As you probably realize, there aren’t universal size standards in the apparel industry. One brand’s size medium is another brand’s size small. “Vanity” sizing, they call it, panders to our wish to buy a smaller label. Whatevs. We all know what size we are compared to others, so let’s not sugar coat it. Ultimately cyclists need functional kit pieces that positively affect our effort: wicking material, low wind drag, and of course comfort. Non-conformity in apparel sizing makes it harder for women to easily buy clothes online; we need to try things on if we’re not familiar with a brand. And what about our sisters on either end of the size spectrum? What about correct proportions and choices for them?
I know not every apparel brand can be everything to everyone. I will give kudos to Shebeest, as they offer one of the best size ranges in the cycling industry. When there’s an extra “extra” on a cyclist’s size label, there’s no discounting their effort. If they’re pedaling up hills and across many miles, they’re athletes. They also deserve to wear stylish, functional cycling apparel. For diminutive bodies, Shebeest’s XS pattern is scaled in length and volume appropriately and hangs well on the body. For our voluptuous sisters, Shebeest recently announced their custom cycling shorts will be offered in XXL and XXXL sizes. Thanks to the brand for taking care of both ends of the spectrum!
My aforementioned teammates also have a wide variety of opinions. We polled them about our Shebeest kit to help others get a grasp on popular style’s fits. Here’s what we can offer:
- Fit: On the roomier side
- Best for: Everyone from roadies to cross-country mountain bikers
- Insider tip: The fabric is stretchy and the cut is ample so if you’re in between two sizes, go with the smaller option
- Fit: True
- Best for: Those who don’t have sun-related skin concerns as both your shoulders and blades will get full sun exposure
- Insider tip: The racer-back cut is narrow, so buy a racer-back bra that matches the design for full cuteness points and reduced strap tan lines
- Fit: True with body-hugging silhouette
- Best for: Regular to long/tall torsos
- Insider tip: The halter bib is amazing for bathroom breaks – just slip it over your helmet and down your jersey so you don’t have to take off your top. However, shorter ladies may find the big too long. Therefore, those at 5’2” and under may wish to opt for a short instead.
- Fit: True fit with body-hugging silhouette
- Best for: Those who don’t like bibs are petite in height
- Insider tip: The waistband and leg cuff are wide so that you don’t get muffin-top nor muffin-thigh. Amazing fit, great chamois, enough said.
- Fit: True with a fitted silhouette
- Best for: Mountain bikers who want a non-baggy “baggy” short, or roadies who are self-conscious about wearing skin-tight bike shorts alone
- Insider tip: Available in plus sizing. Wear these over a chamois liner. Our teammates have raved about the Glamour Panty liner with a chamois pad, or simply wear a padded bike short underneath.
- Fit: True to small. More fitted than a traditional mountain bike jersey.
- Best for: Mountain bikers, those who want more arm coverage, and everyone in between. While we love the special stretch fabric patterned in to decrease abrasion from packs, it can make the jersey feel tight. We recommend sizing up for comfort.
- Insider tip: Available in plus sizing!
I hope this helps women across the land better understand Shebeest’s fit. No matter your body type or size, you need to feel comfortable both physically and mentally in your cycling apparel. If you don’t you’ll be less likely to suit up for a ride. Wear what’s right for your body. Buy something that is in your favorite color, or the pattern pumps you up and motivates you. If you love your kit, you’ll want to wear it.