'Modest' cycling clothes

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Cathryn, 7 Sep 2007.

  1. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Off to India in about 6 weeks (yippeeeee) and am having a clothes crisis. Exodus advises that women dress modestly both on and off the bike - shorts aren't appropriate for women!!

    Totally happy to dress appropriately, but not quite sure what that means. I've bought some baggy, knee length shorts which I'll wear padded pants with (flattering) but what on earth do I wear on top? How loose is loose? Do I wear a cotton vest under something else? HELP????

    Struggling to be appropriate :blush: As ever....
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    Shoulders and cleavage are best kept covered.

    In very hot dry climates, cotton is your best choice for clothing. You don't need the high tech fabrics to shead perspiration that we need here in our cool dank weather. The exception is socks where 100 percent wool is best when it's really hot. Any man made fibres become unpleasant very quickly.

    So loose fitting cotton blouses or shirts. Mrs TB has a loose fitting cotton ankle length dress she carries and throws it on over everything. Works for Churches / houses in Europe and temples / cities elsewhere.
  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Depends where you are going. Western cyclists are going to stand out anywhere, but lots of Indians in the big cities now wear Western fashions. However this won't be the case it rural areas.

    I'd obviously avoid skin tight lycra, but you might get away with baggier mountain bike fashions.

    Alternatively go to somewhere like Blacks and just get some walking tops which will be looser than cycling gear but perfectly adequate for touring.

    I'd also asked Exodus for some more detailed advice, or look at the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet Guide and see what they recommend.
  4. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Actually, despite what I said above, I tend to agree with TB, go for cotton, or possibly a cotton mix.

    You won't find many Indians dressed in artificial fibres.

    I've always worn very thin cotton socks in hot climates, but I can see the case for 100% wool.
  5. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    why not wear what the local ladies wear...sari (sp?)...
  6. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    5 full size suit cases isn't it for a woman :blush:



  7. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    That's what I was about to say! Light, practical, elegant and very obtainable both here and there..
  8. John Ponting

    John Ponting Über Member

    Sari may be elegant, light and obtainable but how practical on a cycling holiday for a western woman?
  9. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    You are not going to a muslim country so don't worry too much. I spent a year travelling in India with my girlfriend about ten years ago and spent some time in Rajasthan (iirc this is where you are going). In a muslim country you would get blokes walking up and calling you a slag etc. all day for no reason even when covered from head to toe. India could not be more different, the people are not uptight in the least. Very, very friendly, smiling and welcoming, you will have a marvellous time.

    Having said that it would be respectful to not show too much bare skin.

    As for cotton, this is a bad idea when you are exercising, wherever in the world you are. In the heat of the desert do you really want to be cycling with a hot damp crotch? I would highly recommend standard padded lycra shorts underneath whatever you choose to wear and a nice cooling chamois cream e.g. Assos.

    Finally, as for the "you won't see too many Indians in artificial fibres" quote, he he ha ha haw haw, did you go to the same school as bonj? :blush:
  10. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    If you wear cotton or linen trousers/shorts and a top of the same fabric, you'll be fine.
    Bearing in mind there are cheap markets everywhere, you could buy the clothes there instead of buying over-inflated priced clothes in England.
  11. Dunno, I've been to India and no matter what I wore I got hassle. Smiley and friendly isn't the words I'd use.
    Maybe go for something like a pair of Endura Humvee 3/4s - very comfortable below the knee cycling trousers with a detachable liner. Fox do a nice range of baggy DH style womens tops you could look at as well. You can get cheap un-revealing gear out there but until you find your feet and know what to look for you need something to tide you over, so that's what I'd recommend.
  12. AndrewClark

    AndrewClark Über Member

    I've recently come back from a tour in northern India (Ladakh), we had 2 ladies with us who both wore 3/4 length baggies & loosish MTB tops. Practical, comfortable & inoffensive.

    Arm & leg warmers were also recommended for visits to temples etc.
  13. OP

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Hi, sorry for vanishing from the board...was in France (bliss!). Thanks for all the advice, really useful. I'll try the Fox tops, and have just checked out my LBS who have some decent wicking stuff, so I'm starting to get the idea. Thanks to everyone though. Much appreciated.
  14. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Try and keep your knees covered...bare knees seemed to be the main thing causing offence when we were in india
  15. AndrewClark

    AndrewClark Über Member

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