When I tell people that I “ride a bike” and have done over 10,000 miles in roughly 8 months of intermittent riding, I tend to get one of three reactions:
- “Gosh, that must be tough, pedalling for all those hours… wait you meant a motorbike!?! Do you go on the back?… you have your own motorbike?!”
- “So, do you ride a lot *wink* *wink*”
- “Wow, that’s so cool- do you have all the leathers then?”
This got me thinking about the stereotypical image of female biker. Naturally, what comes to mind are the images plastered all around social media of girls with huge boobs, tight jeans, killer heels and shiny leather jackets, delicately sat on a bike with a fierce look on their face and their hair blowing lusciously in the wind. Sparing you the academic analysis on such discourses and tending not to agree with feminist anthropologists, I realised that to some extent, I wanted to be one of those girls. Yes, I am a biker, but surely that should not compromise my want to be sexy? My mission was set – I may not be able to grow bigger boobs, but I could definitely find some nice fitting jeans.
Two months into my search, with summer nearing its end, I was inches from abandoning my quest. I had tired on, what seemed to me, over 50 pairs of jeans from all sorts of brands. Either they could not get past my hips, I could not breathe or, worse, they gave me builder’s bum! Not only was I tired of trying on pairs, looking and ordering online (FYI the cost of sending them back is extortionate), but I was getting stressed and felt horrendously fat because nothing would fit. I always knew that finding trousers would be hard, but I had not imagined this. Close to resignation and thinking I would have to buy a pair stretchy high-waisted leggings, I was advised to go to Hideout: “the girls are amazing, they will find anything for you and adapt it however you need” – I was sceptical, but we went.
Set apart in the Essex wilderness and hence offering a brilliant opportunity for a lovely ride, this little barn conversion is concealed and modest. As we entered, we were greeted by a sweet little dog and a phenomenal amount of stock. Textile jackets hung neatly on the left whilst stunning, smart, and I later found out handmade in the shop, leather jackets ushered us in. To my right, plenty of motorbike boots, accessories and helmets; in the centre – jeans. Perhaps we were in the right place after all. Standing in oar, I was then greeted by a delightful lady asking whether we wanted anything to drink and where we had come from. Both Iñigo and I noted how the lack of an instant sales pitch was much appreciated and comforted us greatly, allowing us to look through the variety of leather goods. Many of you may even recognise their designs featured in the Mission Impossible 5 film because they designed and made them! (I warn you, these ladies know what they are doing). Eventually, we got onto the topic of what I was actually there for.
Kate, looked me up and down, assessed my figure and took out 2 different jeans for me to try on, announcing that she was not sure they would fit perfectly. She had guessed correctly. As I came out unable to fasten the jeans at my hip, she immediately turned and announced that I required high-waisted jeans and she had just the pair. Gliding the Knox up over my hips, I had the feeling these were the ones. Fastening nicely, with only the slightest gape at the back and just inches too long at leg, they fit like a glove. I looked in the mirror before exiting the changing room and smiled. I looked good! I looked like I was wearing a normal pair of jeans. If I removed the protections on the knees, I could go to university with these on. Perfect, they were perfect! I headed out to the shop floor and saw a glisten in Kate and Iñigo’s eyes. Mission accomplished! As I stood in the mirror accessing my bum in all angles, deciding whether my legs looked big and sitting on the fake bike to see if I was comfortable, Iñigo confirmed my original thoughts on find – they looked good. Kate kindly offered do the necessary adjustments to the jeans, so that they were ready to take, if we went to have lunch and returned in roughly 2 hours. A nip from the bottom and a tuck off waist would do the trick. Safe to say, on our return, I put my new jeans on and continued our ride in them!
I have found the hunt for motorbike gear exhausting. Women’s clothing just does not seem to fit as neatly, perfectly or as desirably as men’s. Waists are not accentuated, bums look obese and legs are hidden beneath layers of material. It seems that the only way to look remotely sexy, or even female, is to not be protected in the slightest. Finding out about Hideout and encountering the brilliant work that they do and the amazing service they provide, makes me rejoice and jump for joy! Not only are the ladies delightful to spend time with; they know what they are talking about. They care about the products, they want to help and they share the same passion- to make women feel good about herself. Their personal service, attention to detail and hospitality is next to none. Not only did they find me a pair of jeans in record time, they adjusted them that very same day and treated us as if they had known us for years- a professional 10/10 service.
If you want to browse a variety of choices in shop, are struggling to find gear that fits well, want a tailored textile or leather motorbike suit or fancy a more personal shopping experience, head to Hideout! Follow our route to get there!