What to wear - London
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Jan 28, 2013 11:59 AM Last Post By: _chaos_
Jan 12, 2012 11:16 PM
What to wear - LondonSome friends are going to London later this Spring. Their standard "uniform" is jeans, tennis shoes and sweatshirts. What can I suggest as an alternative that is comfortable but will also help them not stand out as American tourists? They do not like to dress up. I think the jeans are ok, but the tennis shoes and sweatshirts have to go. I might wear a plain T but pair it with some comfy boots, silk scarf and trench. Any other thoughts?
Jan 13, 2012 12:16 AM
1We have jeans in London and wear them. I guess you mean trainers when you say tennis shoes? We have them as well and are probably the most comfortable thing for walking around in (walking around London being the best way to see as much as possible).
Honestly the majority of the city will be far too busy getting on with their lives to care what you are wearing. just don't stand on the left going down into the tube or you will be slaughtered.
I don't know what a plain T is so cannot comment on that.
Jan 13, 2012 1:45 AM
2Wear what is comfortable would be my usual answer. Jeans, good trainers (support, shockproofy), seat shirt. t-shirt.Ultimately they are probably going to be discernible as tourists (map, camera, turning around in circles looking upwards) and American when they can't pronounce Leicester Square properly :-) but it really doesn't matter does it? There is no animosity towards seppoes (Aussies however .....).
Jan 13, 2012 2:06 AM
3you are a tourist if you don't live there. Where's the problem?
jeans, sweatshirt and t-shirt are fine - although jeans are useless if it rains and so are sweatshirts. Fleeces are much better and also lighter in weight. If you want to wear a silk scarf (totally pointless garment) or a trench coat, do. No-one cares.
whatever shoes are comfortable, just not sandals with open toes; if you wear those in a crowded street don't whine if someone steps on your toes.
Jan 13, 2012 2:15 AM
4You will see such a variety of fashion in the UK that no one will notice what you are wearing. Even with a lot of rain here most people wear jeans for everyday wear.
In my mothers opinion people from the UK are badly dressed possibly because there are lots of chavs where I used to live (google chav if you don't know what this means!)....
Jan 13, 2012 2:48 AM
5The thing that makes American tourists really stick out is bright white shiny brand new trainers (or tennis shoes) paired with shorts and bumbags (fanny packs) - like it's a uniform specially acquired in order to look as much like a tourist as possible. And also, speaking more loudly and clearly than the average British person (we mumble).
But as others have said, you'll obviously be American tourists anyway, and we don't hate Americans despite what you've been told.
Jan 13, 2012 2:50 AM
6No problem with basic plan of jeans, T shirts, sweatshirts and tennis shoes / trainers - practical for London conditions. Only further consideration is what's on T shirts & sweatshirts - newly bought "I love London" items would highlight anyone as a tourist. Many USA brands of clothes eg The North Face are popular in UK, too, so wouldn't stand out. No need to specially buy fleece jackets / tops, but if they have them, then they're lighter and quicker to dry than cotton sweatshirts, hence more practical.
But as soon as you speak with an American accent, you'll reveal yourself as an American, so not much point going to much trouble to disguise the fact. More important to keep yourself safe by eg reading signs about where to stand on escalators, looking both ways before crossing roads, and not causing confusion by asking for "bathroom" when you actually want a toilet (with no need for a bath) etc
Jan 13, 2012 4:28 AM
7She - Don't wear your hair in pigtails or wear denim shorts with short white socks and bleach white trainers/sneakers with fanny pack/bum bag, or collegiate sweater
He - Don' wear collegiate sweater , pressed jeans with a crease down the middle , baseball cap, college ring, bumbag/fanny pack and bleach white sneakers/trainers
and you will both be fine.
Oh....and don't stop in the middle of a pavement to look at a map. Move to the side. And stand to the right on the escalators.
Jan 13, 2012 5:18 AM
Jan 13, 2012 11:38 AM
9In addition to all the above (very good) advice - I'd say the best way to merge in is just to be confident. I'm from the UK (but not from London) so I still have to double check where I'm going on the underground maps but other than that, when I move, I do so with purpose rather than ambling about .....moving slowly, when everyone else is in a hurry does really annoy some people!
Jan 13, 2012 12:08 PM
10Thanks all. I guess I am more sensitive to this as I often travel solo. I try to be a bit more fashionable to look like a business person. And I guess it works since no matter what country I go to, I get asked for directions! :)
P.S. I like the comment about being confidant and knowing where I am going. I always have my route planned and committed to memory to avoid the "standing around looking dazed" pose.
Jan 13, 2012 4:11 PM
11Nobody will care what you wear but to echo what Brits will get VERY unhappy about:
1. Stand on right in the escalators
2. Don't barge queues (cut the line) Brits aren't racist but will happily boil an entire continent down as "sum bag queue jumpers" in seconds if they see it. They'll immediately post about it on Facebook too.
3. wait your turn at the bar. See (2) but multiply that by 10
4. try not to monopolize the most expensive real estate in Europe for long periods of time taking photographs
5. Loud, shrill, talking is frowned upon unless everybody in the vicinity is drunk in which case it's compulsory
6. Expect bad customer service, we've just learnt to live with it. Unless you are in a bar, more than 120s to get served and vote with our feet. You'll never get hammered at that speed.
7. Brit men are convinced that all American ladies fancy us because they think we are Hugh grant.
8. Brits are convinced there is a "special relationship" between USA & uk and will see you as a lone ally against the weezly French
9. Enjoy yourself and have a great time! Thanks for coming to visit.
Jan 14, 2012 2:28 AM
12There's nothing wrong with the 'standing around looking dazed' pose. Nobody will take advantage of you because of it. Just keep your wits about you and try to keep expensive items (ie camcorder, camera etc) either out of sight or close to your body. Oh, and as others have pointed out, DO stand on the right on the Tube escalators.
Jan 14, 2012 4:11 AM
13I think it's great you're trying to be culturally sensitive, I wish more travellers were like that! However, in London there's nothing to be sensitive about - I wouldn't know an outfit in the world that would actually stand out, because it's so big and you just get everything there. So don't worry, in London it really is more behaviour and accent that let you stand out as a tourist. Hope your friends will enjoy their holidays!
Jan 15, 2012 11:35 PM
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.60 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night