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Fashion question! Traveling to London!

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San Diego...
posts: 52
Fashion question! Traveling to London!

Hi everyone! I've been reading up on customs about the British for our first trip to England. We will be in London for a few days and as a traveler, not a tourist, I try to accept new ideas about how things are done to broaden my horizon about the world. I have been reading that wearing white socks or wearing sneakers are a big no no. Is that true? If so, what would you recommend wearing while walking around the city while wearing shorts, etc? I feel the more I try to read about the culture, the more confused I get. I basically am going to be telling my travel partner to not say one word during certain events because she it the epitome of the "Annoying American with picky food habits and thinks everyone should be like the USA" and I'm trying to break her of that by traveling out of her comfort zone. Hopefully even just bring appreciation for the life she lives compared to the rest of the world. Any help on fashion would be appreciated! I know it may seem silly, but we don't want to be obvious that we aren't from around here!

Edited: 5:28 pm, February 25, 2013
posts: 5,440
reviews: 8
1. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

I wouldnt worry, most of the people in London on any given day arent from London, and the moment you open your mouths your accent will give you away. There is nothing wrong with being a tourist!!

(Bit worried about the shorts though).

Bodmin, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall, Santa Ponsa
posts: 10,712
reviews: 78
2. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

wear whatever you like, so long as you are clean and comfortable, nobody else will care.

I don't know why people think they have to look like they aren't a tourist (or traveller) when that's what they are. The local people you see in London will probably be on their way to and from work, so if you want to look like them you coud always wear a business suit :-)

You don't say what time of year you are coming, but if you are going to wear shorts make sure it is warm enough!

posts: 21,907
reviews: 71
3. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

Try a thread like this ion the Paris forum and really set the cat among the pigeons!!

In London, almost anything goes!!

Be clean, tidy, but above all comfortable, then forget worrying about the clothes, and enjoy the London!!

posts: 2,867
reviews: 101
4. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

You may have seen in (older) films about London that men walk around the foggy streets in bowler hats (derbys) and rolled umbrellas. The women in long, designer dresses. All have 'cut glass accents'.

It never was and it certainly isn't like that now. Anything goes. Shorts, anything BUT the weather isn't quite as warm as California. So could be cold legs.

As for sneakers (trainers) - they may be just the thing for walking around. Colour of socks - suit yourself.

We don't eat tourists. Though there is pretty well every other sort of food on offer here.

Have a great time and don't worry!

Dunfermline, United...
posts: 11,863
reviews: 39
5. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

When I am doing the tourist/traveller thing in London (and I am a Londoner) I wear white socks and big white tennis shoes so you and I could be fashion buddies!

I only wear shorts when its really hot (over 64f) and I won't wear my bowler hat at that heat.

Otherwise, good on yer for trying to educate your travel companion ;-)

Hampshire, England.
posts: 2,424
reviews: 8
6. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

"I have been reading that wearing white socks or wearing sneakers are a big no no."

We see this comment from Americans quite often, where does it come from?

Rick Steves maybe? Wear whatever you like (within reason) but shorts..........I wonder what DAY during the "summer" it'll be warm enough to wear those. :-)

posts: 44,841
reviews: 89
7. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

What hooameye said, where on earth are people reading this rubbish? Seriously kshahan, where did you read this?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,572
reviews: 15
8. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

City gents in bowler hats - along with walking sticks or furled umbrellas and beautifully cut covert coats - are still spottable at times, usually on crisp autumn days. I am often tempted to walk past and whisper 'hooray, it's Henry!' but have so far restrained myself.

The advice above is the best that can be offered for your dilemma: wear what you would like to wear. Good as well that you're encouraging your companion to escape the comfort zone - and London will certainly be a good place to offer alternatives to that zone.

If you would wear trainers (sneakers) and socks while doing errands at the weekend when at home then wear them whilst on holiday. It's your time to spend and enjoy.

posts: 685
9. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

Better white socks than black if you're wearing shorts (otherwise you'll look like Andy Murray when he's playing anywhere but Wimbledon, the highly unattractive just-wandered-off-the-municipal-courts-during-lunchbreak look).

They even *sell* white socks in London, that's how little we care for the rules laid down by the fashion police!

Edited: 6:45 pm, February 25, 2013
London, United...
posts: 2,264
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10. Re: Fashion question! Traveling to London!

White socks with White trainers is the no no....and yes it is an American thing.