London is a fantastically eclectic city, with people from all walks of life and nationalities all managing to live their lives alongside each other in the same space.
But it’s fair to say there are a few unwritten rules when it comes to fashion that you should bear in mind when you’re a woman who has arrived from overseas.
They aren’t particularly drastic, so don’t panic, but here are a few tips that will ensure people are looking at you for all the right reasons.
Don’t feel you have to dress for the weather
People in the UK pride themselves on being hardy souls who can withstand sub-zero temperatures. So often you’ll find people not even wearing a coat on the coldest day of the year, or maybe even wearing a short skirt and vest top.
Conversely, it’s not unusual to see people wrapped up in a thick coat and boots even on a hot summer’s day.
In other words, there are no rules in London when it comes to weather-appropriate clothing, when temperatures are at extreme highs or lows.
Don’t be too casual
In some parts of the world, you can get away with heading out in tracksuit bottoms. But for some reason, it’s never really taken off as a good look in London.
While the city doesn’t claim to be a fashion capital to the same extent as, say, Paris, the clothes aren’t as built for comfort as much as they are in the US, for instance.
So if you’re looking for a fairly comfortable alternative to sweatpants, take a look at virtually every woman around and you’ll see they’re often wearing black leggings. They work in countless situations, from wearing in the gym to with a dress while you’re in a fancy restaurant.
Don’t dress down on a night out
You’ll find the customers in bars and clubs look like they’ve spent hours getting ready – and that’s probably because they have.
While most places won’t have a strict dress code, there will often be an expectation that you’ll be at least slightly glammed up, rather than wearing what you sit around at home in.
Of course, it’s easier for the men as they don’t have to decide between wear a dress, a skirt, trousers or maybe even some smart jeans. For the guys, as long as they have a clean shirt and some decent jeans on, they can’t really go wrong.
Unless they are wearing trainers. Men really have to put on some proper shoes if they are going on a night out, or else they run the risk of appearing to be the least sophisticated person in the room.
And some venues really do have strict no trainers rules to ensure a high standard of footwear among all patrons.
Learn the terminology
English might be an international language, but some words mean quite different things around the world.
For instance, a Brit would use the word pants to describe their underwear, whereas to an American it’s another word for trousers.
Similarly, a sweater is known as a jumper in London, so it really pays to be up to speed on what certain words mean before going to a clothes shop and browsing for a few new bits and pieces.
Get it wrong and everyone will know you’re from out of town!