How to Wear Bike Shorts

How to Wear: Bike Shorts - Leonisa

Bike shorts were a big trend in 2020, and they’re going to be even bigger in the years to come. These athleisure bottoms are similar to leggings but are a little trickier to style due to their shorter length. In this guide, we offer tips for choosing the perfect pair of bike shorts and then dive into 14 looks that will teach you how to wear bike shorts.

Choosing the Perfect Pair of Bike Shorts

Before you learn how to wear bike shorts, you need to know how to choose the perfect pair for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you shop for bike shorts:

Bike Shorts Shopping Tips

  • Choose the right size. Sizing in leggings, bike shorts and other athleisure can be a bit tricky. While these items usually offer a lot of stretch, they also sometimes run small, resulting in a tradeoff. Make sure to check Leonisa’s sizing chart before ordering to make sure that you’re buying the ideal size for you. Too loose and the bike shorts will sag; too tight and they will cut into your skin. You want to get that perfect Goldilocks size for you.

  • Consider the material blend. Not all bike shorts are created equal. Some offer more stretch, breathability and/or durability than others. Carefully read the product description before purchasing to get a sense of how the shorts will feel. Cotton adds breathability but absorbs moisture, while polyester repels moisture but reduces breathability. Other fibers such as rayon and spandex add stretch to the garment—the higher the percentages, the more stretch the fabric will have. If the fabric doesn’t offer a lot of stretch, you might need to size up for a better fit.

  • Woman in Bike Shorts

  • Watch out for VPLs. Whenever you wear tight bottoms, such as bike shorts, you always run the risk of VPLs, aka visible panty lines. To keep your underwear from showing through your bike shorts, opt for seamless no-show panties with smooth, bonded edges that won’t poke through your clothes. If you’re really worried about VPLs, you can always wear thong panties, which get rid of the issue altogether. You’ll banish VPLs in no time with these tricks.

  • Select a color or print. Black bike shorts are super versatile and widely available, so you can’t go wrong with them. However, choosing a bright solid color (or even more bold, a print!) can add a lot of fun options to your wardrobe. If you’re not sold on the bike shorts trend yet, start with a solid black pair and then slowly branch out as you become more comfortable with it.

  • If you’re still struggling to find the perfect pair of bike shorts, or the right underwear to wear underneath your bike shorts, don’t hesitate to call our expert consultants or schedule an appointment with our Personal Shoppers. They can help guide you through the options and find the perfect clothes for your needs.

    How to Wear Bike Shorts

    Now that you know how to choose the perfect pair of bike shorts, you’re probably wondering how to style them. Here are 14 outfit ideas to give you some help on how to wear bike shorts. 

    Choose printed shorts

    If you want to make your bike shorts the focal point of your look, then you should definitely go for a bold print. Keep the rest of your outfit muted and monochrome to really make the shorts pop. Neutrals such as black, white, navy and brown will draw more attention to the shorts and make a bold fashion statement.

    Woman Exercising in Bike Shorts

    Go monochrome

    A monochrome look goes especially well with the sleek silhouette of bike shorts. More brands than ever are offering athleisure collections featuring tops and bottoms made out of the same materials, making it easier to create a truly monochrome look. Slip into your bike shorts, put on the cute matching sports bra and you’ve got a super easy, coordinated look.

    Wear all black, all the time

    This is technically a subset of the monochrome look, but it’s worth calling out all-black ensembles on their own due to their versatility and accessibility. Odds are good that you already own a pair of black bike shorts, as well as black tops and jackets. Mixing and matching them is a great way to ease into the bike shorts trend without having to buy a ton of new pieces—plus, an all-black ensemble always looks super classy and professional.

    Colorblock your look

    If you love solid colors but aren’t a fan of the monochrome look, then you should definitely try color blocking. For a more understated look, choose garments from similar color families (for example, red, orange and yellow). If you want a bolder look, choose colors from different families—for example, red and blue—for a truly eye-catching look.

    Black Bike Shorts

    Combine colors with patterns

    You can combine two of the trends listed above by throwing on some printed bike shorts and then topping it with a bold, solid-colored shirt. For instance, you can pair leopard print shorts with a jewel-toned hot pink top for a truly fashionable bold look. This outfit isn’t for the faint of heart, but it will ensure that you stand out while embracing this fashion trend.

    Pair it with a crop top

    The higher waist and longer legs of bike shorts make them perfect for pairing with skimpier tops. Throw on a crop top and show off a flash of skin as the days get hotter. If you’d like a little more coverage, pair this look with some of the other trends on this list. For instance, you can wear an open blazer or button-up shirt over the crop top.

    Go for a graphic t-shirt

    If you’re looking for more of a casual vibe, pairing bike shorts with a graphic t-shirt is the perfect relaxed look. Tuck the t-shirt in for a more put-together look, or leave it loose for relaxing. If you want to lean into the athletic side, finish the outfit off with some chunky sneakers for a true statement piece.

    Casual Outfit With Bike Shorts

    Throw on a blazer

    A blazer instantly elevates every single outfit, making you look sharper and more professional. Go with a classic black blazer for a timeless look, or opt for a solid-colored jacket if you want to add a pop of color. If you’re feeling really bold, you can go for a printed blazer that will be sure to get everyone talking about your fashionable tastes.

    Wear a longer tunic or jacket

    A blazer isn’t the only way to pair a jacket with bike shorts. Consider wearing a longer shirt, jacket or tunic with your bike shorts. The key is that you want the edge of the garment to fall several inches above the bike shorts so that it doesn’t look like you don’t have any bottoms on. This is the perfect transitional look for spring when it might still be a bit colder.

    Grab a button-up shirt

    Button-up shirts are insanely versatile, and they can be paired with bike shorts in so many different ways. If you’re wondering how to wear bike shorts with a button-up, you can tie the shirt at the waist, leave it loose or tuck it—whatever you’re feeling. Either way, the looser silhouette of the shirts will perfectly complement the sleek cut of the bike shorts.

    Add a crocheted layer

    Crochet is another big trend this year, and it provides a really fun textural contrast to smooth and stretchy bike shorts. There are many different ways to add crochet to your bike shorts look, including crochet bras, crochet tops and long open crochet sweaters. It’s really up to you and how you want to combine these trends!

    Opt for ribbed shorts

    Speaking of trends, ribbed knits are really popular this year, so it’s probably no surprise that they’ve been crossed with bike shorts. If you prefer a monochrome look, you can pair them with a ribbed top as well. If you want to add some different textures, you can incorporate other materials, such as structured blazers and loose crop tops, for maximum impact.

    Don a denim jacket

    Who says you can only wear denim on your legs? You can never go wrong with a denim jacket, and this fashion wisdom applies to the bike shorts trend as well. Pair some black bike shorts with a black t-shirt and then throw on a denim jacket and some chunky sneakers and you’ve got the perfect look for a casual weekend outing.

    Posing Denim Jacket with bike Shorts

    Put on some high heels

    Since bike shorts are the epitome of casual athleisure, it might seem odd to pair them with high heels—and that’s exactly why you should do it. The visual contrast of the shoes will elevate the shorts and keep your outfit from looking too casual. This same rule applies when you want to dress up leggings as well. Plus, high heels make your legs look awesome, also a plus when wearing with bottoms such as bike shorts.

    Bike Shorts

    Again, if you need help figuring out how to wear bike shorts, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Personal Shoppers! They love helping clients discover the perfect clothes for them. If you’re looking for bike shorts, be sure to check out our selection here and get free shipping on any orders of $25 or more.