A Dutch company, Madame de Pé, has unveiled a new range of rainwear for female cyclists, and with the emphasis on fashion, there’s not a trace of hi-viz material or reflective piping in sight.
Billed as “rain couture,” the two products in the range were created in response to research that found that when it rains, women who would normally commute by bike instead take the tram or use their car.
The research found that many women didn’t want to wear “unflattering” clothing to keep them dry, or garments that didn’t provide suitable protection against the elements because they weren’t designed with cyclists in mind.
“Rainwear often doesn’t work well enough; a Burberry trench coat may look great, but it doesn’t keep your knees dry on a bike. And ponchos blow up and hoods blow off,” says Bernadette Kuiper of Madame de Pé.
“But the biggest issue women have is that rainwear just looks ridiculous. Who would wear a yellow poncho over designer jeans and a tailored jacket? No wonder women take the car when it rains.”
Madame de Pé has therefore come up with two items that is claims will meet the needs of both fashion and functionality; a coat, named La Maîtresse, and a poncho, Le Déluge, that combine style with practicality.
The cuffs, for instance, extend over the hands to keep them dry, looping over the thumb, while the hem of both garments is weighted to stop it from flying up above the knee.
“We tested the coat and poncho extensively by biking in the rain”, Ms Kuiper adds. “So we are sure that the design works and looks amazing. That’s why we can definitively say: ‘Go Ahead. Bike. You’ll look great.’”
Both items are available in navy blue or beige through the Madame de Pé website, with the coat costing €218 and the poncho €148 (respectively £188 and £128 at current exchange rates, excluding postage).
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.