By Victoria Laube
I heard about the outfit, top and shorts, before I saw it. Made in San Francisco impressed me. I love San Francisco — the cycling challenges, the vistas, the wonderful colours, the lapping ocean and the sea breezes … absolutely my most favourite city in the US. I was expecting something that looked spectacular.
Then I saw the outfit …
If I was actually searching for cycling shorts and a top I wouldn’t look twice at the outfit; I’d walk right by the display.
That said …
I tried on the bottoms; they were easy to pull up and fit well — soft yet supportive — in fact, supportive everywhere although less so along the inner thigh. The slight bulge there seemed to be accentuated by the marginally greater tension from the panels finishing off the legs of the shorts. The waistband was very comfortable, resting smoothly across my lower back and hips, then, in a flattering way, crossing over in the front just below my navel.
Unfortunately the shorts, which are predominately black, have decorative panels — a 1.5-inch wide panel runs down from the waist band along the quad of each leg; a wider 3-inch panel encircles and finishes off the bottom of the right leg of the shorts; in contrast, the panel on the left leg is black. With flowers, circles and curlicues in shades of purple and pink imprinted on a white background, the material of the decorative panels resembles pyjama fabric. Eeek!
I was curious to see if this type of decoration and fabric is a Sheila Moon trademark. Sure enough, most of her cycling creations have similar panels.
The jersey was next. It has a full-front zipper so slipping it on was easy. Once on, it caused absolutely no obstruction in shoulder or arm movement and it was supple under the arms. Made of a honeycomb material, it felt lightweight and airy and proved to be cool cycling in hot weather. The material did what it was advertised to do — absorb sweat and draw moisture away from the skin.
PJ plum panels also decorate the jersey. Unlike the shorts though, the six panels are balanced, three on each side of the body: two come down from the neck, along the side of each of the breasts and then meet up with the panels on the pants. Panels run under each of the arms of the jersey and the sleeves are topped off with decorative epaulets.
All dressed, I looked in the mirror. Surprise! As long as I didn’t concentrate on the panels, a flatteringly feminine silhouette smiled back at me. If I did look at the panels, I was wearing suspenders that ran down the front of the jersey and attached to the bottom of the shorts. However, unzipping the jersey halfway broke up the suspender line and looked smarter.
Out riding I noticed the excellent storage on the back of the jersey. Three deep pockets with a zippered compartment (great for keys) attached to the middle pocket.
After machine-washing the outfit three times in cold water and hanging it up to dry, as per the instructions, the shorts fared well. The jersey, however, developed a few pulls (but no runs) after the same treatment. Worried that a hole might appear, I hesitated cutting off the threads.
In summary, comfort was the most outstanding feature of the outfit. Both the pants and the jersey were very comfortable, almost as comfortable as pyjamas!
Details: Waffle Short Sleeve Jersey made of 94% Polyester and 6% Lycra ($85) with matching Sheila Na Gig Shorts made of 90% Polyester and 10% Lycra ($99), made in San Francisco. Sheila Moon
Victoria Laube, a potter and writer, lives in Lanark County near Fallbrook. She regularly cycles on the Bennett Lake Road, and is quickly and happily approaching three score.
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