — both of these women wear bike shorts in a way that appeals to, celebrates and champions personal style. From Flex Mami’s iconic styling of neon bike shorts with blazers and cowboy boots (corporate and cowboy: genius), to Elizabeth Tamkin’s styling of bike shorts under half buttoned long white dresses, always accessorised and styled to the perfect point of personal and unable to be imitated, seeing this styling made the trend seem fresh and interesting, and less like a trend. Before, bike shorts had been an item of clothing that popped up periodically in my Instagram feed, and now they had become the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life — I saw my wardrobe with fresh eyes and eyes that demanded the items be mixed, matched and reimagined with their spandex counterpart.

Elizabeth Tamkin from Man Repeller styling bike shorts with long dresses and Nike Cortez. Image from Instagram  @elizcardinal

Elizabeth Tamkin from Man Repeller styling bike shorts with long dresses and Nike Cortez. Image from Instagram @elizcardinal

Following my new found interest in bike shorts and ongoing styling research, including a message to my mum that said “did I wear bike shorts as a child?” and her reply of “I think so”, which I take as conclusive evidence that I was a stylish child, my biggest takeaway from investigating the bike shorts trend in 2018 has been that people are pairing them with heels and sneakers alike, fluidly taking them from casual and elevating them to comfy formal wear of the pant related variety. The new incarnation of the bike short knows no bounds in terms of activity (sportswear no longer) and refuses to be pigeonholed as athleisure.

Flex Mami in the outfit she styled for  Man Repeller ’s Outfit Recipes. Image from Instagram  @flexmami

Flex Mami in the outfit she styled for Man Repeller’s Outfit Recipes. Image from Instagram @flexmami

Here at Handshake, we like the idea of wearing something made of spandex equipped with enough stretch for squatting, or for hours sitting down free of the pant-related-pain jeans and their rigid denim construction never offered. Unlike jeans, bike shorts also offer a sleekness to dressing and a refreshing silhouette. We love the idea of incorporating bike shorts into our personal style and experimenting with how we wear them, so in honour of this, we have collected some of our favourite bike short buys so you can start thinking about adding bike shorts (or additional bike shorts) to your summer wardrobe:


Founded in Sydney, Nagnata combines sustainable practices (think organic cotton and slow fashion) and style. Accented with a lilac side stripe of the Nagnata logo, these knitwear shorts are bound to be the height of comfort. Plus, if I can keep wearing knitwear in summer without the repurcussions of wearing my favourite jumper in high temperatures I am excited.


Outdoor Voices TechSweat Flex Short

I love Outdoor Voices for lots of reasons. Their ethos of doing things — that exercise and sport isn’t a competition but doing things can be a lifestyle, their Instagram aesthetic (@outdoorvoices — check it out), and the fact that their designs fill a space in the athleisure market that occupies nostalgia and fresh, new design simultaneously. The pattern on these shorts are like painterly polka dots and would look good with anything pale pink or bright yellow. Also, anything that works to combat sweat and prioritises keeping cool is ideal for summer. These come in block colours too if polka dots aren’t your thing.


BB x Em DaviesBooker Bike Shorts Purple

These bike shorts from Beginning Boutique’s collab with Em Davies combine nostalgic design and metallic block colours. These are the bike shorts to put on when you want your pants to pull the weight in an outfit. Extra detailing from the front zip and panels cements their statement piece status.


LululemonTrain Time Short

I love their tights, so I can only assume these shorts will fulfil Lululemon Athletica’s reputation for high quality and high comfort. These definitely lean more to the athleisure side, with their stitching and mesh panel — but to their credit they’d be perfect paired with some white sneakers and socks. Interested in wearing them more often and utilising all the benefits that come with buying sports intended bike shorts — they wouldn’t look out of place with a bright pair of mules either.


Pretty Little ThingPink Neon Cycling Shorts

I never thought I would consider wearing neon colours again after one too many Supre items in my adolescence. I saw these on Flex Mami’s Instagram and I am officially interested in adorning my body with bright colours again. Indulge your maximalist dressing sensibilities and pair these with an equally bright block colour, keep it even blockier with an all pink outfit or introduce some patterns into the mix. These. Are. Stunning.

The beauty of bike shorts is that their minimalistic construction allows them to be a blank canvas. Whether you’re wearing a pair thats neutral, bright or something with the embellishment of pattern or zips, they lend themselves to a range of sartorial choices — bike shorts are the ideal partner when it comes to warmer weather dressing. Incorporate them into your style as summer approaches and reap the many benefits of athletic wear in your everyday wardrobe.