How To: Bike to Work and Still Look Cubicle Ready

I’ve always been a biker. Growing up in the country, it was how I got to friends’ houses. It was my escape when life wore me down or I just needed to feel like I could fly. A lot of things change when you grow up, but my love for cycling continues to blossom.

When I landed a job 2.1 miles from my house over a year ago, I couldn’t wait to show up to work every day on two wheels, come rain/sun/wind/snow. The only downside? Figuring out how to show up on time and still look cubicle-ready. It took some bad outfits and a few shiny foreheads to figure it out, but I can safely say I’ve perfected my cubicle look post-bike commute. It isn’t perfect per se, but hopefully it’ll help a fellow commuter avoid an unwanted muddy backside.

Levi’s Commuter Series

When I came across the Levi’s Commuter Series, I fell in love a little. Pants that make biking super easy and also presentable for that 9 a.m. meeting, paired with long-in-the-back button-up shirts, you may never need another bike commute outfit again.

Side braids

I’ll admit, my hair is typically piled atop my head in a messy bun. But when cycling, my curly mass doesn’t fit underneath the shell of protection I’m highly encouraged to wear very well. When I’m headed to work, and running late, I quickly braid my hair to the side, wrap it around a low bun and head out the door. It may not be runway ready, but at least it’s 9-5 grind ready.

Powder for touch-ups

If there’s one thing I like about winter, it’s the fact that I don’t show up to work a sweaty mess — just slightly in need of a thaw. When I walk into the office on blistery July mornings, with my forehead a bit on the shiny side, I reach for a small compact of face powder. It’s not a permanent solution, but at least no one will see their own reflection during that 10 a.m. creative session.

Panniers

No one likes back sweat, right? Here’s one way to avoid it: get yourself some panniers. No longer will you show up to work with a sweaty back or an ache in your shoulder. So throw in your lunch, your afternoon book and that stack of papers you’ve been meaning to fill out and roll your way out the door.

Fenders

If there is one thing worse than a sweaty back, it’s a dirty one. It might make you stand out in a crowd, but you don’t want to be known as ‘dirt-line-up-her-back girl,’ although that does have a ring to it. To avoid this catchy one liner, head over to the local bike shop and install a rear fender. Some even come in cool colors or wood. Practical and pretty? Hook me up!

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Laura Smith

Contributor

Laura is a freelance writer from the Midwest. When she isn't grinding out the hours of 9 - 5 she's often found avoiding getting hit while biking around town. If you get her talking about travel, beer or cardigans, she may never stop. She once got a job by pretending to be a mime and planning a dinner party. It was almost her big break. Instagram Portfolio

  • Kristine Circenis

    This is a great post idea! I feel lucky that I am able to walk to work and will definitely pass these tips on to my biking friends.

  • These are great tips. I don’t bike to work (my city is SO hilly) but I’ve always wondered how people do it and still look chic.

  • Kayleigh

    This is something I never thought about but love the perspective! Braids would be a lifesaver!
    http://www.kayleighskloset.com

  • Savannah Ward

    I always bring powder to touch up in my car before class or on the way to a club meeting. The braids are a great idea!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

  • Great tips! I wish I had a job close enough to bike to; it would be a great way to fit exercise into my day.

  • Ashley

    My husband is currently working on building me a bike! I live right down the street from my work so this will be perfect! These are great tips!

    xo Ashley

  • Merisa Ferrell

    I love this so much! You’ve really covered everything here. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  • These are great ideas! I’ve been riding my bike nonstop since we moved to Japan – it’s definitely a thing over here! I’m only here for a couple more weeks, but I’ll definitely be using these tips.

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

  • YES! I love this! I really want to start commuting to work via bike. I love your site design P.S.!

  • Sara Kate Steadman

    Definitely the ultimate decision. You want to bike or exercise to work but what if you stink!? Haha great tips.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

  • nicole simonetti

    This is SO cute – love the styling tips for it! x Nicole | http://www.thestyledrabbit.com

  • Jessica Grace

    The city I love in is built on six big hills so biking anywhere is hard work! Not that I wouldn’t love to be able to cycle everywhere though…. But I like these tips and I’m sure they’ll help some cyclists along too.

  • I can’t wait to ride my bike along Chicago’s lakefront! woooot! http://www.heartofchic.com

  • Lauren Ashley

    This is such a unique post but I love it! Great solutions!
    xo
    Lauren

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