Author Topic: Visiting London in March - what to bring?  (Read 2562 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Frog24

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 321
Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« on: January 29, 2014, 04:21:44 PM »
Hello all!  I'm visiting London, England in March and I'd like to know your recommendations on what to bring, clothing-wise.  My work is a casual place, which sees me in jeans, sweaters, and hiking runners most days.  I have a feeling that London is a more fashionable place than the one I live in, and that my mostly casual wardrobe will not cut it when going out to restaurants, speak easy places and other evening events.   I also get cold quickly, so I want to be warm enough while out and about. 

So.... what should I pack with me on my trip that will keep me warm enough without looking out of place and shlubby?

Thanks!

Frog

z_squared82

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 464
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 05:00:59 PM »
I primary thing I can tell you is Don’t Wear White Gym Shoes. You want comfortable shoes, yes, but the white, or anything close to white, especially if they’re bulky looking, screams TOURIST. Find some comfortable, minimalist shoes in a neutral shade. I have two pair of the same style Sketchers, one in black, the other in tan that I would wear were I going now.

I don’t remember what kinds of coats they wore; I just remember that my coat was out of place. Not in a too-casual kind of way, it just wasn’t on trend. (It was gray wool, double breasted, with a hood.)

I haven't been there in too long. I should look into going back...

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3798
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 05:14:04 PM »
Jeans are fine, I'd go black leather boots if you can, knit sweaters are ok, but not fleece sweatshirts.

123sandy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 548
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 05:17:54 PM »
Clothes you can layer and waterproof jacket/footwear. Last March I was moving from the North of Scotland. The movers came from the south of England and couldn't believe the weather was dry and fairly warm, you can't count on the British weather...

London has visitors from all over the world, is it even possible to be dressed so wrongly you'd stand out?

veryfluffy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2945
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 06:24:14 PM »
Jeans and sweaters are fine for most situations. Some clubs/bars don't allow jeans, and some very starchy, expensive restaurants would expect smarter clothes. If you don't want to look like a tourist, avoid wearing obvious trainers or hiking-type boots, but if you are doing touristy things wear them anyway if they are comfy -- there will be a LOT of walking involved. For evening, though, I would recommend some boots or less casual shoes.

Londoners do wear jeans -- although maybe they are skinny designer ones, not comfort-fit wranglers.

   

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2477
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 06:50:50 PM »
Layers are your friend.  The weather can be anything from mild spring day to snow on the ground. Cotton cardigans/sweaters are good. Waterproof jacket is handy. I don't think you need to worry about being underdressed unless you plan on eating somewhere particularly fancy.

English1

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 283
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 04:19:32 AM »
London is actually pretty informal. Well, ok, bear in mind that many of the locals you see are at work during the day, so of course they are wearing suits etc. Tourists can and should feel free to wear anything during the day. Locals who are not working do - jeans, trainers (sneakers), Tshirts, sweatshirts etc. I've worn my hiking boots some days when I know I'll do a lot of walking and i'm not the only one.

Evenings - few places have any sort of dress code. Unless you want to go to some super trendy hipster place (and currently hipster look includes very tight straight leg jeans, def. not 'a nice pair of trousers') and are bothered about fitting right in. theatre/cinema/pubs are quite informal. The only place most tourists will feel any need to dress up much is if you go to a fancier restaurant.

So don't worry about it. Dress for the weather. Which is the hard job, in March! Check the weather reports just before you come but be prepared for anything. Layers. A somewhat waterproof top layer is a good idea. But you'll probably be indoors a lot of the time (or on the tube, which gets hot)- so keep it adaptable.

I have no idea what a speakeasy place is?  ???

NestHolder

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1139
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 02:25:06 PM »
Honestly, unless you start wandering the streets dressed in a onesie, it's hard to imagine that you'll look out of place.  I frequently go into Town wearing jeans, T-shirt, fleece, anorak (or similar) and sneakers.  I might dress up for the theatre (ie wear a dress and leggings) if I felt like it, but would not be at all surprised to sit next to a person in jeans and T-shirt, etc.  It really doesn't matter, unless you want to go somewhere (probably a night club or a restaurant in a top-notch hotel) where there might be some requirement for smartness - and there'll be some indication of that.

I thought your post was going to be along the lines of 'what will the weather be like?' to which the answer is, nobody really knows.  We could have glorious spring sunshine, permitting semi-hardy folk to be in the parks in T-shirts.  We could be knee-deep in snow (although in London that is *very* unlikely).  Most likely it'll be cool with quite a bit of rain in prospect, and a reasonable possibility that it will be cold and windy.  Bring layers, and have hat and gloves at the ready.  Aside from that, dress at the level of smartness/casualness/fashionability/comfort that you feel most comfortable in.  You'll be fine.

Kiwichick

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1720
  • Is anyone else hungry now?
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 09:43:11 PM »
Dress in layers since London weather can be four seasons in one day. 

The only thing that really screams tourist is a butt bag so I'd avoid that and carry a normal handbag that fastens securely.

sunnygirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 262
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 11:26:00 AM »
Honestly, unless you start wandering the streets dressed in a onesie, it's hard to imagine that you'll look out of place.  I frequently go into Town wearing jeans, T-shirt, fleece, anorak (or similar) and sneakers.  I might dress up for the theatre (ie wear a dress and leggings) if I felt like it, but would not be at all surprised to sit next to a person in jeans and T-shirt, etc.  It really doesn't matter, unless you want to go somewhere (probably a night club or a restaurant in a top-notch hotel) where there might be some requirement for smartness - and there'll be some indication of that.
Ha, that depends if you're one of the few people able to pull off the hipster onesie look so beloved of the London fashion set (for few read 'none' in my opinion!).

In all seriousness, London has more diverse fashion than anywhere else I've ever seen. Within one theatre or restaurant or tube carriage you can see people in jeans (both the skinny 'on-trend' kind, and regular Levis, supermarket jeans anything), sportswear, ancient tracksuit bottoms, posh evening frocks, smart business wear, ultra-fashion 'looks' (boho, hipster, etc.) and people in outfits that resemble fancy dress. No one cares what anyone else is wearing apart from really posh restaurants and the kind of clubs that operate strict door policies.

I agree that those big white trainers will possibly mark you out as an American tourist (non-white ones are fine, zillions of Londoners wear trainers every day) - and giant backpacks tend to mark one out as a tourist too. But don't worry too much about fitting in because nearly anything goes here.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 11:28:25 AM by sunnygirl »

NestHolder

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1139
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 12:02:23 PM »
Honestly, unless you start wandering the streets dressed in a onesie, it's hard to imagine that you'll look out of place. 
Ha, that depends if you're one of the few people able to pull off the hipster onesie look so beloved of the London fashion set (for few read 'none' in my opinion!).

Heh - I was thinking of the onesie my daughter was given for Christmas by some work friends (!).  It is Spyro the dragon—purple, with orange wings and a yellow belly and spikes.  It's awesome... but I wouldn't recommend her wearing it into Town.  ;-)  I suspect even the most horizontally-inclined of hipsters would not be able to pull that off.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6855
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 12:17:16 PM »
We've found that dressing for London is no different than dressing for New York.  For most restaurants, a nice pair of dress slacks, a turtleneck, blazer and loafers are just fine. 

Because the weather can be so unpredictable, layering is essential.  During the day I usually carry a tote bag that can easily handle a compact umbrella. 

Don't worry too much.  Just know that Londoners tend to walk quite fast. 

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2477
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 01:07:09 PM »
We've found that dressing for London is no different than dressing for New York.  For most restaurants, a nice pair of dress slacks, a turtleneck, blazer and loafers are just fine. 

Because the weather can be so unpredictable, layering is essential.  During the day I usually carry a tote bag that can easily handle a compact umbrella. 

Don't worry too much.  Just know that Londoners tend to walk quite fast.

This would be overdressed to most of the restaurants I go to in London.  Also, turtlenecks are not really worn in the UK so that might flag you as tourist but really, no-one cares if you're a tourist, London is full of them.

menley

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 620
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 01:56:06 PM »
I agree with most of the previous posters - dress in London is quite diverse. My husband and I went to a very nice restaurant and saw different groups of people wearing completely opposite things - one table was full of business suits, one table had floor-length gowns (definitely over-the-top!), several had jeans and sweaters like us, and one had people wearing workout gear! The waitstaff treated us all the same, as far as I could tell.

The main thing for me is - if you're touring, there are times you'll look like a tourist, and that's okay! Most locals don't walk around carrying cameras and maps as tourists do, so no matter what, there are some who will spot you as a tourist. It's really not a big deal as long as you're not noticed for reasons like talking realllly loudly on the tube :)

I would say that a belted trench coat is a must when I travel most places in the spring and fall.

Margo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1616
Re: Visiting London in March - what to bring?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2014, 02:01:05 PM »
I agree, layers are your friend, as the weather here, particularly in March, is likely to be changeable. And probably .

I would comment that my experience is that (in general) we tend to go for a slightly 'dressier' look for equivalent activities than seems to be the case in the USA - i tended to find when i was in the USA that I would find my self at the more formal end of the normal range of clothing for any given event and that my American friends tended to be at the most casual end of the normal range when in the UK, but the differences are pretty small - no-one stood out as being over- or  under-dressed.

Other than nightclubs and some very upmarket restaurants most places don't have a formal dress code.

I personally would not wear blue jeans or a sweatshirt  to the theatre or if I were eating out at a nice restaurant (rather than a cafe or pub) but niec, black jeans and a chunky knit jumper would be unremarkable.

Enjoy your trip.