Dress code for the UK...

Mar 10th, 2004, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
It's almost impossible to ube nderdressed in the UK. Unless you are planning to dine in posh restaurants or attend some sort of special occasions where one is expected to dress up, in which case you should dress appropriately.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 03:41 AM
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As a mother of 2 very fashionably dressed children (aged 18 and 20) I'd advise anyone coming over here to pack jeans and then dress them 'up' or 'down' to cover most occasions. Jeans seem more popular than ever before but often teamed with quite dressy tops.
We go to America most years and I do notice that what is in the high street shops one year in the States tends to find its way over here the following season. For isntance last summer Abercrombie, American Eagle etc were full of 'vintage' and slogan T shirts. Wandering around shops yesterday with my daughter I noticed that the trendy high street clothes shops such as Top Shop are now full of exactly what I saw last year.
Also the colour this spring is lemon and yellow - racks of lemon T shirts, jumpers etc. Plus neat, close filling cardigans with tiny buttons.
Women's shoes seem to be 'pump' style or kitten heel with a slightly pointed toe, worn under jeans of course! But I do hear wedge sandals are making a comeback (circa mid 70's!). In the summer flip flops are very popular, often with beads and flowers on them - not the rubber plain ones!
Morgana is online now  
Mar 11th, 2004, 05:40 AM
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Have you noticed lately how HRH Queen Elizabeth "dresses" much less those doughty relatives of hers..get real..you felt comofrtable in hiking boots in Paris???? then I rather doubt you'll feel the least bit uncomfortable in the UK. And what is this phobia about being "identified" as a "tourist"??? Are you ashamed of the fact that you ARE a tourist? Do you think American tourists look different from all the OTHER tourists that will be there? Do you have any EUROPEAN shoes???..if you don't then no matter what you wear they'll know you aren't from there..they'll also know it the minute you open your mouth and the "American" English comes rolling out. All this talk about being "proud to be an American"...sure you are!
Mar 12th, 2004, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 4

Don't get me wrong. I am proud to be an American, but we will be travelling with another couple who can be a little paranoid at times. They claimed they were told this, but it didn't make sense to me. I felt like you did, as soon as we open our mouths, all will know we're "dreaded American tourists"!LOL
dan_b is offline  
Mar 12th, 2004, 10:03 PM
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Are you sure you don't mean nalf instead of naff? I presume you were using this to describe your naivete?

No hard feelings on this end!
dan_b is offline  
Mar 13th, 2004, 03:45 AM
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I definitely feel you can wear denim and be comfortable. I wore capri's with gym shoes and felt just fine. Now if I was in Paris I would never wear gym shoes. I think London is more casual than Paris.
SUNSHINE1223 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2004, 04:00 AM
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Hi there, I love the candidness of this thread. All I can say is leave your British and English stereotypes at home. You know the thing; like the parody in the Simpsons of the gent sipping tea from a china cup in a bowler hat and suit. Ahem.... we are notoriously bad at style, unlike some of our European counterparts. Very sloppy most of us, I am afraid to say. But thats what is so cool. Most of us don't give anyone else a second glance if they are wearing trainers and tracksuit bottoms. So what. Another under-dressed bod.
EnglishOne is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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You never dress up to go to the theatre? (I was sort of looking forward to it.) I am not so concerned about looking like a tourist as I am with dressing appropriately for an event, just as I would be in the US.

Also, do you recommend any good places for tea? Is there any avoiding " the sillier tourist rip-off tea places", or do mean to imply that "tea places" are silly and touristy? Please excuse my naivete, but I really love tea and would like to have a good experience.

Thanks for all of your advice.
pandaschu is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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No, of course I've never dressed up for the theatre. Have you? And if so, why? Do you dress up to go to football matches or to go to a lecture?

Do other people dress up? One or two, but they're mainly visitors (not necessarily Americans: visitors from some of the stuffier bits of Europe do sometimes, and visitors like the Milanese dress so sharply all the time you can't tell if they've dressed up or not)

I can'recommend anywhere for tea because it's not a "meal" I ever eat. Ask me about where to eat real meals real people eat - breakfast, lunch or supper, for example - and I'm all yours.

Yauatcha in Broadwick Street, for example, does better dim sum than I've ever had anywhere - including Hong Kong. Open all day Sat and Sun, so if you want a mid-afternoon meal, there's a chance of truly scrumptious stuff. And no impertinent dress code either.

Or for breakfast, the wonderful (but hideously ugly) Cock Tavern in Smithfield. Blood-stained white coats aren't de rigueur, but usually get you better service.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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pandaschu, dress up for the theatre, many others do as I observed this past weekend in London but don't be surprised if more people are wearing jeans than dressier clothes. I dressed up and my husband wore a sport coat without a tie because the theatres may not have air conditioning and we felt perfectly insync. I admit I enjoy the fashion discussions because attitudes vary so. Wear what makes you comfortable which I know everyone says but the couple I saw eating breakfast at our hotel, she in her lime green palm tree print capris and he in his shorts and sandals looked better suited for the carribean beaches than Mayfair but it sure makes for great people watching. Enjoy the theatre however you may dress. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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I honestly believe there is only ONE person in GB who follows a "dress code": HM Queen Elizabeth and we all know what that's about!
Enjoy your trip.
TopMan is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I have been to many parts of Europe numerous times and dress as I want. I dress in clean nice clothes but do wear shorts, t shirts (sometimes) and sneakers. I look like a tourist because I am one and really do not care who knows it.

My backpack, language, camera, and body-language are dead give-aways.

What many people travelling there do not consider is that the Europeans that they see wailking in dress clothing or designer wear are doing so because it is their work day just as I wear different clothing to my work.

If someone is paranoid about what they wear there is nothing anyone can suggest that will resolve this issue, but dressing for comfort is the most important cocnern especailly as it applies to shoes.

Be yourself and do not let the little things bother you. Have fun.

David J
davidjac is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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David J, good point, of course comfort is an important factor when traveling and choice of where and how you travel should be the determining factor when packing for traveling. Backpacks are no longer just for the hiker/camping set, I saw many "suits" carrying backpacks in London as well as brochure packing tourists. As much as I would have loved to ramble around the Dartmoor area my travel gear did not include heavy hiking shoes but I was ready for any weather between 30 and 95 degrees Comfort, comfort. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I live in a smaller city on the west coast of the US where people wear whatever they want- from pearls so surf shorts- to wherever they want.

I feel comfortable with my everyday traveling wardrobe (same as I wear here!), I was just specifically wondering about the theatre on a Saturday night. It sounds like there is a great deal of individual interpretation which I think is fantastic. Sounds like home! Thanks again.
pandaschu is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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david j sorry the was supposed to be

pandaschu, we were at the theatre Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and I couldn't tell a difference in dress weekend vs weekngiht. It will depend not so much on the night as possibly which play/musical you will be attending. Have fun. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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"Not to worry ... a smile and a postive attitude is really all you need."

And really comfortable walking shoes.
Kayb95 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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oh, and to dan-B-your question to MK2 regarding the word "naffquot; "Naff" is British slang for "tacky" "in poor taste" or "inferior quality."

so when someone says "how naff" they mean "how tacky!"
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 942
Please, please, please do not let the people that post here saying you need to dress like you're going to a wedding scare you. You'll be right at home in jeans and tennies regardless of anything that is posted here. Trust me. This is true of London, Rome, Venice, Florence and Paris from my personal experience. Be comfortable and don't overpack. I would leave the shorts behind and the weather in London usually doesn't get warm enough to justify them anyway.
mdtravel is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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Hi Lilly. It sounds as if you saw people more trendy on your travels than you felt you were dressed. Having having traveled frequently in England, I found that in big English cities, those who live and work there will dress differently than they do when they come to south Florida on vacation. So don't feel out of place because you don't dress as they do where they live - the reverse will be true and you would be kind to them regardless. We travel to discover what's different, sometimes we discover we're different! Having said all that, I've found mature English adults to be more conservatively dressed; young English adults to dress the gamut from nihilistic punk to stodgy banker styles. For myself, I don't wear shorts or T shirts when I travel unless I'm going to the beach or hiking, but that's me. Just move carefully when wearing your backpack in a crowd - being slugged by one can be painful. Have fun on your trip.
Shanna is offline  

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