If you want to walk the walk and talk the talk like a Londoner, then you need to dress like a Londoner. Though there is a lot to be said for style and trends, the major way to get that London-look is rooted in knowing where to shop. That way, you can keep in line with your own style and preferences while picking items that are guaranteed to help you look the part in the big smoke. There are also, of course, a number of items you will need to, which many London retail outlets are famous for.
If you hear the words “London” and “fashion” in the same sentence, you can expect to hear “Oxford Street” popping up further along in that sentence or conversation. In the same way that you will find an abundance of 4 star hotels in Central London, you will find all the high-street shopping outlets you could hope for on Oxford Street.
You will find Oxford Street in the City of Westminster, in London’s bustling West End, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe’s most well-visiting shopping district and has more than 300 shops to choose from. Here are some key shops to visit to get that London-look you are after:
This Grade II listed retail premises was designed by Daniel Burnham for Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909 and is today both a beacon of designer clothing as well as one of London’s most famous department stores. It is home to brands such as Gucci, Longchamp, Prada, Saint Laurent and many more of this iconic variety. Need a watch? Cartier. A sparkling new set of earrings? Tiffany & Co. To look like a Londoner, you need to smell like one, too – so head to the beauty section and let either Dior or Tom Ford.
Address: 400 Oxford Street
You can’t walk the walk without the best shoes on. Aldo sells men and women’s shoes in all shapes and sizes – the binding factor being that they are all made from ethically sourced, high-quality resources. It was established in 1972 by founder Aldo Bensadoun – also known as Mr. B and is steeped in history and brand-based gravitas. Aldo is also the first fashion footwear and accessories company in the world to be certifiably ‘climate neutral’.
Address: 184-188 Oxford Street
372 Oxford Street
House of Fraser, 318 Oxford Street
Another of Oxford Street’s killer department stores is Flannels, a luxury fashion clothing, shoes and accessories outlet for men and women who like to keep things sleek and classy. Any item from Flannels transforms you from tourist to local. If you have maximised on budget accommodation in London, then there is no holding you back once you set your eyes on the contemporary designer brands in store.
Address: 161-167 Oxford St
Running perpendicularly to Oxford Street, Regent Street is yet another of the area’s gems for shopping and fashion with several flagship stores shining out like pillars of the world of fashion. It was named after The Prince Regent and was established under the guidance of the famed architect John Nash and James Burton, who are responsible for so much of London’s great architecture.
If you want to look like a Londoner, one of the easiest ways to achieve that is by donning an unmistakably, quintessentially British wax cotton Barbour jacket, like so many celebrities throughout the years. Since 1894, Barbour has been designing, manufacturing and marketing luxury waxed cotton clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and children.
Address: 73-77 Regent Street
If you are hoping to nail that fresh-off-the-tube, London-city-slicker look, you are going to need a classic Burberry trench coat and scarf. The scarf is an image of UK-chic, with its unique, beloved beige pattern and unfathomably soft cashmere material. If you would rather another item of their clothing, anything containing their checked pattern will do as making sure you look like a regular Londoner. Everything they sell is of the highest quality and items from Burberry are the kind of possessions that will last you a lifetime if treated with proper care.
Address: 121 Regent Street
Honestly, if you found yourself in a Barbour jacket, with a Burberry scarf and a pair of Hunter wellington boots, you would look like you have been dropped straight from the English countryside onto the streets of London. You would, however, also look a little out of place. The happy medium comes in the form of the original Chelsea ankle boots which incorporate high-fashion, luxury branding, undeniable comfort and just a smidge of countryside-glam.
Address: 83 – 85 Regent Street
Harrods Department store on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge is the most famous department store in the world. It is so famous that even just a trip there, without the intention to buy anything, would be worth your while. However, if you want to dress like a Londoner, then shopping is certainly encouraged. You could pick yourself up a pair of trainers from Adidas Originals – this is almost a comfort-mandate if you intend on doing most of London by walking. If you don’t have the chance to head to Regent Street, you will find boutique Barbour, Burberry and Hunter here, too. The directory of shops is so extensive that you might find yourself questioning how it could all possibly fit under one roof – you will soon realise on arrival, between lifts, escalators and seven floors, that the 90,000 square metres of space is fitting for its 330 departments.
Address: 87-135 Brompton Road
Though you have got a lot on your plate when it comes to selecting the right items for you, you can rest easy knowing where to shop is not something you have to worry about. Just follow this shopping guide and you are en route to success. Strutting out the Grand Royal Hotel London has never been so glamourous – make sure you have plenty of room in your suitcase!