What To Wear In London In August 2018

When considering how to dress in London, it is important to remember that the city style is tailored and chic, yet conservative with an edge. Londoners love neutral colors and adhere to the “No more than 3 colors” rule.

To avoid standing out as a tourist, avoid items like original UGG boots, clunky tennis shoes, flip flops, and sweatpants. London clothes look presentable at all times; your goal is to maintain a comfortable look, while exuding femininity and edge.

In London, it’s easy for the traveler to stick out like a sore thumb in walking boots, convertible zip leg trousers, an SLR camera, guidebook, and a backpack. Wearing all this in the middle of London screams, “tourist”! That level of travel gear is more appropriate for countryside treks in the Lake District, for example, not a city.

British fashion isn’t quite as chic as the French, and it isn’t always as slouchy as American fashion or as zany as Australian fashion. It can be edgy or conservative. But one thing’s for sure: just like the rest of Europe, a good fit is key. And when in doubt, choose dressy over casual.

These are the most popular shoes for London for every season of the year!

what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom

Columbia Pardon My Trench Rain Jacket (Plus) | Cole Haan Packable Rain Jacket

In general, day-to-day London style is casual but more dressy than American style. This DOES NOT mean business clothing. Think nice blouse plus tailored jeans (dark colors are always a good choice).

Like anywhere, pack for the environment. Are you spending your time café crawling in the cities or getting lost in the wilderness?

Jeans are easy to wear and don’t have to be washed frequently so they make the ideal travel pants. For something more versatile and lightweight, take a look at our favorite women’s travel pants.

Also remember that if you forget anything, you’ll be able to pick it up when you get there, so don’t be afraid to pack light. Try to stick to a small selection of colors to make it easier to mix and match your items.

What Should I Wear in London?

The most important factors in planning and packing for London are the activities you’ll be doing on your trip AND the weather.

Always, always, always check the weather forecast before your trip. What to wear in London now could be different a week later. Nothing will ruin your trip faster than being unprepared with the wrong clothing for the weather. London summer fashion is very different than winter fashion.

Once you’ve researched the weather, you can focus on creating a capsule travel wardrobe, which should easily fit in a carryon suitcase with the help of packing cubes to compress your clothing.

If you’re not used to colder climates, still plan for “light winter” weather year-round and follow these tips on how to pack for cold weather. Layers are key!

what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom

Blondo Waterproof Ankle Bootie | Sorel Emelie III Chelsea Waterproof Boots

What are the best shoes for London?

Generally speaking, you’ll probably need some type of boot year-round. Choose a calf-height for the winter and ankle boots the rest of the time.

If there’s heavy rain in the forecast, a rubber bootie would work well for extensive city exploration on foot. However, regular leather boots (or faux leather boots) will work much better than rain boots on most occasions.

Most people DO NOT walk around in wellies in the city – they’re usually reserved for time in a muddy countryside or for the Glastonbury Music Festival.

Read these tips on what to wear on a rainy day!

When in doubt, a tan chelsea ankle boots is the go-to style of choice. These tips on how to wear ankle boots should work in every season except winter, when a tall boot is needed like these waterproof boots are recommended.

Popular shoe options include (click each item below for suggested styles):

Read this post about the how to choose the best walking shoes for Europe.

Below you’ll find helpful seasonal clothing tips and suggested packing lists that you can use as a guideline to prepare for a trip to London:

what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom

Shirt | Tunic | Blouse |  Sweater | Shirt | Skirt | Pants | Jeans | Shirtdress | Dress | Coat | Jacket | Sneaker | Boot | Umbrella | Backpack

What to Wear in London in Spring

What is the weather in London in Spring (March, April, May)?

In spring, it rains a lot. I usually carry a compact umbrella at all times in the UK, so I’m always prepared for spontaneous showers.

Spring is that transition period between winter and summer, so layers are still important when planning what to wear in London, but in the later months think about swapping that chunky coat for a regular jacket.

Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:

Read these tips on how to pack for transitional weather.

What clothes should I wear in London in Spring?

Transform a temperate outfit on a chilly day with a scarf, hat, and tights. Skirts are fun but remember that it can get quite breezy, so you’ll have to wear double layers underneath.

If you’re in the countryside, be prepared for muddiness.

While the waterproof boots shown above will work for most trips, here are a few more ideas.

What shoes should I wear in London in spring?

As with your clothes, plan your shoes based on the weather and your planned activities. Choose no more than two to three pairs of shoe in neutral colors that can mix and match with all your clothing.

Make sure your sightseeing shoes are broken in properly. Opt for a pair that is comfortable and you can wear it for hours without discomfort.

Popular styles include light brogues, sneakers, or waterproof shoes. Note that the best waterproof shoes are not made out of rubber; instead choose leather ankle boots, which are the best shoe option for travel to Europe in spring.

While not recommended for all day sightseeing, ballet flats are also a good option should you want a dressier pair of shoes on your trip for warmer days or evenings. Alternatively, being closed toe wedges for a dressy alternative.

London Packing List for Spring

CLOTHES:
  • Two short sleeve tops
  • Two long sleeve tops
  • Two additional tops
  • One pair of blue jeans
  • One pair of black ponte pants
  • One additional bottom
  • One dress
  • One rain or winter jacket
  • One warm layer
  • Thermals (if very cold)
  • Three socks
  • Ten underwear
  • Three bras
  • One versatile sleep set
SHOES:
  • Waterproof ankle boots (sightseeing)
  • Slip on sneakers (sightseeing)
  • Ballet flat (dressing up)
  • Wedges: (optional)
what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom

Shirt | Tunic | Long Sleeve | Shirt | Sleeveless | Jeans | Skirt Pants | Shirtdress | Dress | Raincoat | Jacket | Sandal | Sneaker | Scarf | Crossbody

What to Wear in London in Summer

What is the weather in London in Summer (June, July, August)

Summer can be warm but also very wet. As you plan what to pack for London, be prepared for both. Check BBC Weather before your trip to get the most accurate forecast. Don’t be surprised if it’s grey and gloomy in the summer!

If the forecast calls for sun, be bright and bold! Bust out the summer dresses, sunglasses, and hats. Once again, be aware of the breeze and consider layering. Sometimes jersey skirts and dresses hold their shape better than wispy skater styles.

You can’t go wrong with a leather jacket for cool summer days and nights.

Start by reading these general tips on packing for summer travel:

What clothes should I wear in London in summer?

A cardigan and a scarf are essential layers for any summer outfit in case the sun is hiding behind the clouds. Use this easy packing tip to help you transform a summer dress into an autumn one if the weather is cooler than expected.

For added versatility, these are popular convertible travel dress styles!

A note on bags: Personally, I am a big fan of satchels for cities and backpacks for countryside. I feel that a satchel or tote bag with a zip can be safer than many daypacks, which might be unnecessary for city exploring.

Find out why cross-body purses are the best travel shoulder bags for women.

What shoes should I wear in London in summer?

When wondering what to pack for London, plan your shoes based on the weather and your planned activities. Choose no more than two to three pairs of shoe in neutral colors that can mix and match with all your clothing.

Make sure your sightseeing shoes are broken in properly. Opt for a pair that is comfortable and you can wear it for hours without discomfort.

A comfy pair of sandals are great for walking around town if there’s sun in the forecast, but ankle bootssneakers, and ballet flats are ideal the rest of the time.

Take a look at these London-appropriate women’s casual sneakers for travel!

London Packing List for Summer

CLOTHES:
  • Three short sleeve and/or sleeveless tops
  • One ¾ sleeve top
  • One additional top
  • Two bottoms
  • One maxi dress
  • Two summer dresses
  • One light rain jacket
  • One light layer
  • Three socks
  • Ten underwear
  • Three bras
  • One versatile sleep set
SHOES:
  • Comfortable sandals (sightseeing)
  • Slip on sneakers (sightseeing)
  • Ballet flat (dressing up)
  • Wedges: (optional)
what-to-pack-for-london-on-your-trip-to-the-united-kingdom

Shirt | Tunic Longsleeve | Sweater Blouse | Skirt Jeans | Pants | Dress | Shirtdress | Raincoat | Jacket | Sneaker |

Boots | Scarf Crossbody

Here are 10 outfit ideas to inspire you for what to wear while in London.

1. Pop on a collared shirt

When I think of what the London locals wear, I usually think of an outfit similar to Julia from Gal Meets Glam’s, shown above. London locals love a classic, girly collared shirt, whether on its own or under a jumper (sweater).

what locals wear in London, what to wear when visiting london, what to wear while in London

2. Pair long sleeves and booties with shorts

It’s not often, even in the summer, that it’s REALLY warm here in London, so it’s common to pair warm weather pieces, like shorts, with long sleeves or booties, just like Jules from Sincerely Jules has done above. You’ll love this look once the sun sets and London’s evening summer chill sets in…

3. Go for all black

An all black outfit is definitely not frowned upon in London, and during the winter, it’s somewhat common to see it. If you want to dress with a bit of edge while in London, go for an outfit like Noor from Queen of Jetlag’s.

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Watch this for more help: What to Pack When Visiting London

4. Throw on a blazer

Temps usually get fairly low at night even in the summertime in London, so you’ll definitely need something to go over a dress or a minimal outfit, and a blazer will do the job. Keep it summery by going with a light color, like Rosie from The Londoner has. Those shoes are ridiculously cute too…

5. Pick a curve-hugging pencil skirt

Pencils skirts are in right now (not just in London of course) and if it’s spring or summer while you’re in London, this is a great option for dinner or a night out in town. I love this muted red one that Yara from Chapter Friday is wearing, and the casual top paired with it makes it less formal.

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Watch this video for more: What to Wear While Visiting London

6. Top it off with a stunning hat

You guys KNOW I love hats! London is the THE city to rock a hat, so stop into TopShop or Primark and pick one up while you’re in town. I love the one that Olivia from What Olivia Did is wearing, the colour is perfect for the wintertime, and it’s the centre of attention when worn with that off-white dress, so try to do something similar while you’re dressing yourself for some fun around London.

Not sure the best way to get around London? Watch my video guide to transportation options in London.

7. Pair tights with shorts

Londoners, including myself, live in tights. Even in the summertime they’re still worn somewhat often (although I REFUSE of course, out of principle, it’s SUMMER!) London locals wear shorts all year round by pairing them with tights and booties — you can totally wear some thick socks to keep your toes warm, as they’ll be hidden! Try an outfit similar to Suzie’s from Hello October.

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8. Rock a long line coat

So classic, and helps to keep you warmer. These longline coats are so popular in London, so when you visit, rock one, or take it as an excuse to do some shopping on Oxford Street… This gray one on Camille from Camille Over the Rainbow is just lovely, don’t you think?

Stay somewhere cool but inexpensive when in London with these 8 stylish London hotels that cost under £150/night.

9. Stay warm with a big ole Tartan scarf

I love a chunky scarf, and Tartan is standard London. Keep yourself warm and blend in with the Londoners with a scarf like the one Aida from Ducleida wore around Shoreditch.

10. Stay dry with a pair of Wellies

Wellies are what the English call tall rain boots like these ones that Alexandra from Lovely Pepa is wearing, and with so much rain in London, every Londoner owns a pair. If you’re visiting, they may be a bit too heavy to pack in your suitcase, but if you find yourself needing some, you can pop into Primark and pick up a cheap pair that you won’t be sad to leave behind if you need to.

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