Well, hey there!
If you’re new around here, let me start by telling you a little bit about myself.
My name is Haley and I love London. Last year, I was dating an Englishman and it took me on a 5 month adventure as a resident of Earl’s Court from August to December. Sadly, the romantic relationship between this Englishman and I did not last but the experience was one I will never forget and / or regret.
London is one of those cities that you can literally visit year round. I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced all seasons in this beautiful city, thanks to living there and my frequent visits over the past couple of years. And, while some complain that the weather is less than ideal most of the time, I beg to differ.
During my five months in London, there were MAYBE two weeks worth of rain … and not consecutively. Sure, it gets pretty hot in the month of August and with no air conditioning [or ‘air-con’ as the Brits call it] in most flats, I still found the heat to much more pleasant that the sweltering sauna I was born and raised in, also known as Florida. January and February are probably the harshest months, weather-wise, but I think it’s quite impressive that even during my time there in December / January one year … the temperature during the day never went below 50. There are some other places in London that are bone-chilling at that time!
But, if I could choose a favorite time of year to visit London … it’s literally an even tie between Spring and Fall. You can’t go wrong either way. In the Spring, you’ll find cherry blossoms and wisteria everywhere, which adorn the colorful homes of Notting Hill and the pristine white facades of Kensington and Belgravia quite nicely. And, in the Fall, a stroll through Regent’s Park with orange leaves surrounding you on all fronts, is quite literally one of the dreamiest things you’ll ever experience. The weather ….during both times of year … is so enjoyable 🙂
I’m currently en route back to this magical city and I thought I’d put together a little list of the 10 items you should pack for a Fall getaway to London + some things that I’ve brought along with me on this trip!
My biggest piece of advice is to pack layers because you may be cold walking around London but once you get inside a pub or down into the underground, you will likely get hot so make sure you can add and subtract things based on the changes you’ll experience throughout your day.
• Cashmere Scarf – Okay, so I’m not trying to be bougie by indicating that a cashmere is the only kind of scarf you should pack. I’m sure you would be fine with a regular blanket scarf. I’m positive you would … but, when I am in London, I am a walking FIEND! I think it’s the best way to see the city. Plus, a lot of the neighborhoods that have tube stops are a lot closer together than you would think. [i.e. South Kensington and Knightsbridge is literally a 15-minute walk from one station to another. By the time you get down into the underground and board a tube, you’d be there already!] So, if it’s chilly out … I think the best thing you can do to keep you doing is to bring items that you KNOW will keep you warm. Cashmere and wool are materials that will do just that!
[UPDATE: 10.18.17] THIS is the gray one I have been wearing a lot on this trip and THIS is the light brown one I wore yesterday. There’s only one left of the light brown one so I’d go with the camel color as you’re next best option. It’ll go with a ton of stuff!
• Comfortable Flats – If you’re a first timer in London, you have a lot of ground to cover so don’t limit yourself by thinking you’ll be ‘fine’ in booties. No, no, sister! I promise … there are some other cute shoe options out there for you. Thankfully, it’s not TOO cold this time of year during the day to need socks just yet so get by with comfortable flats and / or sneakers:
PRO TIP: Purchase the flats / sneakers of your choice a month before your trip so you have time to break them in / try them out yourself before walking all over a big city with them. Nothing makes exploring less fun than blisters!
• Lightweight Parka – Packing for really cold weather is tough because heavy coats and down jackets are thick and take up a lot of room in your suitcase, which is another reason why venturing to London in the Fall is ideal. A lightweight parka can be thrown over so many neutral, basic outfits making it one of the absolute necessities you need to consider bringing along:
• Lightweight Coat – When you have a layer or two underneath a lightweight coat and a scarf, as I mentioned, you should be pretty comfortable walking around the city. Here are a few that have caught my eye, that I think would work:
• Warm Basics – On the colder days, especially if there is wind and rain involved in the forecast, I’d say a neutral colored wool or cashmere turtleneck might be a great option to have. This will make your day in the city so much more comfortable. Add a trench on top, and throw an umbrella in your purse, and you should be all set!
• Lightweight Basics – This is kind of a given. Stick with white, striped, gray and black long sleeve tops. While cotton isn’t always ideal in cooler climates, you’ll be okay with your cashmere scarf and coat, especially with all the walking you’ll do. If you think you need another layer, add a cardigan underneath you jacket.
• Hat – Hats are a really fun way to play up your outfit and I don’t think you should shy away from them just because you’re traveling. Some of the trendiest ones right now are way easier to pack in your suitcase than the floppy wool ones that have been the ‘it’ hat for a couple of years. I’ve packed a couple of fiddler hats and beret’s in my bag for this trip! Can’t wait to try something new 🙂
• Charging iPhone Case + Portable Battery – London is MASSIVE and, if you only have a few days in the city, it’s highly likely that you will be out ALL DAY with a potential quick stop back to wherever you’re staying to change for dinner. I’d suggest purchasing a charging phone case, which usually will provide you will double the battery life you would have without one. In addition to that – just to be safe – I would suggest buying a portable charger. I’ve been using THIS Mophie case for a long time but am looking to have something with a little more power. I recently purchased this one from Amazon. Unfortunately, I did not receive it in the mail prior to this trip but my friend, Becky, from Cella Jane Blog brought it to New York Fashion Week with her this year and she said it was incredible.
• Umbrella – So, it rains in London from time to time [some argue it rains more here than in most places] so why not come prepared? Bring an umbrella for those wet days. You can always buy a cheap one here in a Boots convenient store.
• Travel Smart Handbag – So, London – I’d say – isn’t known for pick-pocketers. However, I’m sure someone has a story about it happening to them and, truth be told, bad things can happen anywhere so … as a precaution … I always encourage women to bring purses that are hard to get into. Don’t wear open totes around where someone can just reach in it. Choose one that has a clasp on it that you need to click to get into it or a zipper! I recommend Longchamp because their medium size tote has a lot of room, zip-closure, is durable and weather resistant. I’d also recommend leaving your more expensive bags at home as it could make you more of a target. [I don’t always follow that advice but it is smart.] I brought this new Tory Burch crossbody with me on this trip in the Imperial Garnet color.
Alright, lovelies! I hope this helps you get ready for your trip. I actually just arrived back in London today before scooting off to Paris on Saturday so I’m off to get my nails done then meet up with Victoria for a catch up! Thanks for stopping by! xo.