Let me quote a universal piece of wisdom: Time flies when you are having fun.
Last Thursday, it was five weeks since Sebastian and I moved to London. And in all honesty? I still can’t believe it. I feel like we just arrived last night although we managed to do a lot during this hectic period: arranging our legal residence permits, unpacking all our belongings, and organizing our new apartment took some time and energy. (Please, feel free to send more ginseng, thank you.) However, I am glad to report most details are fixed and we are ready to become proper Londoners now.
Over the first few weeks, we took the chance to explore the city and start experiencing that famous London lifestyle. From trendy street food markets to majestic art galleries, and from cozy tea rooms to vintage stores—London never stops surprising you.
One of my favourite things about being an expat is discovering the local fashion style: Tokyo taught me everything about chic, while Budapest certainly deserves to be acknowledged as the new capital of shopping. It was rather ineluctable to learn something valuable from Londoner street fashionistas too.
Throughout my now five weeks of living in London, I have probably learned more lessons about style than ever before in my life. Today, I want to share them with you.
So, what have I learnt so far?
Sh#& Rain happens: Get yourself a statement trench
If you are remotely familiar with the British weather, you might know it is rainy. Like, cats-and-dogs kind of rainy. You’ll get used to carrying an emergency umbrella with you at all times and even start wondering how was life before that (or how did you look with neatly arranged straight hair, for the matter). But that’s OK because you will also learn to love a nice trench coat. Actually, I already loved them before we landed here, but my affection has gone deeper ever since: Hobbs, Burberry, Mulberry, Céline… the options are endless! You might certainly think a statement piece is expensive but here is where the second lesson hits.
2. The best fashion finds often come from charity shops and vintage stores
No, I promise I didn’t drink an entire bottle of prosecco before writing this (maybe later, but let me finish this post first). Many charity shops in London receive designer donations. Checking their branches regularly improves your chances to find a treasure in the shape of a Prada handbag or a pair of Chloé trousers. So far, my Max Azria collection—fan girl here!—has increased dramatically. I truly recommend paying a visit to stores around Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Marylebone and Kensington areas since they often receive the best stock in town.
3. Chelsea boots are life (and you can’t change my mind)
We all know how important it is to dress sensibly, but too often we don’t pay enough attention to footwear. London is not only a city but a huge one, even with the brilliant public transport network you will walk quite a lot. No need to say wearing the wrong shoes can easily spoil your day. (Please, raise your hand if you learned this lesson after years of poor and painful decisions too. Heels on cobblestone pavement? What could possibly go wrong?) When we first arrived, I would only carry some replacement flats in my handbag but then, as the weather started cooling, Chelsea boots became a natural ally—they are comfy, they are stylish and the epitome of British style. What else could you ask for?
4. Blazers are not for office only
Look, I have been there too—limiting blazers to the office ecosystem is very tempting. But, believe it or not, they can be fun too. One of my favourite things about Londoners and their style sense is the way they incorporate blazers on a weekend outfit without losing that effortlessly chic vibe. On a personal note, I love a good slip dress & blazer number but the options are countless: adding a nice pair of jeans, or even a knit dress can fix those Saturday brunch outfit plans. And speaking of knitwear…
5. When in doubt, just throw an oversized jumper
As simple as that. It doesn’t matter if we are speaking about a lazy at home Sunday or an office Monday morning, really: most of the days a note of wool can make all the difference and save your outfit. Reuniting a great quality collection has been in my fashion to-do list FOREVER (when I started that list back in the day, commercial transactions were still paid with wooden tokens and we used to adore volcanoes… good old days!), but coming to London has been the push I needed. Cashmere and Scottish wool are wonderful high-quality materials that may add value to your existing wardrobe. Plus, they will keep you warm during the long cold months.
And these are the five foolproof style lessons I learned over my first month in London.
Leave a comment if you have any style tips to share with me.
Dress: Zara (last season, cute alternative here)
Blazer: Vero Moda (sold out, similar at Asos)
Hair clip: Versace / Boots: Deichmann
23 thoughts on “5 style lessons I learned in my first 5 weeks as a Londoner”
I love blazers! 🙂 With shoes you are so right. It is so worth to invest in good shoes that are made for walking.
Exactly! I used to be a sucker for high heels when I was younger but these days, I truly appreciate being able to make it alive until the end of the day. 😂
Gorgeous photos. Was already missing London, now even more so! Great tips too. I’m still wearing my Hobbs trenchcoat in NZ, where the weather also makes for challenges in clothing choice. Hope you enjoy your life in my old home city.
Oh goodness, I love Hobbs so much! A couple of days ago, I spotted a gorgeous powder blue trench at a vintage store. It was a bit over-priced but so gorgeous, I am thinking about coming back for it. But anyway, I hope you don’t miss London too badly.
As a born and bred Londoner, I welcome you to our fabulous city! You are right about the rain, I rarely leave the house without my umbrella in my bag! That and do not walk slowly in the middle of the road are my two biggest tips for new Londoners!
Ellyn x | Life Of A Beauty Nerd
Hi Ellyn! Many thanks for your nice words. Jeez, you are so right about crossing the road. Especially, in the city center! Those drivers have no mercy at all. I try to look both sides every time since the system confuses me so much. Although the indications on the pavement help a lot. 😂
Yep, you definitely need to carry a small umbrella with you around town! I also love a good chelsea boot, they’re suitable for so many occasions. Welcome to London!
Aaaaw! Thank you Sarah. Since using the umbrella so much, I believe it would be a good idea to upgrade to a fancy one I really enjoy using. There are so many options around London!
I like wearing blazers on the weekend as well. Vintage shops and second-hand stores are places I like to shop. Great post.
Hey, Tammy! It is great getting to know another second hand lover here. London is so dreamy in that aspect.
How wonderful you moved to London! I love and miss this wonderful city!
I hope you are having a lovely time, wherever you are now. I am curious, where do you live these days?
I live in Ohio, USA now — been here 6 years!
That sounds like a great change!
Love these styles! I need to find an outfit for a photo shoot. Thank you for the inspiration.
Thank you! Always glad to help!
I definitely agree with the rain. I lived in Manchester for 3 years and one time, it rained while I was out getting groceries and stopped raining by the time I reach my doorstep. How frustrating! Visited London again a couple of months back and the same thing happened.
Hope you continue to enjoy London and thank you for sharing!
Well, in my homeland we can get as much as a hundred non-stop rain days, so some showers do not certainly annoy me. However, it can be annoying if you are not used to Spring-like weather all the time.
I think London fashion is amazing. I would love to visit it one day. The style there is amazing.
I really enjoyed this post. As a lover of London and a Brit, I found myself nodding in agreement to each point!
What a fun adventure. Blazers and trench coats are a few of my faves.
Mine too. I used to be completely ignorant on the trench coat department but now I can’t live without a nice trench.
I used to studied in Manchester for two years. These are the lessons I learned too when I was staying there especially the weather. Hehehe.