How to Pack for London in the Fall with just a Carry On Bag
I've always dreamed of seeing England in the fall.
When I think of it, I see fog rolling over hills of the English countryside, old estates and museums and cozy little coffee shops along the busy streets of London. I picture early morning walks in Hyde Park with a hot cup of coffee and a pastry to sit on a bench and watch the city as it wakes up. I think about bumping into Mr. Darcy or Prince Harry on the double decker bus (okay maybe this one's a little too unrealistic).
And tea. Lots and lots of tea.
While a British Invasion isn't in my cards this autumn, this hasn't stopped me from daydreaming and planning for the future. So I've put together a few ideas - some things I'd wear, do, and bring back during a week across the pond. If you're one of the lucky ones that's visiting Europe right now, or will be in the future - I hope this helps you out and inspires you for your adventures!
Above you can see what I packed. In my opinion, the lighter the bag, the happier I am!
For a week in England, I've planned to pack things that are really versatile, so they can get a lot of wear but are still fashionable. Here you can see everything that I'd bring which fits into a carry on and a large day bag (with room to spare for goodies!).
- One trench coat
- One flannel shirt
- One grey long sleeve shirt
- One knitted sweater
- One black and white patterned shirt
- One Nomadic V-Neck (Heather Grey)
- One Flipslide leggings (Black/Plum)
- One Dressy Sweatpants (Black)
- One Chameleon Maxi skirt (Black/Heather Grey)
- One Chrysalis Cardi (Raspberry)
PLUS - One white cami for layering, 5 pairs of socks, 2 bras, 5 pairs of underwear (these can be hand washed quickly and dried overnight in between wears! You could pack a full weeks worth but I prefer the extra room for extra goodies.)
I kept these really basic - two necklaces (one simple, one statement), two bags (one day, one night), and three pairs of shoes. Comfortable black flats will go with everything but I've added some (comfortable) heeled booties to dress up some outfits. As Britain gets a lot of rain, it's essential to bring a pair of wellies! These will be worn on the plane to save room in your bag. You can pick up a cute umbrella too once you arrive!
My departure outfit includes a good sized day bag (which carries travel documents, small makeup/toiletries bag, phone, a good book and other essentials - with some room left to spare) and the heaviest clothing items that I'd bring being worn on the plane. Leggings and a t-shirt are really comfortable for on the plane and the Chrysalis Cardi can easily double as a blanket if I get chilly!
A comfortable outfit for doing a double decker tour and sight seeing for the first day in England. I'd tuck the top into the skirt to keep things extra classy and carry along my essentials for the day in my oversized purse. Hello Britain!
An outfit that's perfect for going from the museum to a business brunch. I love history so the Victoria and Albert Museum is at the top of my list for this day, as well as the Tower of London. I've packed heels that are comfortable enough for a day of low-moderate walking and long sleeves should be enough to ward off the autumn breeze.
Another day of sightseeing - comfortable shoes a must! I've flipped our Chameleon skirt over to change up the colouring a bit and added a knit scarf layered over a cami. Rainboots would also work well with this look if we decide to take a trip to the country - and of course, my large day bag with the days essentials (Cardi included in case I need a scarf for extra warmth, and an umbrella!)
The perfect outfit for visiting a friend and doing some local shopping! We'd grab brunch at Borough Market (I'd like to try a meatpie!) followed by a tour of her hometown and doing some souvenir shopping (shopping list below).
A night on the town. My last day in London would include a tour of Westminister Abbey during the day, and a night at the Royal Opera House for a fine arts performance and dinner (Romeo and Juliet, anyone?) In just a few minutes our scarf has become a dress that's fit for a night at the opera - versatility at it's finest.
Returning Flight. Multiple layers and Dressy Sweatpants are key to a comfortable flight home. With the right packing techniques there should be just enough room for everything we originally packed as well as all the souvenirs from the list below. Long live Britannia!
Shopping list to bring home:
A made in Britain knitted jumper, A Union Jack notebook (I have a notebook addiction! Perfect for jotting down random thoughts and ideas on the go), a tartan wool blanket, knitted socks, English biscuits and a box or two of tea to share with friends back home. Between the extra room in my day bag and carry on - there should be just enough room for these British beauties!
Note: This is only 7 outfits out of 14+ combinations I came up. It'd be easy to extend the trip for another week (or two!) with some mixing and matching.
How many outfits can you put together from our list? Get creative!