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What to wear in London?

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#1 just roses

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:24 PM

I've just won a scholarship and have to travel to London for about ten days, leaving in the next couple of weeks.

I am hopeless at clothes - knowing what goes with what - at the very best of times. I particularly struggle which 'what shoes should go this outfit'.

But now I need to buy and/or pack clothes that will be suitable for work (not corporate, but still office environment) in London and Bristol.


I'm approx 173cm, size 8-10ish. I have a good navy trench and a long black puffer jacket. Shoes are my particular worry, but I'm also struggling with work clothes ideas. How cold will it be in early-mid March?

And one more question, is it possible to access the flu shot yet (in Australia)?

Edited by just roses, 15 February 2020 - 02:25 PM.

#2 Hands Up

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:32 PM

It will be cool, jeans and jumper type weather. It’s the same dress code as a Sydney winter for work. Definitely not matchy/full suits etc. Nice trousers with blouse with a thick coat for commuting or skirts with thick stockings so you don’t get cold? I used to wear sneakers or flat boots for commuting and kept my heels at work.

#3 K.heather

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:41 PM

No idea but just wanted to say congratulations, that's awesome.

#4 1975ladybug

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:42 PM

See I would probably go for a pair of flat or low rise ankle boots that I could wear with jeans, dress or skirts with stockings, similar to theses,


Or a pair of patent loafers, then work out from their what else to pack, converse for travel & down time, maybe a pair of heels,

#5 just roses

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:44 PM

View PostK.heather, on 15 February 2020 - 02:41 PM, said:

No idea but just wanted to say congratulations, that's awesome.
Thank you! I had to quickly check my passport was still valid (phew!) and now I'm trying to choose a flight and get organised. But it's unexpected and exciting :-)

#6 hoohoobump

Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:58 PM

Nothing worse than cold, wet feet.

Early/mid-March can be cold+++ or starting toward spring. Coats sound good. Perhaps a pair of black/navy trousers and a couple of tops, dresses and tights to mix it up, and some funky earrings/necklaces...

Or just go a couple of days early and hit up Boden etc when you arrive ...

#7 skicat

Posted 15 February 2020 - 03:09 PM

We had light snow/sleet when we were there end of March once on holiday (Bath/Windsor area), so colder than Melbourne winter. Black pants, black puffer coat, black cardigan and just a few different scarfs/earrings, and a couple of nice tops (heated indoors) Boring but easy.

#8 Let-it-go

Posted 15 February 2020 - 03:40 PM

Good jacket is key.  Buildings in the UK are overheated compared to what we’re used to in Australia.  Especially in winter.  It’s actually very frustrating.  Just make sure you bottom layer isn’t too warm otherwise you’ll overheat.  I learnt this very quickly and in 5yrs living there, never wore my turtleneck tops.  I cooked in them!

Comfy shoes for outside that are waterproof.  My office attire always consisted of me changing shoes when I got to the office.  

So have a hat, gloves,scarf, warm (waterproof too is best) jacket and waterproof shoes and then just wear what you’d normally wear in an office in Australia.  Not bare legs obviously.

Mid March could be freezing, it could also be mild.  It’s hard to predict.  I remember one Easter in April it snowed, it was actually the coldest weekend of the year.  But also don’t stress too much if you get it wrong.....IT’S LONDON!  The shopping, so much wonderful shopping!

Edited by Let-it-go, 15 February 2020 - 03:43 PM.

#9 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 15 February 2020 - 03:54 PM

One year we were there the first week of June and it was max 12 degrees with a freezing wind and rain...

Congratulations on the scholarship! Wear whatever you usually feel comfortable in, variations on that. If you like dresses, wear dresses, etc, because you always look better when wearing clothes you feel comfortable in.

#10 IamzFeralz

Posted 15 February 2020 - 04:07 PM

I am UK born and bred.  For March I would layer up, have a thermal vest, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt and then a warm sleeveless puffer jacket, so you don’t feel too weighed down.  Long pants or if you wear a skirt then have thick tights underneath.  Agree with ankle boots.  Maybe even a scarf too.

I always felt much warmer with layers.

I did own leather jackets but that was more for January or February.

#11 just roses

Posted 15 February 2020 - 04:54 PM

View Posthoohoobump, on 15 February 2020 - 02:58 PM, said:

Nothing worse than cold, wet feet.
Ooh, I love those boots!

I have black lace-up leather boots I bought in Norway, but they're more proper winter boots, so not suitable for work.

#12 Let-it-go

Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:05 PM

Yes, shoes like that are ideal.  You can wear with a dress/skirt and opaque tights, jeans or smart trousers.
They look so comfy!!

#13 GingerbreadWoman

Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:04 PM

Agree with needing closed in, waterproof shoes. Ankle boots as suggested by a few PPs would be ideal. But unless you are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors I would not bother with thermals or similar.

I have been to the UK for work a few times and the first trip I ended up going shopping for some short sleeve tops/blouses as I had taken all long sleeved things, expecting it to be cold (since it was the middle of winter). But everywhere indoors was so over-heated, I was too hot.

After that I have just worn exactly what I would wear in Australia, with a decent coat/jacket, plus gloves, to put on over the top for going outside.

congratulations and enjoy your trip!

#14 just roses

Posted 15 February 2020 - 06:11 PM

View PostLet-it-go, on 15 February 2020 - 05:05 PM, said:

Yes, shoes like that are ideal.  You can wear with a dress/skirt and opaque tights, jeans or smart trousers.
They look so comfy!!
Would those ECCO ones be more versatile than these, do you think?


#15 Islander

Posted 15 February 2020 - 07:50 PM

Ooooh I prefer the boden boots! The shape and cut look gorgeous and I imagine (having not lived in the UK since I was 18 and immune to weather!) they’d be climatically suited given they’re for a mostly British market?

#16 Let-it-go

Posted 15 February 2020 - 09:26 PM

View Postjust roses, on 15 February 2020 - 06:11 PM, said:

Would those ECCO ones be more versatile than these, do you think?


The only time I’ve purchased Boden shoes, I’ve sent them back.  Very stiff and not the most comfortable.  They looked great though!  I’d also suspect a thin, slippery heel.  So I’d go with the practicality of a brand like ECCO.  

Islander - the Brits are not known for practicality :laugh:.  I’ve seen girls lined up for bars and nightclubs in teeny tiny dresses, bare legs and heels in winter.....think 0deg!  So I’d never trust an English brand on the practical front.  We definitely do that better.

#17 lizzzard

Posted 15 February 2020 - 10:32 PM


I’m in London now and am finding it really mild. Most days are around 10 and it’s getting warmer.

I have been wearing black work pants with opaque stockings underneath and ballet flats most days. I do feel the cold, so have also been wearing long sleeve thermals under my usual Australian winter clothes. You could probably get away with just a trench coat if you wear an extra layer underneath and maybe a scarf. But I’ve been wearing a proper winter coat.

My favourite travel item for European spring are the lightweight puffer jackets that roll up into a pocket from Uniqlo. Surprisingly  warm and so much easier to carry than an overcoat!

#18 born.a.girl

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:25 AM

View Postjust roses, on 15 February 2020 - 06:11 PM, said:

Would those ECCO ones be more versatile than these, do you think?


It's possibly because I'm much older, but I wouldn't wear the Boden ones with a dress or skirt, but I would the Ecco ones.

I think you're right, the Ecco ones are more versatile.

#19 Hands Up

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:30 AM

I love those Ecco boots and want some desperately! They aren’t cheap though are they?

#20 purpleduck

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:32 AM

Also check out merino items at Uniqlo. Great for layering and don’t take up much room.

And congratulations :D

Edited by purpleduck, 16 February 2020 - 07:32 AM.

#21 WaitForMe

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:46 AM

Can you get there a day or so earlier and do some shopping?

Its fun (although busy) shopping on Oxford street! A great experience.

#22 seayork2002

Posted 16 February 2020 - 07:50 AM


#23 just roses

Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:13 PM

Thanks for the tips, everyone!

I went through the gear I have and made a list of what I need.

I even ordered the ECCO boots! Bit more than I wanted to spend but hopefully they'll last ok (reviews aren't amazing for ECCO at the moment).

Now I just have to book the tickets!

#24 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 17 February 2020 - 09:24 PM

I would check out Uniqlo for work clothes, knitwear, coats and thermals.

#25 melbun

Posted 18 February 2020 - 11:10 AM

I'd take a couple of outfits, then shop there rather than here.

I live in Melbourne, so I'd aim for what I'd wear to work in mid winter.

Which is pants and a long sleeve top, or a knit dress and opaque tights.  Closed in shoes or ankle boots, and a decent coat.  A coat with a hood is ideal so you can cope with a bit of rain without having to struggle with an umbrella.

I'm actually anti-layering, I find it's a PIA, having to remove multiple layers each time you go inside where it's usually well heated.  I'd rather a more substantial coat so you're only taking off one layer.  

I have a few pairs of Diana Ferrari Supersoft ankle boots with a low wedge, they are really comfortable.  

We're off to the UK in 3 weeks, for a month.  The weather will probably be pretty varied from start to finish, and from London to Northern Ireland so I'll be prepared for pretty much anything.

Congrats also - don't be tempted to fly Cathay via Hong Kong, we are, and they have already cancelled 2 of our flights.   :(

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