How to Dress Like a Londoner: Tourist Edition

British fashion is much different than American fashion.
Read on for some do’s and don’ts for dressing like a Brit.

Mark your calendars, people. The Mercyhurst fashion department is heading to London next week!

Yes, you heard it right. We are headed to the land of tea, sexy accents, and most importantly, Prince Harry.  We will be visiting for nearly six days while seeing all sorts of tourist attractions, as well as special fashion visits.  We are pretty lucky to have this opportunity through Mercyhurst.

It’s all groovy, with one exception: we can’t figure out what to wear.

Keeping in mind that we will be walking a million miles a day, picking out our outfits has become a difficult task. We want to be able to walk without getting blisters the size of quarters on our feet, but yet we still want to look like we belong in London.

I mean, we are fashion majors so this shouldn’t be that hard right? Wrong.

Here are some style tips for dressing more like a Londoner, instead of a tourist.

Be quirky


Throw on some eccentric accessories to make a fashion masterpiece. Quirkiness is key in big cities like London because it is important to differentiate your style.  Maybe you’re the type of person that wants to accessorize with pieces that aren’t in mainstream fashion.  Throw that sucker on and wear it with confidence!


Be casual…but not American casual


American fashion is known for being extremely casual. Victoria’s Secret leggings, a fleece sweatshirt, and some boots.  That’s about it.  London’s casual consists more of jeans, booties, and a blouse.  If you are walking around London sporting a pair of leggings, people will definitely know you’re a tourist.  That being said, London fashion is very casual compared to other countries.  Londoners aren’t afraid to wear jeans and a nice trench.



Unfortunately, London is not known for having the nicest weather. You want to keep this in mind while traveling here.  Layering is super important, especially for tourists who will be walking around all day.  Trench coats are a “must” in London.  I’m sure none of us will be able to afford a Burberry trench, but investing in a well-structured one will go with nearly everything.

Rock the plaid


Tartan plaid is an essential piece for any Brit’s closet. Originating in Scotland, it soon made its way to the rest of Great Britain.  Now it has become a rather large trend that is seen in nearly every form.  From jackets, scarves, dresses, and pants, rocking the plaid will definitely help you blend in as a Londoner.

london trends 4

Wear tailored clothing


Bespoke tailoring is the quintessential look for professional British men and women. Now I know that most of us don’t have that kind of money, but there are more inexpensive alternatives.  Wearing a nice pair of structured pants is always a go-to.  You can even layer with a tailored blazer that you could find in stores like H&M or Express.

Embrace urban sportswear


Sneakers have become a huge trend all around the world. It has actually become trendy to wear athletic shoes even if you aren’t athletic!  Adidas has made a huge comeback, and not just the shoes.  People are sporting the jackets as well as the imprinted T-shirts.  Accessorize your outfit with a trendy baseball cap to create a subtle athletic look.

Add some booties to the mix


Booties are always a great choice for Londoners. Specifically, Chelsea boots are native to England.  Contrary to popular belief, booties do make a great spring shoe choice. You can style them to either be casual or dressy, which is always convenient.

london trends 5

 Don’t be afraid of color


When some people think of British fashion, mainly neutral colors come to mind. While a lot of Londoners do tend to lean toward neutral colors, that doesn’t mean bold colors don’t exist.  Wearing bright colors has become super trendy on the streets of London.

Throw a hat on


London fashion is all about creating your own look. Adding a hat to any outfit will easily complete it.  Hats are a quirky accessory that are necessary especially for the London weather.  Who knows when it is going to rain, better yet, snow!  Hats are becoming super popular in nearly every style.  From beanies, fedoras, baseball caps, to even newsboy hats, London’s got it all.

london trends3

As one of the fashion capitals of the world, it is very important to not look like a slump while walking the streets of London. I hope you’ve gained a bit of knowledge as to how you can fit in as a fellow Londoner.  Make sure to come back to the blog to stay updated with our trip and see what we’re up to!

Hannah Ziccardi, '18

Just your typical college student who happens to be a fashion and writing enthusiast.  I like dogs more than people.