What to Wear in London in April

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Plan what to wear in London for your visit in April or any time during the spring. Learn about the best choice for coat and shoes and how to dress appropriately for men, women, and teens.

The photo collage shows several outfits to wear in London.

As the Chief Wardrobe Shopper for my entire family, the #1 most stressful thing for me in the weeks leading up to our 6 days in London was what kind of clothing to pack for my husband, teen girls, and myself.

Now that our trip is over, I have the best recommendations for what to wear in London in April if you’re planning a spring break trip like we did.

Before you dig in on the recommendations below, let me comfort you with this thought:

The #1 most important consideration is your jacket. You’ll be wearing it for most of the trip and it is what will show up in almost all of your pictures.

What you wear underneath will keep you comfortable, but most times no one will even see it.

What to Know about London in April

We were very lucky for our visit. The weather ran between 40°F – 75°F most days of the trip.

The mornings were always quite cold but by afternoon it always warmed up.

It hardly rained at all during our visit, just a tiny drizzle for a few moments. However, it was grey and overcast most of each day which kept things quite cool.

Sometimes the sun would come out, so sunglasses will still be important to pack.

However, we were lucky. Typically springtime in London is the rainy season and we’ve heard stories of families that had downpours every day of their trip.

So rain is absolutely a strong consideration when planning what to wear.

Rain Coat

If I had to pack for London all over again and I was only allowed to bring one outer coat, hands down without a doubt, I’d be buying a high-quality rain coat.

April in London can be chilly but you can always warm up with an extra layer. Add a sweater under your raincoat and maybe a scarf and hat if you’re extra chilly. You’ll do so much walking, you’ll warm up as you tour around.

However if it rains, you’ll be so grateful to be kept dry by a nice quality rain coat. If it has a hood, you can even avoid using an umbrella.

We spotted so many classic trench coats during our trip that at one point even my husband noticed and commented on it. If you really want to fit in, buy a classic tan trench coat like this:

Trench Coat
A classic stone colored trench coat in midi length with metal trim, shoulder epaulets, and slanted welt pockets. The coat features sleeve straps and a belt.
A woman in a long trench coat with an umbrella

Winter Coat

I was so anxious about our trip, that I actually packed a rain coat and an insulated winter coat just in case.

I wore both coats over the course of the week, but only chose the winter coat twice. I found that with all the walking we were doing, I got hot way too quickly and was desperate to take my jacket off whenever I got the chance.

I vastly preferred to err on the side of being a little chilly but dry.

The temps during our trip did some times dip down to 40°F so if you do want to bring a winter coat just in case, I recommend a lightweight packable insulated coat with a hood like this one:

Puffer Coat
A water-resistant, insulated, packable jacket with a hood. Choose a size large enough for you to layer a sweater underneath.
The author stands by a classic red phone booth in London.

Excellent Walking Shoes

This is going to be a very personal preference, but our London itinerary had us walking anywhere between 20,000 – 30,000 steps every single day.

You should definitely wear a shoe that is comfortable enough to get you through the day. Bonus points if those shoes are also waterproof in case it rains.

Personally, I do not find boots comfy enough for seriously walking like we did.

We spotted tennis shoes, or trainers, on pretty much every person we passed during our adventures. So if the most comfortable shoes you own happen to also be athletic shoes, go ahead and wear them.

My teen girls and I all wore clean, nice looking tennis shoes.

My husband purchased a pair of black waterproof hiking shoes. By the end of the week, he was complaining about his feet hurting which isn’t usual for him. I think tennis shoes would have been a better option for him, too.

Flat Cap

A man wearing a freshly bought cap from a local hat shop.

My husband’s souvenir from the trip was a handmade flat cap from a local shop.

He wears his hair very clean-cut and short, so he found that the hat helped him stay much warmer during the cooler temps.

If you have one, pack it. If not, plan to buy one as a special treat!

Dark Pants

Big city dwellers already know the benefits of wearing darker clothing but just in case this is your first trip to a city of this size, know that darker jeans or black pants are excellent picks for your London wardrobe.

Not only will they keep you warm outside and be flattering to wear, but they disguise any dirt or spills that occur throughout the day.

I brought a few pairs of navy pants and some jeans for myself.

The kids brought cargo pants, jeans, and black dress pants. I told them to pack “real pants” and not athletic leggings for this trip since we’d be visiting churches, museums, and nicer restaurants.

My husband mostly wore jeans and a pair of darker dress pants for Easter Sunday.

A family of four stands in front of the Tower Bridge in London.

Cozy Tops

The weather and temperature shifted greatly as the day progressed.

When there was sunshine in the afternoons and we were walking, it was quite warm. But the mornings were darker, chilly, and often a little drizzly.

London is all about layers. Bring a nice variety of options including:

  • Short Sleeved Shirts: I packed layering basics like white tees, etc.
  • Cardigan Sweaters: Easy to take off when it gets too warm.
  • Thinner Long-Sleeved Sweater Tops: I had some nicer tops that looked like sweaters but were quite thin and kept me from getting too hot. I found these most comfy to wear under my jackets.
  • Thicker Sweaters: For super-chilly days, you may prefer a shirt plus thicker sweater if you plan to use your rain coat instead of a winter coat.
Mom and daughter wearing pink and white striped sweaters.
My daughter and I “twinning” by accident in our pink striped sweaters.

For my teen girls, I did allow them to pack a couple of their nicer looking hoodies. They were grateful to have them when it got chilly.

A man in a cap on the train.

My husband wore a crazy amount of layers. He dressed in this order:

  1. Short sleeved t-shirt
  2. Nicer looking quarter-zip sweater
  3. Safety vest
  4. Rain coat
  5. Jeans
  6. Flat cap

This was his uniform for almost every day of the trip.


Other items you shouldn’t forget to pack include:

  • Sunglasses
  • Warm Hat
  • Scarf
  • Jewelry and/or Watch

Backpack or Crossbody Bag

I wore a mini backpack all week long, and like most moms, ended up the family pack mule.

One daughter did wear a small crossbody bag to keep her sunglasses and phone in.

My husband just used the millions of pockets on his safety vest in lieu of a bag.

What NOT to Wear

Our personal family rule is to dress respectfully for the places we plan to visit. This is especially important if you plan to tour inside a cathedral or place of business like Parliament.

That said, we saw outfits of all kinds during our visit and the biggest surprise for me was how casual everyone was dressed on Easter Sunday.

I expected Easter dresses, high heels, and fascinators on the ladies and was so worried I’d stand out in my pants and a sweater.

Pretty much everyone at Westminster Abbey services was dressed exactly like me. Most people kept their jackets on the entire time because the church was so cold so we couldn’t really see their outfits anyway!

The one thing I strongly recommend not bringing from home is an umbrella. You’ll find them all across London if you decide you want one, but the sidewalks can get very crowded and you’ll be far better off with a rain jacket with a hood.

The photo collage shows several outfits to wear in London.

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