I recently received an email from a reader who was looking for a few ideas on what to pack for a trip to London next month. (Hi Renae!) I have never been, nor do I have any international travel packing experience (sad but true), so I just went at this as if it were my own imaginary vacation I were packing for. I looked up the average weather for London in May, and it actually seems pretty similar to our weather here in California. 70's during the day with mornings/evenings cooling off into 50's. The only difference from California weather is the probability of rain at least 1 out of every 3-4 days. Based on the weather, here is what I came up with:
Okay, first off: for me, travel is all about comfort. Unless there is a specific snazzy event in the plans, I like to keep everything pretty casual. With that being said: tees, tanks, jeans and flats is pretty much the name of the game.
Next, it is all about layering. With such fluctuating temperatures, it is smart to layer up with simple pieces that you can easily shed as the day wears on. My layers always consist of: tank, then vneck top or cotton 3/4 sleeve top, then light cardigan/sweatshirt/blazer on top. A nice big scarf/shawl hybrid is great to have as well.
Accessory situation: Bring one or two statement pieces of jewelry and be done with it. All an outfit really needs is a fun necklace or pair of earrings to add that polished look. A big crossbody tote is great for schlepping all your touristy goodies like maps, cameras, snacks, leftovers, souvenirs, etc.
Color Scheme: Stick with neutrals that are super easy to mix and match. Here I chose a predominately black and white scheme, which is the simplest and chicest in my opinion. Add your color in through your accessories.
Shoe situation: This is where Renea really needed some help. I do tend to overpack shoes, but I really feel the right shoe is going to determine 99% of how comfy and appropriate you feel in an outfit. Since there is a high chance of rain, I would suggest packing a low moto boot to wear on those days. I don't usually go the actual rain boot route, just because I don't think they are versatile enough. You could wear the moto boot for lots of different occasions, but a rain boot really only gets one chance to shine, making it a waste of space in my opinion. For other days when lots of walking are in order I suggest a slip-on sneaker or perhaps a comfy oxford shoe. Pick one that is polished enough to wear both day and night. I would stay away from actual gym sneakers (even though I love them and they are trendy right now) because they are definitely too casual to wear to a nice dinner. I would also bring both a sandal and a pump as well. I'm not sure if 4 pairs of shoes is too much or not, but I can't imagine leaving any of those behind.
Lastly: never leave home without a black maxi dress and a few pairs of jeans. Just don't.
Items In This Packing List:
This is perfect for when you know you have a long day out of sight seeing that will lead to a nice dinner at night. Layer with a cardigan or light blazer when it cools.
This is such a great staple that I threw in two. The lace detailing gives it enough interest to work for both day and night.
This sweet little blouse would be great paired with the white denim and sandals or pumps for a night out. A trench will keep you warm and/or protect from the rain.
This looks nice and light weight, perfect for layering.
This is a great outer layer piece. You could wear it over any of the tops as well as the maxi dress.
I prefer to pack skinnies because they can be worn with all of the shoe options, whereas a bootcut or trouser you would be more limited.
Looove this perforated flat with no laces! Comes in white, tan and silver as well. The description says they are lightweight, flexible and has a bit of padding on the insole, which sounds promising as far as comfort goes.
A nude gladiator style sandal will go with pretty much anything.
For those chances of rain! Also when you want to feel a little more like a bad-ass ;)
An alternative to the loafers, if they aren't your thing. Again with the perforations. I'm a sucker for a good perf!
Would look equally great with a tshirt, or with the dress!
A little color to brighten the mood. Bring it along every day and throw it in your tote when it gets too warm. Or throw it over your head if a surprise rain shower blows in!
This is such a perfect bag, you can fit so much inside! The bag itself is lightweight, which is essential when you know you are going to be loading it with lots of stuff.
Not pictured: Trench Coat
Preferably in a water proof material!
Can I just say, this one is adorable and has such a London "It-Girl" vibe about it, although it is crazy expensive and I would never actually wear it! HA! Just had to share.
Renae, I hope this helps you in deciding what to pack for London! I always love to receive emails from readers, so if you ever have any questions, I am here to answer them!