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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.