I’m not super into trends. This whole high-fashion flip flop thing or platform sneakers? Uh uh. And when it comes to my workout clothes, especially, I like to keep it classic and classy—which for me means black leggings. I love a basic, high-waisted version; the most ambitious I normally get is mesh accents. So, color me surprised that I’ve fallen head over heels for an athleisure trend blooming this spring: pastel bike shorts.
Bike shorts are already a polarizing trend. And somehow, I managed to skip right over wearing black ones—logically, the way to ease into the lewk—straight to pale blues, hot pinks, heathered grays, and light greens. My workout drawer looks like it went from Reputation-era Taylor Swift to TS7. Maybe I’m going through a period of reimagining, and my new aesthetic is part Hailey Bieber, part Princess Diana, with a dash of Cher from Clueless doing a Buns of Steel workout video with a flannel tied around her waist.
How did I become this person? Is a softer, less jaded Allie emerging? Is it because there’s something freeing about wearing a trend that I know I should dislike, given my track record? The heart wants what it wants, and right now I want Crayola-hued bike shorts.
Interest piqued, but not sure you want to go full Lady Di? “Start playing with different lengths to see what you’re most comfortable in,” says Ty Haney, founder and CEO of Outdoor Voices, which sells bike shorts in both 5- and 7-inch varieties. “Both [styles] achieve the look while allowing you to stay confident, depending on how much coverage you’re after…If you find the right pair, they can be a super versatile piece in your wardrobe.” Haney likes to style hers with an oversized T-shirt, ankle crew socks, and chunky sneakers.
Part of what makes fashion fun is experimenting with styles and colors and trends; I find it empowering to wear things that are out of my usual comfort zone. Even if—and this is a very real possibility in the case of these bike shorts—I someday look back on photos of myself and wonder WTF I was wearing. But in the moment, they’re fun and they make me happy. Plus, they’re surprisingly flattering on my butt.
Below, shop the 6 pairs of pastel bike shorts that I’m currently living in.
I saw a photo of Hailey Bieber wearing these bike shorts on OV’s Instagram, and have been coveting them ever since. They’re the perfect shade of pink, even on my super pale legs.
My bike short origin story is this pair from Beyond Yoga’s collab with bicycle company Linus. They are incredibly soft and high-waisted, with a touch of compression that I very much appreciate.
Year of Ours makes one of the most flattering pairs of leggings that I own, so it was a no-brainer that I would trust the cool-girl brand to outfit my thighs in pastel shorts. There are neon options, but I’m partial to this soft blue color.
You will not be a shrinking violet (that was lame, but I stand by my pun) in these high-waisted, stretchy shorts. They’re also sweat-wicking, because I can imagine little worse than—ahem—crotch sweat coming to ruin the beautiful pastel color.
I would wear the “sand” shade of these shorts, but honestly, I am very pale and it looks to be about the same color as my skin. Pastel bike shorts, yes. Bike shorts that make me look like I’m not wearing pants? Not quite there yet. But for everyone who isn’t incredibly pale, I love the color. Personally, I’m about the chalk pink.
You cannot do a traditional workout in these color-blocked shorts, but I will be wearing them to walk to brunch (and I think that counts as exercise).
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