Deciding what to wear on your trip to London is fraught enough, what with the ever-present rain, the wind, occasional sun and sweaty trips on the tube to boot. Throwing East London into the mix, with its trendy vibe and buzzing nightlife, could spin you into a packing-panic! When I landed back in London (from sunny Thailand!) in Autumn, I was ready for whatever hipster-ville had for me…
Fear not, as this London local is here to guide you through the packing maze.
Note: This list is meant for spring or fall travel.
Leggings: Alongside the trusty travel favourite of black, add in a printed pair to up the ante. They can be worn during the day with a simple pair of high-tops or brogues and at night with a sexy pair of ankle boots.
I can’t tell you how many times that I have extolled the virtues of a great pair of leggings to a, usually very bored, traveller. They are beyond versatile and however much you spend on a pair, your return per wear will be worth it within a few weeks.
Stripes: Always take something stripy everywhere you go. That’s my golden rule for life. Stripes add an air of casual chic and effortless hip to any outfit. My pick is always a cashmere Breton (super versatile, and great on the plane).
If you don’t fancy a jumper, then go for a preppy cardi or even a camisole. I would probably advise against wearing stripes on your bottom half unless you are avoiding mirrors. Nobody looks good with stripes clothing their ass.
Shoes: There is a disconcerting school of thought that discourages you from taking a pair of heels in your backpack. That is such total nonsense, in my opinion, because when you travel through Europe — you will miss out. I’m not suggesting that you take five pairs of shoes in different colours. What I am suggesting is packing, at least, one pair of shoes that you would take on a night out. I would recommend a pair of black ankle boots, or flat Chelsea boots if you want something a little more versatile.
Sports Luxe: Like to workout? Double up and take some funky workout leggings or yoga pants that can double up as cool nightwear. Again – with a pair of ankle boots… see, so versatile!
A touch more controversially, I am always a little keen to wear my sports bra ALL THE TIME. Seriously, they are so comfortable on a long bus or plane journey but have you ever thought about showing off your sports bra? I have a shocking pink one that looks epic with a casual vest top with the sleeves cut low to show it off.
Even better if your vest has a cool band on the front too. Think Led Zeppelin, not One Direction…
GREY jeans: Black, Blue, whatever you choose, you undoubtedly have more than one pair of jeans. Have you thought about chucking a soft, skinny grey pair in your luggage? No? Well, think about it because grey is the new black…..or brown, or whatever.
Grey implies a little more cool, a lot more hip and remains as versatile as blue. Honest!
Makeup: As a travel and beauty blogger I max out on my makeup. I don’t suggest you do the same, but I do suggest that you think about the mix of beauty products that you bring.
Your base is your base, so bring the right colour and your chosen add-ons (Primer, concealer, powder, etc.). Colour is really what you need to play with. I like to rock a red lip, so always have that (it is SO versatile) but when I’m feeling a little more trendy I play with my lip colour. Coral, shocking pink, perhaps a deep plum, it’s for the taking and can transform your look quick smart.
Oh, and don’t forget your eyes. Some mascara and black kitten flick is my signature look, but you may want to play a little more with your peepers and pack on bronze, or a smoky eye. Personally, I think too much colour is a little dated, and harder to do when you only have a few products.
Accessories: Obviously you can go safe and dress your daytime look up with a statement necklace or bracelet but far cooler is to throw your hair into a top knot and tie a silk scarf around your crown. This look works even better when you have bangs.
Throw an ear cuff on, or an arm bangle perhaps, or add some vintage brooches to your coat or top. I love to take a simple fur stole with me — it always dresses up my look and makes me feel glam, without being overdressed.
>> You might be interested in the HPL guide for traveling with jewelry.
A few more top tips: I like to add a cute pair of socks, with a frilly edge, which I wear with ankle boots and a cute skirt. It is the easiest way to feel a little more East London.
I always keep my palette neutral, because that’s my style, but I play with texture, and accessories a bit more and, as I mentioned, my sports bra may show up and that is shocking pink!
Be brave, be yourself, and always be comfortable. Comfort over style is my number one rule (even above my stripe rule!) because the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s just all about finding your own niche. Ultimately, I treat every trip to East London as an opportunity to play a little. I play with combinations, and wear a little more lipstick, and that, my friends, is my secret!
About the author: Lucy is the makeup maven behind Wanderluce, a travel, beauty and lifestyle blog for Thirty-something travel addicts. A lifelong Londoner, her focus is on over-sharing her neuroses and inspiring wander and beauty lust. She has been blogging since 2013, and after over 2 years of travel – she is now based back in London. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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