UPDATE - Check out our Fall 2014 list!
Good judgment is always sexy. And there are a lot of protective lids that actually look decent. Attractive even. In no particular order, I present to you my favorite helmet styles.
10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets for Spring
Another base + swappable cover system, Casque'En Ville is brimming with French savoire-faire (or is it je ne sais quoi?). There's even an ultra-light carbon fiber base helmet. Casqu'En Ville will ship to the US, but these helmets are approved to EU standards only. They haven't yet been certified for the US market.
Like Yakkay, Bandbox Bicycle Helmets starts with a base helmet that pairs with various covers. But the style is vintage millinery. There are even huge, floppy, straw bonnets so you can dress bike like your hero Six. And don't worry about hanging on to your hat. All the cover designs "have been field tested riding 35 mph down a 12% grade to assure satisfactory performance."Wheeeeee!
The first time I saw this golden beauty, I fell so hard. In love. This is the one that could turn me into one of those nerds that walks around the grocery store with her helmet on. Created by Bobbin Bicycles, Cyclechic.co.uk will ship to the US. Also sold in silver.
Update: the Bobbin Gold is currently out of stock, although more are on the way. Fortunately you can get a similar style from Lazer here.
You really can't go wrong with a Sawako Furuno. This London-by-way-of-Tokyo designer just gets cycle chic. The beautifully tactile faux crocodile leather is hand finished with elegant stitches Produced in limited quantities. You can still get your hands on one, although they tend to sell out!
Bonus: Outlaw Brown Wood Grain Helmet, out of stock
The most tantalizing helmet I've seen. This baby is actually a motorcycle helmet. Known as a half-helmet for its light styling. It's without ventilation holes. And heavier than a bicycle helmet. But it's got that Sawako Furuno look for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately it's out of stock. The Avenir Wood Grain Helmet is similar (but not as cool). How badass is this chrome version?
The typical bike helmet is designed for safety and comfort, not style.
If only that were true. I wouldn't mind wearing a plain-colored noggin-cover that was purely functional. After all, I'm never like, "I wish this seatbelt matched my shoes" while riding in a car. (Just kidding. I don't ride in cars.)
Yet sport helmet "designers" insist on covering the protective plastic surface with abstract floral designs and pink racing stripes. You know what? You can't polish a turd. You might be able to roll it in glitter. But it still stinks.
Learn more about proper helmet fit with Cyclechic's illustrated Helmet Guide.
And did you know that some cycling advocates--especially the founder of Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Mikael Colville-Andersen--are against wearing bicycle helmets? Read Elly Blue's thorough write-up on the helmet debate here.
**This post contains Amazon affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. That said, all opinions are my own.