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What has been said and told...

Bernard Lambert was dressed too smart. He’s been wearing vintage clothes for at least 15 years. When John Petty, the founder of the Philadelphia chapter of Dandies and Quaintrelles, a local group for vintage lovers, walked by him, he couldn’t help but mention how Lambert pops.

Lambert wore a red stripe seersucker blazer with blue stripe seersucker pants. A patriotic picnic blanket pattern hankie brought the outfit together, as did a multicolored diagonally striped tie. Lambert later won the Dandiest Dandy award. He told us he picked the outfit to work with his shoes, and he picked shoes that would be okay to bike in.

Philadelphia’s first-ever Seersucker Bike Ride and Social brought out roughly 30 participants to ride while dressed to the nines. Many vintage fans described it as the summertime spin on the autumnal Tweed Ride.

The premise for both events is pretty much the same— gather a group under the throwback theme and have an easygoing ride around the city and a picnic. The Tweed Ride has an afterparty at a bar. The Seersucker Ride culminates in the picnic with badminton and croquet. John, who is heavily involved in both the cycling and vintage worlds in Philly, says he and wife Dawn Petty were inspired by DC’s Seersucker Ride.

“When my wife and I got into vintage, one of the things that struck us was whenever we were with a number of people in the vintage community, we were always out of town,” said John. They knew there was a community out there in the city, but they weren’t involved, but they got “plugged in,” they were with it. Still, seersucker rides were something they had to go elsewhere for. “We both agreed, perhaps we should have something here so we won’t have to travel all the time,” said John. They spent the last seven months or so planning this first one, which they hope to make an annual thing.


John thinks participants are more willing to get on board with this kind of themed ride than others. “Frequently when you have these events, you have people rebelling just for the sake of [it.] ‘I know it’s supposed to be all white, but I’m wearing black,'” he said. “But with the vintage thing, people tend to buy in and tend to get with the flow.

They started in Old City and cut across the city through Rittenhouse Square. The group took a break in Markwood Playground in Fitler Square. This was a moment for water, chit chat and 1920s jazz. Afterwards, they made their way back across the city for the social at Fishtown’s Penn Treaty Park. The day was quite hot, but ice cream was available from (of course) Franklin Fountain.


Friends Rachel Vause and Emily Shartrand sat down at the social for one of those picnics that, to anyone who’s not a vintage enthusiast, might look storybook. Vause’s curls were still there after the seven miles. “Tresemme No. 4 hairspray holds anything,” she said. They were two of many who rode the whole way in heels. 

“Actually, you can kind of wedge the heel right in behind your pedal and push. I think it’s easier than if you have a completely flat pedal because that could slip,” said Shartrand. “So I haven’t found the biking hard at all Definitely, the holding head gear down is the harder part.”

Among the coolest things about a ride like this are the faces people make and questions they have when they pass by. When more than two dozen cross a corner in period dress, people stop and ask what they’re doing, tell them they look great once they know.

“‘Is there something that I should know? Like, did I just travel back in time?’ The reactions are pretty funny,” said rider Bridget Law, who’s attended seersucker rides in other cities. “It’s a whole lot of fun.”

And as covered by Ukee Washington on CBS 3

Brotherly Love: Bicyclists Go Dandy For Charity

By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You might be in the habit of riding a bike in casual clothes, maybe Spandex or a T-shirt. A charity bike ride in Philadelphia later this month has a different and dandy dress code.

These bicyclists love the fashions of yesteryear, so they’re inviting others to join them, dressed for a different time.

Maybe John A. Petty II was meant to be born at the turn of the century.

“I absolutely adore the civility, the manners of the age,” John said. “I fell in love with it.”

He’s just one of the vintage aficionados who call themselves “Dandies & Quaintrelles Philly.” Men are dandies, women are quaintrelles.

Drew Nugent, a Philadelphia jazz musician, said it’s “kind of an underground society here in Philadelphia that’s kind of bringing back classic fashion, history, music.”

John’s wife Dawn loves it too. On this day, she sporting a hat, bowtie, and vintage-style two-tone shoes inspired by the 1920s.

“I have to admit, I really enjoy the dressing up part,” Ms. Petty said.

On Saturday, June 25, they’re inviting people to dress up for a charity bike ride starting in Old City. They call it the Philly Seersucker Vintage Bike & Social.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to get outdoors to experience, at the beginning at least, the historic part of Philadelphia,” Dawn said.

The ride will end with a picnic, games like croquet, even contests for the best-dressed. Part of the proceeds will go to Neighborhood Bike Works, a charity that trains young people to restore bikes and develop a lifelong love of biking.

Drew said the bike ride is “not just about, ‘We’re all going to dress up in our threads.’ Making it a little more charitable, I think it’s great.”

John assures us this isn’t a bike race, “so there will be no vigorous workouts. We’re going to be going 7, maybe 8 miles over about two hours, and it’s right between the two rivers, so it’s nice and flat.”

Although you could say it’s elevating the bike ride.

They hope to make it an annual event. The Seersucker Vintage Bike and Social is Saturday, June [24th]


To find out more, go to or email

The Philly Seersucker Vintage Bike Ride & Social was featured on the Bicycle Coalition's podcast!!

Check it out!

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