What to Wear in London

A London street scene with people, cars, and a double decker bus.

Dressed for a chilly day in London. Photo © Matt Erasmus, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

It is said that you can get all four seasons in a single day in Britain, and certainly London is no exception. It’s easiest to dress in layers, so you can build them up or take them off to suit the ambient temperature. As a rule, Londoners tend to dress more formally than many Americans. The United Kingdom is noted for its woolen and cashmere knits, so you could always pick up a sweater or scarf while you are in London if the weather suddenly gets much colder.That said, people are much more relaxed about what they wear these days, even at some offices. In a trend-setting fashion capital of the world, Londoners can get very creative with their attire, so don’t be afraid to get creative with your look (assuming it is all age-appropriate).

Pack with ease and comfort in mind. Simple versatile clothes that don’t require ironing and can be dressed up or down are ideal. As you will be on your feet for much of the day, be sure to take comfortable shoes that you can walk long distances in. Something to keep in mind when packing is that you may have an occasion to dress more formally, be it a business meeting, school interview, meal at a top restaurant, or visit to the theater. Just be sure to include clothes and footwear to cover all occasions.

One item that you will not want to be without is a waterproof jacket or coat. It rains with tedious regularity here in London, and while it is unlikely to be a full blown monsoon, if you are out and about in the drizzle all day, you’ll be glad that you had a waterproof coat.

If you are traveling in the late fall or winter, then you may need some gloves or a scarf. The United Kingdom is noted for its woolen and cashmere knits, so you could always pick up a sweater or scarf while you are in London if the weather suddenly gets much colder.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Living Abroad in London.

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