What to Pack for England in the Fall
Wool Jumper | Button Down | Mini Skirt | Cable Knit Scarf | Knit Jumper | Corduroy Trousers | Wrap Dress | Pinafore Dress | Turtleneck | Leather Coat | Hunter Boots | Riding Boots | Booties | Over Coat | Trench Coat
Before my mom came out to visit, she asked me what to pack for her weeklong stay. I figured it was a good opportunity to give anyone some pointers whilst packing for England this time of year. Honestly, the weather isn't what I would have thought, so I figured some other Americans might have the wrong idea as well. Of course check the weather before you come. Maybe you're coming during a pretty rainy week. Maybe you're coming during a drier time. But either way, here are a few options to help you blend in with the locals this time of year.
Most women here dress in muted colors. Especially this time of year, it will be neutrals and jewel tones. Navy. Olive. Mustard. Burgundy. That's definitely been reflected in any purchases I've made here or what I continuously reach for in my wardrobe. I've also started leaning more towards browns instead of black and greys, but obviously black is popular here, as are monochromatic looks.
Start with jumpers. Warm chunky knits, and thinner jumpers to layer. The button down under a jumper is a classic English look. I think solids are generally your best bet for both looking British, as well as packing a capsule wardrobe for a trip. If you're going to go with layers (which I recommend), think about jumpers and button downs more than jumpers and vests. The "pumpkin spice" look of loud flannel, a puffer vest, and an oversized blanket scarf will help you stick out like a sore thumb. I say that speaking from experience.
Midi dresses are popular and I just think there's nothing more perfect for fall than a long sleeve wrap dress. Pinafore dresses are widely popular right now. I tried to get one a few weeks ago from Forever 21, but when I went in to exchange it for a different size, they didn't have any left. I was annoyed. You know what else is huge right now? Overalls. One day I saw a woman wearing black overalls and a mustard long sleeve on the tube in London. It was the first time I've wanted over alls in this century. I loved her look.
Depending on what you're doing, you might not need rain boots. There have been a few times when I wished I had them. Mostly walking through the countryside, definitely not in the city. If it's not going to rain, you're fine with riding boots or booties. Maybe both if you want to mix it up. One thing is for sure, I don't see women wearing Hunter boots for the look of it, only for their practicality.
The biggest difference I've noticed between British and American women is the amount of accessorizing American women do. Bring one scarf (and one hat) you can wear with all your outfits. Leave the statement jewelry at home. Think simple.
Bring a raincoat or a classic trench if you're expecting a lot rain, otherwise I'd go for a warm wool overcoat. Better yet, find a lined raincoat. In fact, I'm on the hunt for one right now! Again, if you're going to buy a raincoat for your trip, find a muted color, like navy. Unless it's yellow. Definitely get a yellow raincoat.
If you plan for mixing and matching layers and textures, you might be able to fit everything in a carry on! Stick to a color scheme and don't overthink it. Keep things simple and you'll blend right in.
Of course wear your biggest items on the plane to save space in your suitcase. And all of your liquids should be in a sandwich bag. I tried to use a gallon bag once in Europe and they were NOT having it. Most importantly, exchange money at a bank where you'll likely get the best rates. Try to avoid poor exchange rates and high fees at the airport or other stations and excess rates on credit cards that don't account for foreign currency.