Sonia McBride: Most Innovative Line


The line: The Central District-based designer (who works for a Ballard biking pannier company by day) describes her line as “urban cycling clothing for the professional woman,” as seen in garments like a violet pencil skirt that unzips on the sides to give more leg room to pedal. Other thoughtful details: reflective satin fabric on zippers and trims; the charming wool jacket’s mini capelet that protects against the wind; and double-reinforced seat and articulated-knee seaming on twill pants.

Creative spark: “For me, the design process starts with identifying a problem,” says the 25-year-old of her line. “As someone who commutes on my bike every day, it was obvious that there was a lack of functional and fashionable biking clothing for women, so I started trying to look for a creative solution. I’m inspired to find where those practical solutions, and then aesthetics, meet in a really realistic but beautiful way.”

Mission statement: “I also hope to encourage more women to use a bicycle as part of their daily routine, both as an environmentally responsible means of transportation and for the health benefits, too. On a larger scale, I’m hoping to help change what prototypical ‘cycling clothing’ looks like by adding stylish options.”

First garment created: “I made this peasant blouse in middle school; it was off the shoulder in a very bright white. I was so excited about it, but by the time I actually finished sewing the elastic neck, I didn’t even want to wear it anymore.”

How personal style influences her designs: “I’ve always had an affinity for structured, tailored vintage wear, like my grandmother’s clothing from the 1950s, so that love definitely comes out in my clothing.”

Line: Babecycle

School: Seattle Central Community College School of Apparel Design, Class of 2011

Find it: or

Clothing pictured (From left to right): Double-faced wool/cashmere flannel coatdress with bias-cut skirt, curved front pockets, vintage wool ribbing on collar and cuffs, and double-needle topstitching details. McBride wears her own designs, a wool twill and wool cashmere/flannel combination fitted vest over a lavender wool/poly blend jersey knit long-sleeve top with cowl detail at shoulder and wool/cashmere flannel pencil skirt with side zippers; tights, shoes and earrings are her own. Wool jacquard cycling cape with scalloped edge, seamed curved welt pockets and ribbed collar, paired with lavender short-sleeve top (fabric details listed above with long-sleeve top) and wool twill equestrian-inspired riding pants with reflective satin tape belt loops and reinforced seat.


The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

(From left to right)

1.  Sock It to Me
This Portland-based company has the corner on the whimsical-sock market. Go for the women’s Shakespeare-themed “Taming of the Shoe” or the men’s Multi Player gaming sock for a silly but sophisticated fashion statement. $11.50–$12,

2.  Darn Tough
The name says it all. Based in Vermont and manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these mid-calf, micro crew hike/trek socks are sure to keep your tootsies dry and happy on a hike. The fun colors will make you even happier to take off your boots at the end of the day. $20, available at

3.  Peony and Moss
Founded by Seattle local Eva Spitzer, Peony and Moss brings the pretty with these high-quality cotton socks. We like the Scandinavian pattern knee high, but the thigh high works well with the high-booted crowd. $30–$32,

4.  Mod Socks
Bellingham’s Mod Socks pays serious homage to its Northwest roots with its “Bigfoot Loves Washington,” a women’s knee sock, and the “Bear Necessities” crew sock for men. $10,

5.  Strideline
This Seattle-based company took the city by storm with its skyline lacrosse sock. Now it has come up with a new digital ink technology that brings photo-realism and hometown pride to your feet. Get the new skyline, Husky Stadium or the Sounders sock just in time for soccer season. $16–$18,

6.  Balega
The unique left/right construction and deeper heel pocket of these crew socks make them a favorite in local specialty running shops, such as Super Jock ’n Jill. Balega’s ultralight quarter sock, $13, has been called the sheerest, lightest sock on the market and has garnered lots of hard-core running fans. Available at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle, Capitol Hill, 911 E Pine St.; 206.329.1466;