Great Expectations on Melbourne Cup Day

A male friend of mine recently asked me if I had published any blog posts about how women might manage their hair under a bicycle helmet. I know he was well meaning. I have been asked this question by many women at conferences and one-on-one.

It’s a triumvirate of dresses in this photo.  I think simplicity wins the show here with this cobalt blue dress and elegant white hat. 

My response has always been to remind women that they are not their hair. That they are beautiful and intelligent. And that a good stylist will work with you to find a hairstyle that fits with your life.

What is this man responding to?  “Brown should not be seen in town” is an archaic phrase. This man is wearing it so well especially with matched shoes and belt and his window-pane patterned suit.

I’m certain that women have asked me this question honestly.  But many have asked this question because it is yet another reason not to bicycle. The same could be said of the common excuses that people make. For example: “I’m not fit enough.” “I hate getting sweaty. Or even, “I don’t like wearing lycra.”

Stellar outfit complete with pashmina for the slightly cold wind.

I have heard about a Youtube video which seeks to solve this problem by devoting time and attention to one’s hair in a special way. That’s wonderful. But I’m not going to advocate viewing it.

Beautiful at every age!

I took a bit of a hard line with my friend and said that my expectations are greater of women.  Writing about topic which I find demeaning and stereotypical of women’s concerns, isn’t my preference.

I love this contrast in hairstyles and blue. Super gorgeous.

It’s akin to a photo that I saw at a bicycle conference last winter where one of the male presenters included a photo of a woman applying her makeup in a self-driving car while her male counterpart was reading the paper. 

I love the detail on this dress. Now that I have relearned how to sew, it’s a dress of incredible skill to have made. Well worth the price. Unique hair ornament too.

All of the women around me were appalled by the photo. I raised my hand and asked him why he included it. He said that he was was trying to introduce some humour into his presentation. 

This elegantly attired man was concentrating on his bets. So much so that he didn’t notice me!

I told him that it was not funny. Nor was it forward-thinking or inclusive which was the point of his presentation about development in Western Sydney. He avoided me for the rest of the conference. However, many women thanked me for my response.

Great shoulders on these two elegant black dresses with reasonable heels.

Over lunch, my friend demurred my response but conceded that perhaps he was not appropriately gendered to be asking the question.

Very festive light grey suit, light blue tie, white shirt and turquoise pocket square make this ensemble sing! Even though he’s obviously traveling from somewhere, he’s made the effort.

In 2016, while so much information is available at our fingertips, I saw many solutions to the question of “What should I wear today that is stylish and functional?” on Melbourne Cup Day this past Tuesday.

A fantastic print dress and matching fascinator with beautiful nude pumps make her stand out in the crowd!

Office appropriate clothing that also suits this day of festivity in Sydney was in evidence. It is possible to make intelligent choices for a multitude of purposes. The office. The bicycle. After work drinks and/or dinner. The Race that Stops the Nation.  You need to want to find the solution. It’s out there, you need only look.

Happy Bicycling!

X Sarah

All photos by Velo-a-Porter founder, Sarah Imm. Taken while on bicycle!

If you enjoyed this post, please follow me on WordPress. For more of my daily bicycling adventures follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

It takes confidence to wear a window-pane patterned suit. And look at those beautiful shoes!


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