What to Wear in Winter in London

Packing for a weekend away is even harder than packing for a long-term trip. You force yourself to take a small bag because you don’t want to have to cart it around when you haven’t checked into your hotel (or in our case, our friend’s house). Also, it’s only going to be five days and two of those will be spent sitting on a bus or train. There simply isn’t any need to bring too much.

This meant that on Friday night our bedroom looked like some sort of vintage store bomb had exploded. There was a lot of, “does this go?” and “can I wear this with this?” going on. Eventually, I managed to get a few outfits in my bag and to decide on a jacket and scarf and hat and one solitary pair of shoes (the horror) to take with me.

Weather in London in Winter

I think winter in London is pretty mild, but I’m from upstate New York where you have to dig yourself out of your house between November and March. I went in early January and found that tights, a leather jacket, and comfortable waterproof leather shoes were perfect.

The temperatures hover around 40 degrees Fahrenheit most days and while it can get chilly at night, it rarely drops below freezing. That being said, it’s not sunny at all, at least in my experience. Winter in England is mostly grey skies and a sort of fine mist in the air (so don’t even bother packing a straightener).

what to wear on a winter weekend in london

Leather Jacket

What’s with the weather? It’s winter, it’s not, it snows, it rains, it’s hot. I literally have no idea how to dress for winter this year. I checked the weather for London before we left and it promised to stay around 10-12 degrees Celsius (about 50 degrees Fahrenheit). So I left my wool coat behind and opted for my Zara leather jacket that I bought before I met Luke, so probably not still in stores.

what to pack for a winter weekend in london

Brogues

I’ve talked about these shoes ad nauseam. I love them. They are great for walking, which I knew we’d do a lot of while we were there. I’m happy to wear them during the day with jeans and they look just as good dressed up with a dress and tights for a few fancy things we did while we were down there. Clarks carries them year round.

What to wear on a winter weekend in London

Plaid Shirt, Sweater, & Patterned Shirt

I packed a plaid shirt that I got recently in Sheffield because I knew I’d be able to layer it with different tops. I wore it under a cute black pinafore dress topped with my leather jacket. I also wore it with a pair of jeans and a sweater over the top, and then again with just jeans on our bus journey back up north.

Jeans, Skirt, & Pinafore

For bottoms I went with a pair of jeans which was perfect when we were traveling on buses, a grey J.Crew skirt that I wore with my plaid shirt tucked in, and a black pinafore suedette from Debenhams that I layered over my plaid shirt.

I’m really happy with my ability to make a few outfits out of only a few pieces and still manage to feel good about my pairings.

I also brought plenty of makeup which took up lots of room in my bag, a few pairs of socks, a pair of tights and all my winter outerwear.

Do you find it hard to pack for short weekend trips? What are your tricks for keeping things light?

what to wear in london in winter

Laura Bronner

6 Comments

  1. You did well! The weather here is total madness, I have no idea what it’s doing. My coat is quite good though – definitely keeps you warm when needed but not too hot!

  2. When I had to pack for Amsterdam with just hand luggage my little world fell in to pieces, how on earth could I pack for 3 days in one rucksack. Although I eventually realised when we were leaving I had packed way too much stuff that I didn’t need! Looking gorgeous as always!
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

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