As a tourist visiting London, you should wear dressy-casual outfits like a blouse paired with jeans to avoid standing out. London has notoriously wet weather year-round, so pack waterproof shoes or ankle boots to keep your feet dry. You will also want to add layered elements, such as a raincoat and scarf, a trench coat over a dress, or a denim jacket with a graphic tee.

While different areas in London may traditionally promote different overall styles, you can’t go wrong with outfits in darker or natural colors. Look for stripes or muted patterns instead of something blatantly American such as camo and glitter fireworks when you pick patterns. Overall, aim for a classic, comfortable, and slightly dressy style.

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Dressy Casual Style

wear london dressy casual

One of the easiest ways to look like you fit in on the streets of London is to wear a dressy-casual style, rather than a completely casual style. To achieve this look, pair more dressy attire with more casual attire, like a blouse with jeans, a blazer with a t-shirt, and so on. Avoid completely casual outfits like sweatpants and a hoodie unless you plan to go out early in the morning for a quick jog.

If you need to elevate your wardrobe with a few dressier pieces, check out this list of the 15 best affordable and sustainable blouses.

Muted Patterns

wear london simple patterns

Another rule of thumb for London fashion is to choose muted or simple patterns like stripes over big, splashy patterns. Of course, London is a global city and you will see people wearing pretty much every type of clothing as you walk its streets! But the more traditional London style sense often embraces plainer patterns.

Stripes often look good when paired with a solid-colored garment in a neutral tone, for example. Try a tan midi skirt paired with a striped scoop-neck skirt for an afternoon of touristy activities, or a floral blouse with dark jeans for dinner at a restaurant. 

Looking for travel-appropriate midi skirts? Check out the 15 best affordable and sustainable midi skirts here!

Natural or Dark Colors

wear london dark colors

Another good way to achieve a dressy-casual style and avoid looking like a tourist is to pick quiet colors such as dark shades or neutral tones rather than flashy neon or jewel tones. Match a grey button-down with jeans, or a navy blazer with a khaki-colored day dress.

If you want to brighten up your outfit, look for a boldly colored accessory like a scarf or purse. You can find ten recycled purses to consider here!

Always Layer

wear london layers

One of the keys to staying comfortable as you tour the Tower of London or visit your favorite museums is to always dress in layers. London does not get as hot or as cold as many parts of the world, but it can have unpredictable weather. 

To avoid feeling damp or chilly, wear layers such as sweaters, jackets, coats, and cardigans. In the spring, fall, and winter seasons you will often see people wearing multiple layering elements at once, such as a sweater over a button-down with a jacket on top! This way, you can layer up or down as you transition from indoor to outdoor environments.

Make sure you pack the perfect cardigan for your trip by checking out this list of the 20 best sustainable cardigans!

Leggings and Sweater

wear london leggings sweater

In the fall and winter months, London often feels especially damp and chilly. You may want to pack two or three cozy sweaters to pair with leggings, jeans, or a skirt and tights. Keep in mind that in England, what Americans call a sweater is called a jumper!

If you need cozy leggings perfect for your trip abroad, take a look at the 10 best organic bamboo leggings here.

Jeans and Blouse

wear london blouse

For women, jeans and a blouse make the perfect, simple classic dressy casual style. For men, a button-down and jeans can achieve the same look. You can easily add a cozy element to this outfit by laying on a cardigan, or choose a sport coat or blazer if you want a sharper, more formal note in the outfit.

Worried about what kind of jeans to wear? Check out this list of the 17 best popular and cheap European jeans brands.

Sheath or Wrap Dress and Jacket

wear london dress

Pack at least one dress in your bag for an evening out enjoying London’s nightlife, or a classy cheetah dress for a fancy dinner or party. You can look glamorous in a bodycon or wrap dress paired with your favorite heels, but make sure to research your evening entertainment and make sure dressing up is the way to go. Some clubs have a more casual vibe perfect for jeans, a t-shirt, and a faux-leather jacket instead.

Looking for clubbing outfits to wear during your tip? Check out this list of 20 fabulous outfits to wear to a club!

Maxi Dress and Sandals

wear london maxi dress

In hot summer weather, you can keep cool and classy by wearing a maxi dress with sandals or flats. Of course, you can also look cute in a flirty sundress, but the added length of a maxi dress gives your outfit just a bit of a dressier vibe.

You can find 15 affordable maxi dresses to consider here.

Trench Coat

wear london trench coat

If you plan to stay in London for more than a few days, a stylish trench coat is an absolute must. You can layer this weather-resistant outerwear over any dressy outfit to keep dry while still looking put-together and chic. Some trench coats even come with detachable hoods so you don’t have to carry an umbrella.

Of course, not all brand-name trench coats go through an eco-friendly manufacturing process. If you want to protect the environment while also protecting your clothes from London weather, take a look at this list of the 10 best sustainably made trench coats.


wear london raincoat

Another option to prepare for London’s fickle weather is a classic raincoat. You can find waterproof jackets or raincoats in many different styles these days, running from hooded Paddington-Bear style styles to smart, tailored jackets with belted waists. You will want a raincoat as added protection in the spring especially, even if you do carry an umbrella with you everywhere you go!

If you don’t own a raincoat already, check out this list of the 20 best stylish and eco-friendly raincoats to consider.

Waterproof Shoes or Boots

wear london boots

You should consider the comfort and weather resistance of any shoes you pack for your trip to London. First, you can easily walk to many of the major tourist sites in London. This means that you will want footwear that keeps your feet padded and comfortable all day, rather than stylish sandals or classy high heels.

Second, you will often need to walk through rain or bad weather. While your umbrella and raincoat can protect most of your outfit, your shoes will still need to squelch through the wet! You can try waterproof flats, but often your best bet for footwear year-round is a classy, comfortable ankle boot. Check out this list of the 20 best sustainable boot brands to find the perfect pair for you!


wear london trousers

For men and women, pairing a casual sweater or sweater vest with a nice pair of slacks can create a breezy, perfect tourist outfit to wear in London. Make sure to pick comfortable footwear like loafers or flats to wear with your slacks. Also, most non-denim pants go by the name of “trousers” in the UK, as the word “pants” refers to underwear across the pond!

In winter, you may want to find warmer trousers like these 14 affordable and sustainable types of corduroy pants.

Blazer or Sport Coat

wear london blazer

While you might wear a windbreaker or hiking jacket while touring many American cities, you can dress your outfit up easily by swapping out the jacket for a smart blazer or sport coat in London. A solid-colored blazer over a t-shirt or button-down looks good with jeans, khakis, or trousers. You can even add a blazer over a sheath or A-line dress to keep warm and look put-together during your trip!

Did you know you can buy blazers made from recycled materials? Check out this list of the 12 best recycled blazers to learn more!


wear london umbrella

Unless you want to find yourself dashing into a convenience store after fifteen minutes outdoors in London, you need to pack a compact umbrella in your suitcase. This handy tool is a must for London tourism, no matter what time of year you plan your trip. On average it rains a measurable amount at least 150 days out of every year in London!

Of course, you should also plan to wear a raincoat or trench coat to keep your clothes dry. You can find a good selection of sustainable raincoats to consider here.

Dress and Boots

wear london dress boots

For women, packing a casual day dress is a great way to keep cool and look nice during the summer months in London. You can pair the dress with sandals or flats, but for days full of walking and possibly bad weather you may find ankle boots more practical even in the summer.

If you worry that you can’t afford new dresses or dressy-casual outfits, check out this article detailing 20 easy tips for how to dress well for less.

Vintage Garments

wear london vintage

When you visit London, don’t hesitate to pack a select few vintage garments, like a faux-leather jacket, a well-preserved vintage t-shirt, or a pair of vintage boots. You will often see elements from the past incorporated into modern, fashionable outfits on the streets of London! Quality vintage pieces that remain in good condition can give your outfit a classic, expensive air.

If you want to add an authentic vintage element to your outfit, take a look at this list of the 25 best second-hand clothing apps for affordable vintage styles.


wear london jeans

You can absolutely pack two or three pairs of your favorite jeans for your trip to London! Nice dark-wash jeans paired with a blouse or sweater give you that perfect dressy-casual vibe, while ripped or frayed jeans contrasted with a nice top can add a trendy, fashion-forward edge to your outfit.

Wearing jeans will not make you look like a tourist in London. You may see people dressed in suits and ties in business areas of the city, but the average person on the street will be just as likely to wear jeans as anyone in an American city!

Next time you shop for new jeans, consider checking out the 50 best affordable and sustainable denim brands.

Warm Coat

wear london coat

If you plan to visit London during the winter months, make sure to wear a warm coat like a pea coat or overcoat. Winter temperatures in London do not often dip below freezing, but you can expect very damp, cold air and lots of rain, sleet, or snow flurries.

The great thing about a stylish winter coat is that it can play a role in building your layered dressy-casual style! Take a look at the 20 best sustainable winter coats here to get ideas.

Denim Jacket and Tee

wear london denim jacket

When you plan to spend a day out shopping or picnicking in a park, you may want to dress down a bit with a comfy tee and a casual denim jacket. This is a great way to highlight a vintage t-shirt or a personal favorite from your collection!

You may also want to expand your t-shirt collection by taking a look at the 15 best American-made t-shirts.

Scarf and Hat

wear london scarf

Last but not least, don’t forget the accessories as you pack for your trip to London! A brightly colored scarf can add a pop of color to a spring or summer outfit, and a warm winter scarf can act as yet another layer to keep you warm in the damp chill. 

In the summer, a straw hat or fedora can keep you cool. In the winter, a knitted bobble hat can keep you snug and warm! You can find 15 affordable and sustainable hats to choose from here.

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About the Author: Hannah Cobb

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