Cycling shorts are hot - so who's laughing now?
How they laughed at the mamils and the lycra brigade, how they ridiculed the weirdos in spandex riding around in skin tight outfits, letting it all hang out.
Well they're not laughing now, are they? Not now cycling shorts have become trendy again. They're even in Heat magazine, a full double-page spread telling you how to wear them. Like we need to be told.
I'll tell you how not to wear them, with a flowing chiffon kaftan that has prints of begonias on it, or with a snakeskin print blouse pushed teasingly off one shoulder. Do me a favour.
Thank the Kardashians - one minute Kendal Jenner is snapped with some cycling shorts on and suddenly it's the Next Big Thing. Did anyone stop to think that she might have just finished spinning? Alexander Wang is on board already with a fetching and highly impractical skinsuit that, incidentally, Jenner has also been snapped in and we've got the fashion editors compiling dubious spreads that offer advice on how to pull them off.
And here's a tip, it is difficult. I mean physically and metaphorically. Try and get those fuckers off in a hurry.
You can expect sales of chamoix cream to rocket too when the fashionistas discover the joys of crotch rot after a day sweating in lycra and here's another thing - no undercrackers. Seriously, anyone who's reading this for the fashion nod, just don't. For the love of God. Leave your knickers at home or all sorts of gruesome things will happen, not least that your arse will take on the outward appearance of a walnut shell.
This emergence of cycling shorts as a fashion statement does kind of make sense from the cycling side of things too, except we've approached it from the opposite end. Instead of adding cycling kit to our outfits on the bike, we're taking it away. Gravel riding is being sold to us as an opportunity to explore the lesser-known roads when it is now blatantly obvious what the purpose of it is. Because with gravel riding it's all about letting go, dressing down, pairing your bibs with a denim jacket or a baggy t-shirt or as with Lachlan Morton in the first Thereabouts film (above), a plaid shirt and some also now back on-trend vintage Oakley Eyeshades.
Much the same as the whole cycling shorts fashion vibe and ultimately, crotch rot aside, this is going to be great for everyone because before long it won't just be cyclists who realise how great cycling shorts are for actually riding bikes. Granted, your high street versions won't be padded but all the same, there's range of movement there that you simply don't get with a pair of jeans.
And just as cyclists have discovered for time eternal, this is one item of clothing that doesn't hide a multitude of sins. But that's not going to stop anyone, is it?
* It's not just cycling shorts that are back in the mainstream - the fashion world has gone cycling mad and those shades have become essential kit. Just like in the eighties, a nice big pair of sci-fi Oakleys is just the thing to get the kids bouncing. Here's Rita Ora in a pair of Oakley M2s, taking a dump on stage.