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