Skorts versus shorts in England

Hello! We'll be going on a month-long trip to England in May. According to the various books, shorts are more of a no-no for female tourists as far as visiting cathedrals and churches, and capris are suggested instead. I am 54 years old. Being that I don't like capris, but want to wear something more casual (should the weather cooperate!) would a decent skort be okay to wear instead? I'm talking about something at knee-length in a nice fabric (denim of black), and I'd wear a pair of Chaco sandals with it. Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions on this topic!

Posted by Ruth
Portage, canada
48 posts

I think that would be fine, Leslie. I didn't notice any concern about how people were dressed. (Of course, it was raining most of the time I was there.) And a knee-length skort is pretty modest, anyway. Sandals are fine, too. Even when attending a church service, people were dressed pretty much the same as they would at home - a whole range of attire.

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3255 posts

A skort would be fine, but you might find long slacks to be more comfortable. It is rarely hot in May.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
894 posts

I can't give fashion advice (I had to google for what a "skort" is). But since you refer to visiting churches/cathedrals as a tourist, I suspect that will mostly mean Church of England places and they have a pretty relaxed dress code - certainly not enforced like the Roman Catholic churches in Italy. "Respectful" is the word and shorts would be fine. You might want to change if you are actually attending a service, but even then the idea of "sunday best" has largely gone in the CofE (as, indeed, have most of the congregants).

Posted by Leslie
67 posts

Thank you, ever so much, for your replies!!! I'll leave the skort at home and plan on my slacks and one skirt (ankle-length). I don't want to be rude towards any attendees at churches by violating possible (un-written) dress codes! If it should get hot (ooooooh, wouldn't that be nice), we'll support the British clothing retailers and buy what we need! I sure appreciate your kind answers :)

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
2401 posts

Yes, serious dress codes for churches are more a phenomenon in Catholic or Orthodox countries. I doubt anybody will be too shocked if you wear knee length shorts in an Anglican church.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11663 posts

I agree with my fellow UK residents. My only concern is if you don't like the red skin and goose pimples of being in the cold. I don't think anybody else will mind. In fact, some of us rather enjoy watching North Americans and Aussies wandering around in shorts before we think it warm enough. Come on down!!

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

Hah! One of the main reasons I go to England is to watch you nutty guys (as opposed to the Scots and Welsh who have a lick of sense) standing around shivering in the winter chomping on ice cream.

Posted by D.D.
375 posts

I think your choices of attire sound fine, as far as being respectful and appropriate are concerned. But I have to agree with the other posters who say it is likely to be chilly. I have never been warm in England in May. I've never been truly hot in June, July, or August, either. But for all I know, it could change this year. And regarding the comment about ice cream, if ice cream isn't eaten while it's cold out in England, it would never be eaten at all. Can't have that.

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1759 posts

Skorts = culottes over here. Sounds more elegant?

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3255 posts

Are you talking about real ice cream or that soft-serve stuff (there can't possibly be any real cream in that) with the cadbury flake stuck in it? If the latter, I still don't get why anyone eats that ever.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11663 posts

I was at Gatwick airport in London yesterday and standing in the blowing wind at North Terminal waiting for the transit to South - blowing east wind at 20 mph, minus 3 Celsius, was a man wearing thin shorts and a T-shirt - and yellow flip flops. Picture it, people. He had a patch on his shorts identifying him as an Aussie. We were in hat and gloves, and a Lands End red winter coat. We were cold.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1730 posts

Ah, but, Nigel, think how happy that brief time in the cold will make him: -If he turns it into a good story about arriving near-naked in the cold, he'll get a beer bought for him in pubs all over the UK. -He'll never again question his ancestors' decision to leave Merrie Olde England and will be perfectly happy living Down Under. -During heat waves in Australia, when others complain about the heat, he'll say, "Better than England, mates. Better than England."

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8722 posts

Leslie ,after 4 visits to London, 3 of which were in July or August, at no time did I need to wear shorts, cause it was never "hot", it rained all four times, and the few days it didn't rain, it was not warmer then say , 72 or so . ( the trip in March was positively cold, sleety and windy). Thats not to say you will definately not encounter some nice weather, they have even had "heat waves" in England, but the likelyhood of needing to pack hot weather gear is pretty small.

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
470 posts

"One of the main reasons I go to England is to watch you nutty guys (as opposed to the Scots and Welsh who have a lick of sense) standing around shivering in the winter chomping on ice cream." My Swiss wife always says that summer is a state of mind in the British Isles - saddles in early May is what sets her off...