A 60 Second Guide To: Cycling Jerseys
Thursday, 29th Aug 2013
Originally designed as a piece of performance wear, the humble cycling jersey has grown to represent over a century of stories and tales.
The designs symbolise a moment in time - a particular team, a significant race, an epic battle, a sporting hero. Some jerseys become iconic and sought after pieces of memorabilia, earning themselves a place in the 'hall of design classics'.
Jersey design has continuously developed over the years, team sponsorship alongside technological advances in materials have both played a part in the evolution - however some features remain unchanged.
Typically the back hem is scooped, to help keep the rider's back covered whilst bent over in racing position. The back of the shirt also features a combination of fastened and open pockets - it would be no good having them on the front of the body as the contents would fall out mid-ride. A long zip fastening to the front can be opened to allow for ventilation.
The cuts are traditionally slim and long, helping to reduce air resistance and allowing the fabric to 'perform'; wicking the moisture it needs to sit close to the skin. Sponsors will use a combination of print, embroidery or applique to showcase their names - colours, panels and tipping combinations become synonymous with specific teams.
During the late 1950s, jerseys worn by road riding style icons such as Tom Simpson and Jacques Anquetil made their way from performance wear to streetwear. Slim fitting and full of continental allure, the designs held huge appeal for the jazz loving modernists of that time. The fact that many of the shirts were crafted in merino wool was an added bonus – the breathable fabric was perfect for keeping fresh after a spot of all night dancing. Designs from this period have long continued to be a mainstay of the mod casual wardrobe.
This season's Bradley Wiggins Collection characteristically references jerseys from the Golden Age of cycling. Elements of vintage shirts are explored and blended with signature Fred Perry details, twin tipping colours lifted into colour block panels, a champion inspired stripe knitted into cuffs. Bradley has been involved in each and every stage of the design process, bringing his own ideas, inspirations and style and in turn, each shirt in the collection comes to to tell a story.