How to Look Crisp and Professional When You Commute to Work By Bike

Photograph via iStock.

Our expert: Steve Hartell, director of public policy at Amazon. Hartell rides into the District most mornings from Alexandria. Before Amazon, he worked for Cisco and EMC and was US senator Fritz Hollings’s legislative director.

“I’ve been riding my bike to work for 20 years. Occasionally, I’ll have to bring a suit, although I usually wear dress pants and a button-down. It’s all about the folding and packing. You fold your shirt and pants neatly, place them on your laptop, and slide them into the backpack. This keeps the clothes mostly unruffled. Place underwear on top, then shoes. Belt and socks go into the shoes. I’m maybe a little more wrinkled than the next guy, but it’s a small price to pay.

“If I’m leaving a pair of dress shoes at work, then everything I’m wearing that week is going with those shoes. You can tell the bike commuters when you go into their office and see a bunch of sport coats on hangers behind the door.

“When I worked in the Senate, I got let in on a great secret that there was a locker room in the attic of the Russell Senate Office Building. You had to ask a certain guy at the Sergeant at Arms’ office for the code, and you had to get a special key made. It was like a secret fraternity of people that had this little key to the attic shower.”

Read more advice, tips, and tricks from Washington natives in our Secrets of the City package.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.