Manpris and style

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
By Yokota Fritz

I got some urban-style cycling knickers from Swrve not long ago. These are absolutely the most comfortable pants I've ever worn for cycling.

I'll post more specifics in a real review in the future, but first a question about style. As a cyclist, I can pretty much get away with wearing anything around the San Francisco Bay Area -- you're not looked down on if you're not in full lycra kit or wearing the right urban hipster gear. I even saw a dude in a dress yesterday and just kind of shrugged. Actually, it looked like some sort of hippy interpretation of an Indian mystics outfit, but you get the drift.

Cycling knickers, though, or "manpris" like some of my friends like to call them, seem a little out of place even in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area. I feel a little weird wearing them.

So, like I wrote, the fit and feel of these "manpris" is simply amazing. The style, though, isn't really me. Should I choose function over form? What do you all think?

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Speaking as a chick: I don't even understand the objection to the "manpri." I think they look great on cyclists, and they are certainly better looking than hiking up one pant leg with that reflector tape, or walking around all day with one pant leg still pegged because you forgot to undo it, or walking around with a torn, greasy hem on your left side. I wear capris almost all the time in the summer because they are so bike-friendly, and I think it's lame that guys get crap for doing the same thing.

Choose the function!
Just Ride.....It isn't about fashion. If people make fun of you who cares, chances are that you don't know them and will never see them again... Atleast thats my take on my fahion.
Never compromise function for style. Never. To do so is to allow a nebulous concept generated by an industry that promotes deliberate, wasteful obsolescence to dictate one's actions.

Also WWSMD? (What Would Style Man Do?) :)
hard to say with no pictures... but there is something to be said for "it isn't me."
What about it isn't you, though?
Maybe it's what you will be ;-)
Maybe you can do something to them to make them more "you." If it's only "not me" because people will say "WTF?" when they see you, you'll get over that. YOu know they do anyway :) If it's not you because people will associate you with something that isn't you (tho' who's wearing manpris? Motorcycle gangs? Mall rats? Computer geeks?) then it's worth considering what you['re communicating (it's not just our actions which speak to people, or our words; our visual appearance is language, too).
You should write a thorough analysis of the problem. Oops, you should go ride your bike instead!
I've picked up a couple of the "Judo shorts" at Target recently that seem to be a nice compromise between capri length and short length.

(if that doesn't work just search for "judo short' at
I just got my Novara Rail manpris last week and I love them. (disclosure: I work for REI) They are stetchy, breathable and comfortable when riding, and I wear them shamelessly even when far from my bike.
I think it depends a lot on how they fit. I like the look of lycra knickers and of baggy-for-cyclewear manpris like these:

I think it depends on the rider's size and the size of the 'pris they're wearing, but the swrve ones look a bit too much like too-small and tight polyester leisure suit pants from the 70s. However they look, this is probably good functionally, since they're tight enough to not flap around but loose enough to provide good freedom of movement.
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