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If you're looking for a dress with sleek curves that'll handle trail rides through the country and errands in the city, reach for the Castelli Elegante Dress. The smooth, soft, wicking fabric and simple, chic design makes this a dress that you'll be tempted to slide into -- even if you aren't gearing up for a ride.

Castelli constructed the Elegante Dress using its smooth and stretchy Softflex fabric. This material gives off the casual look and soft feel of cotton, yet provides outstanding moisture management and breathability. Slender, contrasting mesh inserts along the upper back panel complement the Softflex fabric, keeping you ventilated and dry.

The semi-fitted Elegante Dress includes Castelli's separate riding shorts that use its seamless, women's-specific KISS3 insert. A soft fabric skin-care layer is built right into the variable density pad, complete with a bacteriostatic treatment that eliminates chafing, saddle sores, and infections. Maximum thickness and density in the ischial zone, tapering to moderate thickness in the pereniumm, and a minimum thickness at the perimeter, keeps you comfortable and supported wherever your rides take you.

Two small reflective tabs line both sides of the dress' three rear pocket panel, and scorpion logos sit at the front and back. Regulate your body temperature with the front half-length zipper, and let the shorts' silicone dot grippers keep the hems perfectly in place.

Castelli's Elegante Dress is available in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large and in the colors Black/white and Coral/white.

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Dinner and a bike ride

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Living in a bike friendly city we end up biking to dinner/happy hour frequently and sometimes you'd rather not be sporting the spandex equivalent of a codpiece in front of your fellow diners. The cut of the dress is flattering and the short length garners a lot of speculative looks, especially when you're doing any leaning over but with the shorts you won't be flashing anyone. The mesh inserts and soft Softlex fabric help with ventilation on warm 80+F days and I appreciate the practicality of having 3 back pockets although it would be nice to have a zippered security pocket for things you don't want to lose. The shorts are very short with an inseam of about 3 inches so don't expect any muscle support or compression but for that you'd be wearing different kit anyway. My main gripe and why it only gets 4 stars is that since this is used mainly for urban riding, I find myself catching the back of the dress on the nose of my saddle when getting back on again at stoplights which is not only annoying but borderline dangerous. The usual Castelli quality and style and made in Macau.