London Wear


Aug 24th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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London Wear

Silly question - what to wear? I'm traveling to London for 1 week in September. I don't want to look like a tourist and was wondering what do London females wear as they go about the day?
If you head to a pub at night - what would a female wear?
kalifornia is offline  
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Aug 24th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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I have visited London a few times and each time I have had the following thought: what would you have to wear in London to have anybody notice that you stood out? Seriously, anything and everything is worn on the streets of London.

We did see a line of people waiting outside Buckingham Palace for a garden party. If you happen to have an invitation to one of those, the thing to wear is apparently the biggest, oddest, pinkest hat you can find.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Why do people ask questions like this, no offense meant. As soon as you open your mouth, they will probably tag you as a tourist. I have friends who live in London (I'm American) and go out for a night of pubbing with them all the know what, we wear almost exactly the same clothes on most of these evenings. As soon as I open my mouth, they realize i'm not a local no matter how hard I try...but do you think that means they won't serve me or I won't be able to talk to the bartender......or others.

Go however you want.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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The only thing I'd make sure to have is good shoes (and by that I mean shoes you can walk miles in). If you're going in September and don't have a pair, get some NOW and start breaking them in. Otherwise, just take whatever you'd wear for sightseeing/pub crawling/etc at home. As xyz123 said, they'll know you're not local. If you're determined to make the effort, no sweatshirts (or anything else emblazoned with sports teams names or logos), no white sneakers, and take or buy a few scarves/pashminas. But really, no reason to stress. If you're hoping to be taken for a Londoner, you won't be, so just enjoy yourself. If you're trying to avoid looking like a stereotypical tourist, better to focus on walking with a purpose and not doing silly things like standing in the middle of escalators and tube stations looking at maps. Enjoy your trip!
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Aug 24th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I'm pretty sure they won't be wearing shorts, or anything with an American sports team logo.

Most female wear what female in your city wear when they go to work: suits, shirts, skirts, tailored pants.

People tend to go to the pub after work, so what they wear will be what they're wearing to work that day.

So, unless you want to wear a suit and heels when you go around sightseeing, I suggest you wear whatever is comfortable - esp comfortable shoes for lots of walking.
yk is offline  
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Aug 24th, 2009, 03:10 PM
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Thanks all, I didn't want to show up wearing shorts if no one else does. I realize that once I speak - I'm from USA.
kalifornia is offline  
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Aug 24th, 2009, 03:34 PM
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I don't think these sorts of questions are as silly as people sometimes think - and I don't think most people ask out of a desire to try and pretend to be a local. I think most people just want to make sure they bring appropriate stuff. Some cities are dressier than others. Some are really casual. What you wear at home may or may not cut it, depending on where you are from. I grew up in a beach town where long pants and shoes was considered "dressed up".
november_moon is offline  
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Aug 24th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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I don't think they're silly questions either, and you're right that "wear what you'd wear at home" can mean vastly different things to different people. But I do think people seem to be really concerned about it sometimes (not necessarily you, kalifornia!), when really they could just be looking forward to their trip instead of stressing out over whether to pack a pair of shorts or white tennis shoes. Really, as long as you're decent it doesn't matter, and they'll love it no matter what they've got on.

(Obviously there are times when clothes do matter, like skirt/shorts length in Italian churches or something. But generally speaking, you see everything in major European cities.)
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Aug 24th, 2009, 06:03 PM
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In September you won;t see a lot of people in shorts in London - it's likely not warm enough. And adults usually don't wear shorts in cities (kids, students do and some 20s may). Assuming you're older than that dress the way you would in New York of San Francisco (not uber casual - and not as if for a beach resort).

the most important are really comfy shoes and a sturdy folding umbrella.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 10:47 PM
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Anyone who thinks no-one in London wears shirts covered with sports teams' logos (from Brazil's to the Swedish ice hockey team's', including the New York Yankees') has never been here.

Or needs an eye test.

When we say you can wear anything, that means anything. Including shorts (it's impossible to predict it won't be warm enough for them and downright untrue to say adults don't wear them here when it is) and white shoes.
flanneruk is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 12:18 AM
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Ah ha flanneruk...

I see many of your youth wearing baseball caps backwards just like our youth...
xyz123 is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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I know this may seem patently obvious but apart from English and London weather being fairly unpredictable at the best of times there is a significant temperature change between the beginning of September and the end of September. However even to that point there can sometimes be exceptions. It is also quite cool in the evenings even if it has been a still sunny day with temperatures in the 70s.

Shorts unless they are those slim tailored knee length sort are not very elegant. Just imagine, you are on a tube train standing up, some other poor mortal is sitting down looking at your middle. Short shorts mean they can see most of your underwear, sweat if it is hot and any bulges. If you get a seat on the underground in your shorts, or a bus, the seats are covered in prickly velvety covers so not comfortable on bare legs. We do see everything and we are too polite or too inhibited to say much. So wear what makes you comfortable when you are in a big city. Totally endorse the advice on shoes and so you may well want to wear trousers (ie pants) if you are wearing clunky walking shoes and socks. English children's joke Superman wears his pants (i.e. underpants) outside his trousers. (Sorry quite an old joke)
helen_belsize is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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It's the hair that's a giveaway.

Amerians have big hair. And clowns' shoes.

Other than that wear what you like. We do.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 07:00 AM
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Big hair? You haven't met my husband.
Nikki is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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What to wear is NEVER a silly question. Presumably one of the reasons to travel is to do and see things you can't do or see at home. Asking what people wear when doing or seeing something you yourself don't normally do or see is, to me, a very sensible question. You ask it because you want to feel socially comfortable (a very different, but not incompatible thing from physically comfortable!) and to show respect for those around you.
Celia is offline  
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Aug 25th, 2009, 08:27 AM
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After having been to London quite a few times since my first trip in 1969 and visiting relatives who have lived there for several years, I seriously doubt there's anything you could wear that would cause anyone to take notice.
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Aug 26th, 2009, 02:17 AM
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Whilst living n London I have worn the following in public and not stood out

Salwa Kameez
various coats and jackets
business suits
motorcycle leathers and helmet
hospital uniform
hospital scrubs

Check your wardrobe for the most comfortable clothing and wear that.
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