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"Rain couture" from Holland helps female cyclists remain stylish even in the wet

Poncho and coat aabout as far away from a hi-viz cape as it's possible to get...

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).

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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simonmb | 13 years ago

Nice to see the Pashley in there even with all those lovely Dutch-made bikes Madame de Pé could have chosen from. Very nice.

KirinChris | 13 years ago

The coat looks quite nice, even the cape is OK. Lucky dog BTW.  19

Compared to what people pay for a softshell it's a reasonable price. I bought a Gore Countdown jacket from Minx-Girl for my wife at Christmas - that was 160 quid but she loves it.

She rides to school with our daughter and wants something that doesn't look totally naff if she needs to go in and talk to a teacher, or stop for coffee with one of the other parents.

Not everyone is a hardcore cyclist in easy-dry lycra commuting to work with a change of dry clothes.

Myriadgreen | 13 years ago

Seen the cost? I'd rather get wet for 10 mins and change at work. Still, at least they're not an awful pink (cos all women lurv pink....  31 )

OldRidgeback | 13 years ago

stylish? I know what my wife would say

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