Vespertine Blossom Clip/Pin Grande  £18.50

3/10

Nice ideas, but not well made or effective enough to justify the prices.

Weight 15g   Contact  Shop.vespertinenyc.com

by Caroline Dodgson   November 10, 2013  

Vespertine BLOSSOM CLIP:PIN GRANDE

Vespertine uses 3M Scotchlite reflective material to make reflective brooches (blossoms) and bracelets, but at between £16 and £29 they are expensive and unlikely to make too much of a safety impact.

Based in New York, Vespertine aims to create high fashion high-vis and reflective items for women who cycle, calling their items 'haute réflecture', but their range of small pinnable brooches and bracelets pack neither the fashion punch or the expansive reflective properties of their larger items.

The key problem is that the blossoms are so small that when you pin them where you would usually wear a brooch – approximately in a buttonhole position – they're hard to see on the bike. Even in a fairly upright riding position your arms get in the way of them being seen. And there is a reason why reflectives usually go on your back and sides, not the front. Wearing one blossom, even the larger one, did not seem to make me more noticeable to the majority of passing drivers.

In Vespertine's publicity materials the model is shown with upwards of 20 blossoms, which is probably what would be needed to make a significant impact on your visibility. They can also attach to hair, but I found that the clip wasn't particularly effective at keeping them in place in my long straight hair; it's intended primarily as a clothes clip. A pin gives another option to secure the blossom, and as an addition to a rucksack or messenger bag the blossoms may be better placed to catch a driver's eye.

The brooches themselves are between 2.5in and 4.5in diameter, with a choice of a clip and a pin on the back of each. The petals are cut from the 3M Scotchlite material which isn't a particularly luxurious material when seen close up and unhemmed. At £16 for the smallest blossom they are pretty pricy, mainly because all the items are handmade in New York. Handmade, however, mostly means glue-gunned together and not stitched, and because of this they were not very robust – the largest blossom was pulled apart by a toddler who had taken a fancy to the shininess before I could get to her.

Vespertine also makes a £29 bracelet which fares better in the 'usefulness' stakes, as adding a reflective to your wrist is likely to catch headlights and alert drivers to a signal to turn. Again the bracelet is glued together and a large Vespertine label is inexpertly glued onto the back. Together with the single skin material which when turned over has the Scotchlite printing on it, the bracelet also does not live up to its hefty price tag. The bracelet comes in one size, 8 inches long. I can imagine wearing it in the summer when I don't want to wear 'cycle kit' but might be coming back in the dark.

Not pretty enough to be standalone accessories nor versatile enough to act as your only reflective in the dark, these are expensive trinkets which may make an interesting stocking filler but don't rely on them as your only means of being visible to drivers.

Verdict

Nice ideas, but not well made or effective enough to justify the prices.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Vespertine Blossom Clip/Pin Grande

Size tested: Quick Silver

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Attach this beautiful Vespertine Flower clip & pin to bags, jackets or headbands and amaze your friends and on-coming traffic when it glows in the evening sun (a.k.a. Flashes and Headlights).

These are aimed at women who want to add a bit of panache to their clothes for cycling. It falls a little flat for me.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Hand Made in NYC entirely from 3M Scotchlite™ material.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
2/10

Glue not stitching mean that this product is not as tough as it could be. The material is not well suited to 'jewellery'.

Rate the product for performance:
 
3/10

If caught in lights, these blossoms reflect well, but that's a big if.

Rate the product for durability:
 
2/10

Did not pass the toddler test.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Very light to wear.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
5/10

Clips and pins worked appropriately.

Rate the product for value:
 
2/10

Very expensive trinkets.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

When the lights caught the product, the reflection was as expected from Scotchlite reflective material.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The idea of reflective jewellery.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Poor construction quality.

Did you enjoy using the product? No.

Would you consider buying the product? No.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

May appeal as a stocking filler.

Overall rating: 3/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 5'7  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, Leisure

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

pointless.... Thinking

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [322 posts]
10th November 2013 - 22:01

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Ahahaha.

Seriously though, I had to go on their site to look at the picture mentioned, and yep, the model was wearing $500-worth of pins.

posted by Shanghaied [38 posts]
11th November 2013 - 8:39

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Wow a 3/10 review...now that changes my conspiracy theories about all cycling publications...

posted by NeilXDavis [98 posts]
11th November 2013 - 10:48

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I just went on their website...

The price to product quality ratio in the promotional photos made me feel physically sick. If it looks that crap on the website, I can't imagine how badly made they actually are...

posted by hoski [61 posts]
11th November 2013 - 13:48

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The $98 bow tie is the real highlight of their range....

http://shop.vespertinenyc.com/product/bow-tie

SteveAustin's picture

posted by SteveAustin [33 posts]
13th November 2013 - 13:54

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We tell it like it is!

posted by Caroline Dodgson [34 posts]
15th November 2013 - 12:17

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This could be the worst product review in road.cc history...

(as in the product)

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1185 posts]
18th November 2013 - 12:52

like this
Like (3)

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