I’ve been in two minds whether to review these items as they are no longer available except occasionally on Ebay – I bought them last year in Sheila Moon’s closing-down sale. But I’ve decided to mention them as I spent the summer in them and they give me some tips for what to look for when I need to replace them.
I bought: the Bippie and Ziggy shimmels (sleeveless cycling tops with built-in bra), Ziggy dress, Bippie skort, Bippie long-sleeved jersey, lingerie liner shorts in white (the only colour left) and lingerie knickers in black. The majority of the items are in a pink and purple colourway with a pretty Liberty-style print that makes me feel a bit more feminine on the bike and all are made from 90% polyester, 10% lycra.
The internal bra on the tops and the dress is meshy and wicking, and gives enough support even for a G-cup girl like me. The backs on the Ziggy shimmel and dress proved more comfortable than the Bippie shimmel in really hot weather, as they have a crossover style with an open section that allows you to sweat freely, but the cut of the Bippie was more supportive. Both shimmels and dress also have capacious back pockets, which I made full use of.
The Iris skort is smooth, thin jersey and has a crossover waistband like those on the Sheila Moon winter wear, while the lingerie shorts and knickers both have a soft lace waistband that is non-irritating, and lace cuffs. However, I had to cut off the silicone cuff on the shorts, as I’m allergic to silicone. The fabric on the lingerie items is a pointelle knit that is slightly see-through, if anyone’s looking at your legs that closely, and this allows for a nice amount of airflow.
At the height of the summer, all of these items came in incredibly useful and were worn every day, but my favourite combination was the Ziggy dress and lingerie knickers. The skirt on the dress provides a nice amount of modesty, while the knickers kept my thighs from getting sunburned. I’d pop the jersey in a back pocket in case of a change in the weather (it also provides SPF 50) and found I often needed it on my return ride, and I enjoyed that it co-ordinated with the dress. I collected, for a middle-aged woman, a huge amount of male smiles when wearing these items, which look very unusual compared with the go-faster racing-style kit most people wear around here.
I felt truly gutted to hang up these items at the end of the summer, when our temperatures dropped by 15 degrees overnight, but at least it has given me some idea of what to look for when I come to buy more summer kit in a few years time. The longish skirt on the dress, the pointelle knit of the lingerie items, the roomy back pockets and the keyhole back on the Ziggies were all hugely welcome and those are the main features I’ll be looking out for in future.