Wondering what to pack for London? Here is a complete London packing list with everything you need!
I promise, you can easily pack for a week in London with a carryon only. Here is my London packing list! The first thing you need to know about London is that the weather is unpredictable. It can be chilly even in the summer, and it can rain at any time.
I know that some people believe in packing based on specific outfits. My approach is to pack a good amount of black and denim and then I can mix and match anything in my suitcase. I don’t plan out specific outfits. I just want to make sure that the very few pairs of shoes that I pack match whats in my suitcase. I like to work with black shoes. I pack black sneakers and black booties that will match black shirts and black dresses. It is simple, easy to mix and match pieces to make new outfits, and black doesn’t get dirty as easily as other colors.
What to Pack for London: Clothing
The first time I went to London, in 1999 jeans were out of fashion in London and everyone could tell that we were American because we were wearing denim. These days, everyone is wearing jeans again, and you can even wear them into Harrod’s (just don’t wear ripped denim). I always bring 2 pairs of jeans on a trip because I can wear them again and again and they go with everything. Personally, I love JCrew denim and think it fits better than Madewell.
Two Black Dresses
A black dress is my go to for situations when I don’t know what to wear, and I always end up wearing them when I travel. They can be dressed down for a day of sightseeing or dressed up for a fancy dinner or event. If it is cold, I will wear tights under the dress and a blazer on top.
I have a red blazer that I love, but lately I have been bringing an oversized black tuxedo style jacket that looks great over a black dress or with jeans. Versatility is the key. My favorite blazers are from H&M and I have linked a couple below.
I always pack a lot of black. It makes is easy to mix and match outfits, and black doesn’t get dirty quickly and can be reworn.
There is a reason why everyone has the JCrew Tissue Turtleneck. I especially love the striped tissue turtleneck which looks great on its own, and it is perfect for layering under a sweater. JCrew also makes merino wool turtlenecks which are perfect if you want something a little bit warmer.
If I am visiting London in the summer, I will only pack one light sweater, but if it is fall or winter then I will pack a few thicker sweaters. London weather is finicky, and you will need a sweater.
What to Pack for London: Shoes
I walk up to 11 miles a day when I am in London. It’s a city that you just want to wander around, and you do not want your feet to hurt. I made a point to buy running shoes that are cute enough to wear with sneakers, and it is one of the best investments I have ever made. My feet never get sore or blistered when I wear them. I recommend getting black sneakers because they look nicer and won’t get dirty. Pink are a nice alternative to black and they go with almost anything. Ideally you should pack sneakers that are waterproof.
You want to pack a super comfortable pair that you can wear with jeans or a dress.
What to Pack for London: Outerwear
A Rain Jacket
If you are in London during the winter, be prepared for misty rainy weather. Parkas are not the most stylish, but they are waterproof and they are the most practical option.
London’s famously drizzly weather can lead to bad hair days.
A Waterproof Parka
If you are visiting London in winter, a waterproof parka is a must. The winter weather in London tends to be wet and rainy, and a wool coat just isn’t practical. I brought my Canada Goose Parka and it kept me warm and dry!
What to Pack for London: Other Essentials
A Decent Sized Bag for Sightseeing
You need a bag that will fit your rain jacket because you probably be bringing it with you since the weather is unpredictable. There are pickpockets in London so I always recommend a bag that closes securely, or that can be locked.
A Wallet with a Pocket for Coins
In England a little bit of change adds up quickly since they have 1 and 2 pound coins. Since more of their currency is in coins, you need a spot to keep those.
I always back a camera, sunglasses, and an outlet converter.
Read More About Packing and Traveling
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