SoCal Fashion Column: How to make cycling shorts chic

ITV wrestling presenter and local fashion queen SoCal Val combines ‘athleisure’ with feminine flair.

Part of my job as a professional fashionista is to be fearless in trying new styles and trends. Once in a while I’m faced with a real challenge to do something out of my comfort zone. Or in this case, out of my comfort planet!

I was recently challenged to try the cycling shorts trend. Now I like to think of myself as a great many things… but sporty isn’t one of them. Not even close!

When I thought of cycling shorts I thought of sweaty gyms or of hip hop kids rocking “athleisure” looks. Yes that word does still make me cringe!

But when posed with this conundrum I vowed to make cycling shorts wearable, chic and polished. How, you ask? Well it took a lot of thought, a lot of dressing room try on fails and a LOT of “You look like Lance Armstrong!” jokes from my husband.

But! I’m proud to report I’ve found a solution.

First, find a basic black pair from a reputable brand that promises top quality, opaque, durable fabric. This is very important. Most will have slimming properties in the stretch which is always a win!

Some even have secret pockets on the side for your lipgloss! (I’m unsure as to what actual cyclists use the pockets for but that isn’t my business).

Then finally, have some fun with it and add some feminine flair! A touch of leopard print in your accessories, a bit of Hollywood bling and most importantly a very structured piece on top.

For me it made sense to turn to my favourite summer wardrobe staple: the white blazer. Make sure whatever jacket you choose is tailored, structured and long enough to cover at least most of your bum.

This takes the initial shock out of the fact you’re wearing, well… cycling shorts! You’ll find that the pairing of a blazer and cycling shorts is surprisingly effortless and adds a casual ease to your look.

They’re a breeze to travel in too, thanks to the comfy fabric! I must confess after styling the outfit you’ve seen here I’ve been wearing these exact shorts with all sorts of tops and jackets!

Always keeping in mind that a voluminous (then cinched/ belted) style or a more sophisticated top works best to balance out the sportiness of the shorts.

Footwear is also something to consider. A trainer or chunky flat? Don’t go there. Keep your legs elongated with a classic pump or wedge. Show off those calves with pride!

Until next time I’ll see you in spin class. Just kidding! I’m a new fan of cycling shorts… not actual cycling. There is indeed, a difference.

Follow SoCal Val’s blog at or on social media at @SoCalValerie

This feature was published in the August 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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