What to wear
If you’re new to London city, you might feel intimidated by the sheer range of styles surrounding you. From the eclectic leanings of Camden town to the trendier styles of London’s East, it can seem like there’s too much to choose from.
Dressing well in London need not be a difficult venture however. There are plenty of outlets and style guides available in a variety of forms. Luckily, London’s style is not as tight as in France, nor as slouchy and large as in the US. It’s a mix of conservative and edgy, and is not too difficult to carry.
Things to take into account are the weather and the amount of time you plan to spend in the outfit. Always check the weather forecast before leaving your accommodation in London, and pack an umbrella and rainjacket if necessary, as is often the case in the UK.
What not to wear
Try to avoid looking like a tourist, who are frequent targets of pickpockets. Walking boots and cargo shorts are a no-no, as are the flashy DSLR camera straps around the neck.
Pastel colours are making a resurgence, with muddy yellows and greens being seen quite often. Patterns work too, particularly in warmer weather.
Jeans on the whole are getting skinnier, but this doesn’t mean you have to opt for the skin-tight spray-on variety to look good. Plenty of retailers have well priced slim jeans which should offer you plenty of leg space whilst maintaining that popular sleek look. It accentuates whatever tops you’re matching with them, so be sure to focus on.
Sleek trainers are currently quite popular. Nikes are obvious defaults, but Adidas and Puma have similarly exciting offerings. There are also plenty of cheaper options; Pull & Bear and River Island both have a good selection of shoes.
Boots are also a good idea, particularly in the rainier months of the year. These will make it easier to traverse the city, and will look great, particularly if by a brand like Doc Martens.
Where to buy
London is full of clothing outlets. Oxford Street is suitably renowned for the sheer number of shops it includes – the variety insures that there’s something for everyone there. It’s a good place to start, and close to nearby Covent Garden, which is home to some fantastic smaller, boutique outlets, but also houses the larger brands too.
If it’s a large and splendorous shopping centre you’re after, look no further than Westfields. With a location in Shepherd’s Bush as well as Stratford, these shop-behemoths are chock-full of brands and clothes. They even feature late night shopping events, which may be convenient if you’re working during the week and want to avoid the crowds on the weekends, so make sure you research before you set out to buy.
Old Street is another good location, particularly if it’s clothing of the edgier variety you’re after. There are plenty of independent shops here, each with their own signature taste. And there’s plenty of good food here too, so when you’re done, why not book a table for the nearby Chiswell Dining Rooms?
Men can enjoy a wide range of clothes from outlets like Topman, River Island and H & M, all high street brands with excellent value for clothes throughout the year. ASOS is a good online alternative, and contains garments from all three.
Women may opt for Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, or H & M, which all have a good range of wares to offer. ASOS is a great online marketplace for clothes from all 3 of these outlets, and even includes a section for users to buy and sell their own items of clothing, so you’re unlikely to be starved for choice.
There are plenty of good deals to be found, so remember to sign up to newsletters from your favourite outlets to be notified when things are reduced in price. Boxing Day and Spring sales are good times of the year to revamp your wardrobe, since reductions are made across the board. Lookbook, Instagram and Pinterest are all great online locations for researching fashion. They’re good for inspiration, so don’t hesitate. Above all, focus on what you’re comfortable wearing. Dress for yourself before you dress for others. London is a tolerant and peaceful city, where self-expression is impossible to discourage.