First time in London. What should I wear? Waterproof raincoat/trenchcoat? Wool winter coat? What about shoes? boots? galoshes?
Layer! Take a good sweater or a vest for warmth and a waterproof jacket for the rain. You can combine or use either alone as needed. I'd suggest a jacket with a hood or a hat and also gloves just in case (I found the damp made my arthritic hands feel colder and that gloves really helped). Good walking shoes that are water resistant are good. Take changeable interliners or 2 pair of shoes in case they get soaked.
I agree with Toni. I would take a Gore Tex (or similar) jacket with a hood and zip-out liner. With more or less layers underneath you'll be fine. I would also take a pair of those small-looking stretchable gloves that you can find at Target or Walmart - I always keep a pair of those in my jackets in the fall just in case.
London is damp and cold but not freezing, generally. To me all buildings are overheated - hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, malls, the tube and so on, so as soon as you are indoors, off come the layers. I would sometimes be down to just one layer indoors (shirt or whatever), with the nuisance of carrying whatever I had taken off. A wool winter coat will weigh you down and if it gets wet, will take ages to dry.
I would wear a light and warm coat or jacket - no longer than hip length and always wear (or have) a scarf.
Shoes -to me comfort would be more important than anything else, with good sox. It is generally more damp than torrential rain in London but of course a level of waterproofing for shoes or boots is always good.
Hi Joy, all good tips. There is a rather long post on just your question on the Tripadvisor.com forums for London right now. I think between the two you should find just the right combination. Happy Travels!
Hi, it was buried a bit so bumped it up for you.
I'd recommend waterproof shoes, an umbrella, a rain jacket and layers. We were just there and it was unusually cold. We did fine with layers and I was very happy to have waterproof shoes. If you want to blend in wear lots of black and gray. I've never been anywhere where there wasn't any color, but I really felt out of place in my bright blue fleece.
DITTO on the layers. I am in London now. I am wearing everyday a thin t-shirt, "summer" weight sweater, my duckcloth trench, scarf and gloves. i have one slightly heavier wool sweater-vest I wore on one cold day. I have both long-sleeve and short-sleeve t's with me, and I'd say I like short sleeves in the day, long-sleeves in the evening. Always the other layers as discribed. I might be wearing everything on the way into dinner, and just the t & sweater on the walk home. Really unpredictable.
Fashion here: scarves for everybody. Street vendors sell quite nice ones 2 for 5GBP. Jeans for men. Tights, mini's and boots for women. Kids dress like little adults.
We just got back from London on October 18 and the weather was great for us! No rain at all a little partly cloudy on most days. We found a light sweater to be comfortable both day and night. The nights were a little cooler especially if it was a bit windy. But like the other posts said, indoors was usually very warm - especially the tube stations - VERY warm!
LL Bean makes a really nice looking raincoat which comes in 2 lengths (besides jacket). It's labeled as H2Off DX. I've worn it to Europe for at least the last 5 yrs. I have the 3/4 length coat which is styled like an overcoat & made of a fabric with a really nice feel & weight. What's great is that it's waterproof but not overly casual like some rain jackets. It looks great with both pants & skirts. I've worn it in both Paris & Amsterdam in Nov & both times have been glad to have it. If it's really cold I layer with a long-sleeved Tee & a lightweight cashmere cardigan & have never needed more as it blocks out wind as well as rain. The hood's removeable. It's my favorite travel piece.
It might be helpful for you to know that a lot of indoor attractions, like museums, have coat checks so you need not worry about carrying around a heavy coat all the time.