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What Should I Wear?


I learned the hard way about sticking out as an American tourist in England, particularly in London, which is a very diverse yet cosmopolitan city. I brought my baggy, torn jeans and beat up Doc Marten boots, only to discover that the women in London were wearing very chic and stylish feminine clothes. For summer, I would recommend classic, well-fitted black or grey pants (modern cut, like boot-cut or slight flare) or a nice, modern skirt, plus a well-fitted, chic/hip short sleeved shirt (any color is okay, but black seems to rule). Wear stylish yet comfy sandals (lots of walking) or nicer athletic or walking shoes (the types that are rather shapely and not too bulky). Dress nicer than just "American casual"...avoid the white sneakers and DO NOT wear Doc Martens! The Docs store in London was filled only with Americans. When I was in London, I went straight to the market on Portobello Road and bought a load of cheap, more stylin' clothes. London was quite warm when I was there in July, but the weather was a bit more unpredictable as I went farther north. Prepare for rain with a light rain jacket and have a comfy, nice-looking sweater available.
Patricia, Chicago, USA

My biggest advice is to wear comfortable shoes. We traveled for seven days throughout London almost exclusively by walking and riding the underground and bus system. Most people wore dark clothes -- either pants or blue jeans. Women wore various types of shoes, but very few impractical high heels. The shoes I wore have always been comfortable for me back home, but hurt through all the walking in the U.K. Next time I go I will wear either a hiking boot, a dark colored athletic shoe, or a shoe with an athletic shoe insert.
Stefani, Phoenix, USA

In London, wearing black is always appropriate -- for dress or casual wear. I've also discovered that you can wear trimly tailored black pants with just about any top and always look appropriately dressed.
Yvonne, Kansas City, USA

Pack black slacks, comfortable shoes, raincoat and these basics will take you anywhere.
Charlotte,Ypsilanti, USA

When packing for London think conservative, no loud colors, no clunky track shoes in white.
Dodi, De Funiak Springs, USA

I travelled in London, England. Ladies of size will want to know about Evans, in Oxford St. near London's Marble Arch. They sells medium-priced clothing for ladies of size (up to size 34, if I remember correctly).
Ellen, Sydney, Australia

If you decide to check out chic and expensive Harrods while in London you should probably do so before a night at the theatre when you're well-dressed. When I was there a few years ago (others have told me this rule is still in place) you couldn't go in wearing any kind of denim. I got turned away as did a very well-dressed woman who happened to be wearing one of those sleeveless denim blouses that used to be popular. Shorts and sleeveless shirts were forbidden as well. Something tells me that Princess Diana never got turned away but she probably spent more money than I did!
Kristin, Moncton, Canada

I traveled in London, England and I found skirts and blouses to be most comfortable to pack. Knowing I was going to the theater I did take a dressy (black) dress. I ended up wearing my walking shoes everywhere but the theater. Next time I am going to take 2 skirts, 2 blouses, one dress and one jacket plus undies, even if I go for three weeks. I will take only easy wash, quick drying clothes. My sister took three suitcases. The one I took was too big and way too heavy. I want to only have a small carry-on next time and I plan to put it in the overhead compartment.
Carol, Urbana, USA

Coordinate your clothes around two main colors like black and tan. In London, as in NYC, black is almost the color of choice. If you travel in the Fall and Winter, the dry heat in the hotels will dry most anything you wash overnight.

London is so blustery that an umbrella doesn't work very well. A 3/4 length raincoat with hood (Eddie Bauer style) is great to have. Make sure you can wear it over a heavy sweater or a wool blazer in the cooler months.

If you want to be properly treated in London's exclusive restaurants and shops, avoid wearing tourist attire--it's considered to be unspeakably "naff" or tacky.
Jane Hess, Special to the Toronto Star, Canada

I travel to London in the winter months to go to the theatre--air fares are lower after Nov. 1st. I find that London theatres are casual, especially at matinees and that they are often overheated in the winter. Wear layers. I was too hot in a cashmere turtleneck sweater. A blouse and cardigan or blazer are better.
Trisha, Atlanta, USA

In London, wear black, black, and more black. To avoid looking too much like a tourist, bring a raincoat rather than a windbreaker.
Julie, Ottawa, Canada




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