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The stylebooks of Princess Diana, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Hailey Bieber are vastly different, but one common thread is a serious love for the best bike shorts. Lady Di and SJP wore them back in the ’80s and ’90s, and over the last few years, the stretchy cutoffs have become as essential to a well-rounded wardrobe as a good pair of black leggings.
Bike shorts are undoubtedly comfortable for working out during warmer temps, and they’ve proved to be ideal for all sorts of activities, from Instagram shopping on the couch to catching rays on early-morning walks. With their snatched waistbands and versatile inseams, bike shorts are the antithesis to baggy, borrowed-from-the-boys sweat shorts. And despite the sporty vibes they give off, the best bike shorts for women have infinite styling potential for turning a full look on hot days. Pair them with a sporty jacket for an effortlessly cool take on the trend, or wear them with a button-down and gold jewelry to add polish to your outfit.
Whether you want a celeb-approved style for your next brunch date (looking at you, Alo) or a quick-drying pair to wear with your favorite New Balance sneakers, we combed the internet to bring you all the best women’s bike shorts you can buy right now. Check them out below.
Black bike shorts will stand the test of time—and you can get a pair for as little as $20 (hi, Amazon). If you want something you can dress up with a white button-down shirt or soft cashmere knit, try experimenting with materials like a superfine ribbed knit or lustrous black.
Arguably the most attention-grabbing style of the bunch, this season’s rainbow hues come in everything from highlighter green to zesty orange and Barbiecore pink. Pair yours with a contrasting sports bra when it’s hot, then throw on a roomy crewneck when things get breezy.
Yes, we all want cute workout clothes in our repertoire, but who can exercise comfortably in a pair of bike shorts that are too sheer or flimsy? Whether you’re indoor cycling, mountain biking, or doing a HIIT class in your living room, these second-skin options are made from breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics that will hold up during any kind of workout. Oh, and if you want a chamois—that is, a pair of cycling shorts with silicone cushioning for longer rides—to prevent butt chafing, we like these padded bike shorts with side pockets from Pearl Izumi. (The gel padding is a godsend for saddle sores on stationary or road bikes.)
Just like with a pair of leggings, pockets can be a game changer when you don't want to carry a bag or fanny pack to work out. The four below have earned hundreds of shoppers' seals of approval, thanks to their cute designs and comfy pocket placements on the upper hip to store a phone, keys, credit cards, and—yes—snacks. Special shout-out to Lululemon's Align high-rise style, which is the shorts version of its best-selling leggings.
If you're in the market for bike shorts shapewear to wear under dresses or skirts, these options deliver. They add an extra layer of coverage and support, and can be slipped on under sheer options as well as more formal styles depending on the look you're going for.