California-born stylist to the stars, Jenni Lee, shows how to wear the warm weather legging better known as bike shorts for every occasion…
“They say what goes around comes around, and that statement applies to fashion as much as it applies to karma,” says Jenni Lee as she shares her thoughts on the latest summer legging hack: “Bike shorts have come back around, and they are definitely staying for awhile…”
“Leather bike shorts don’t have to come off as biker babe (if you don’t want that vibe) by balancing the look with soft fabrics, treatments like tie-dye and a relaxed silhouette.” – Jenni Lee
The Cali-born, Texas-raised, LA-based stylist has spent the last decade mastering looks for celebs from Scarlett Johansson to Lauryn Hill, and she noticed the rise of the ultra-cropped legging look when she was traveling from New York to Paris for SS19 fashion month. “The models were cruising in every iteration you could imagine — beach-sport at Collina Strada, tech vibes at Each x Other, chic boxy blazers at Chanel, soft femininity at Blumarine and even edgy leather at Zadig & Voltaire — I knew that it was going to be a massive hit come spring.”
“It’s all about the details to make a throwback style totally modern, like the subtle use of neon rather than all over, this looks fresh even with the so-90s scrunch socks.” – Jenni L
A fan of 80s and 90s era fashion with a modern twist, Jenni Lee has been hoarding a few pairs of her own, waiting for the warmer weather to hit. “We are all living a leggings lifestyle and the next logical step is obviously bike shorts to show off some bare leg,” she notes. “It’s no secret that the success of leggings is that they are comfortable so naturally the bike short trend is taking off, which makes perfect sense because they are literally so easy to style in a myriad of ways,” she admits, with celebs from Hailey Bieber to Miley Cyrus offering proof that even off the runway, the look has legs.
For a streetwise glimpse at how to wear a pair for every calendar date from work to play, Jenni Lee delivers a handful of easy ways to take the look for an IRL spin:
THE LOOK: COLOR PLAY
Seen on runways like: Toga, Each x Other
Going for an everyday casual look is the most common when we think about bike shorts, but keep it modern by playing with proportions, color and fabrics. Try a bright colored short with an oversized-sleeve sweatshirt — or go techy with cut-outs and flashy lightweight parkas and bold sneakers. For a beach-sport vibe, the Seamless Rib Bike Short with the Feels Right Pullover is a sure bet.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with the colorful Road Trip Sneakers in acid yellow on your toes.
THE LOOK: BUSINESS BABE
Seen on runways like: Chanel, Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Wondering how to get away with bike shorts to work? Throw on a boxy blazer.
Bella Hadid was clearly inspired by the Chanel runway and sported a pair with a jacket and a belt bag. I am especially into this look when it is done monochromatically. Try the High-Rise Biker Baby Short with the Violet Check Suit Jacket over the Ribbed V-Neck Brami or Square One Seamless Cami.
Finish the look off with the Frankie Blocked Heel with western embellishment and the Riley Chain Belt Bag. (Or, double up on the season’s biggest trends by buckling into the On My Way Platform when you’re in the mood for extra lift.
LOOK: 90’S REDUX
Seen on runways like: Shiatzy Chen, Blumarine, Brognano
My go-to way to rock bike shorts is a total 90s redux moment that allows me to put a fresh spin on reliving my youth (that is so of-the-moment). An ultra feminine floral frock paired with grungy black boots and black bike shorts hits the nail on the head.
I think the delicate cut-outs of the Cutting Ties Bike Short aligns perfectly with the Stacey Duster and Dr. Martens 1460 Mono Lace-Up Boots. I love to mix hard and soft elements, so adding these sweet Spellbound Embellished Anklet socks really plays with the toughness of the Doc Martens.
LOOK: FESTIVAL FORWARD
Seen on runways like: John Elliot
Festival season is upon us and you don’t have to ditch your denim in lieu of the bike short. Oh no, now you get layer on the lace. The Bianca Lace Bike Short worn under these classic Levi’s 501 High-Rise Denim Shorts and your standby motorcycle jacket is the ultimate in effortless style.
I prefer a suede style for spring and summer and, if you are in the market for a new lightweight one, I suggest this burnt sage Suede Moto Jacket for the subtle military vibes. Instead of super tough boots, try these Fair and Square Platform Boots and keep it simple on top with a vintage tee or the Basique Bodysuit in white.
THE LOOK: LEATHER FOREVER
Seen on runways like: Zadig & Voltaire, Alexander Wang
My favorite style in the bike shorts variety is in leather. There are so many ways to work this look but I love to mix up the edginess in a clean way by topping them with a crisp men’s style white button-down tied at the waist.
Hailey Leather Bike Shorts are killer paired with the We The Free Color Of The Valley Buttondown — I love the barely there tie-dye of this one. Round out the look with these Bing Sheer Crew Socks and the Andi Flatform Sandal to keep it super modern and fresh.