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What I Wore in London and Answers to Your Questions

September 1, 2023

Happy Friday! Instead of sharing what I wore this past week, I’m providing a glimpse into what I wore on my recent trip to London. And I’ll also answer the reader questions I received about my trip. My week in London with Walkabout Tours was such a meaningful and lovely week!

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How This Works

These are my real life outfits from my own closet. Many of these things are available, but some may not be. When I can locate one quickly I’ll share substitutes and/or more economical options. But if I don’t provide one and you’d like for me to, just ask.

All available items are linked in the captions of the photos. Even if they don’t look like links (sometimes they don’t highlight for some reason), they generally are. So just click through if you’re interested.

A Little Background About My Trip to London

I traveled to London with a dear friend whom I’ve known since seventh grade. But we joined up with my friend Shelly Wildman, who leads Walkabout Tours, and four other women we’d met only on Zoom calls. As the Lord ordained it, the seven of us had much in common and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Shelly puts together small travel groups for women who want to or need to travel alone, and all of her trips include a meaningful spiritual journey (Christian) as well as well-planned and executed touring opportunities. If you’d like to learn more about Shelly and what she offers, I suggest you start with this blog post.

I’ll answer reader questions about my trip as I share my daily outfits from the tour.

What I Wore for My Travel Day

I wanted my travel day outfit to be comfortable, but also to look classy. I packed two pairs of shoes and wore my heaviest or bulkiest pair.

Travel Photo
top // travel pants // no-show socks // sneakers // necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // suitcase // carryon tote // trench coat (in carry-on)

Reader Question: Did you get jetlag? I’d love to know how you handled flying such a long distance.

My Answer: Shelly shared in a pre-trip Zoom call that she takes a melatonin supplement each night for a few nights leading up to an overseas trip. She also takes one right after getting on the plane to fly overseas so that she can sleep on the trip. (We all flew out from separate places on Friday night and arrived Saturday morning.) Then she takes one more melatonin the first night at her new destination. I followed that regimen and it worked really well for me.

I slept as much as I could in a regular coach fare seat on the journey over. But I think the thing that helped me the most was using a black out sleeping mask on the trip. This sleep mask was very comfortable, but it gave me a real black-out effect so that my body’s circadian rhythm could reset. Once we arrived in London on Saturday morning, I got some coffee and we all got out for a good walk in fresh air and sunshine. I didn’t have any trouble with jetlag on the way over.

Travel Day
top // travel pants // no-show socks // sneakers // necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // suitcase // carryon tote // trench coat (in carry-on)

Coming home was a little different. We needed to stay away for the full 8 hour trip. I think I allowed myself a little nap at the beginning of the journey, but stayed away after that. I didn’t arrive home until late, so I was able to go to bed as soon as I got home. I did awaken fairly early the next morning at 5 a.m. (London is five hours ahead of Cincinnati), but I was fine with that. All this week I’ve felt like it is later than it really is. But other than that I’ve not really been tired.

I think the keys were:

  • the melatonin supplement regimen (we took 5 mg)
  • the sleep mask for the overnight journey
  • staying awake the day of arrival
  • getting sunshine the day of arrival
  • taking a good walk the day of arrival
  • staying awake on the daytime journey home
  • patience (“They” say it takes one day for every one hour time difference to recover fully.)

What I Wore After Arriving

When we arrived in London, Shelly had a car to pick up me and my friend Candy, along with one of the other travelers who arrived just before us. The others came in a separate car a little later. We got familiar with the lovely, spacious home Shelly had rented for us in Hampton Court, about a 25 minute train ride from central London. Then I took a shower and freshened up a bit. Once everyone had arrived and freshened up, we walked the short half mile or so to the little town for lunch at a local pub.

What I Wore After Arriving
top // cotton ankle pants // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // Naot Whetu water resistant sandals

The weather was picture perfect almost our entire 8-day stay. The temperatures were in the 60s to 70s, with maybe one spike to 81 degrees, and we had only scattered showers one day. So the clothes I had packed all worked perfectly for me. But I only got to wear my trench coat one evening and the morning we left. And I never needed to wear the sweater I’d taken along just in case.

Reader Question: What did you pack that you didn’t wear or use?

My Answer: I had put so much research and thought into this trip, so I really didn’t take much that I didn’t use or wear. Like I said, I never needed the cardigan sweater I took along, but I could have worn it in place of the trench that one evening. Otherwise, I wore all the clothes I packed. You can see my full packing list in this previous blog post.

I packed extra reading glasses and sunglasses (just in case I lost or broke mine), and I didn’t need them. Otherwise, I think I used absolutely everything I took.

What I Wore for a Walking Tour of London

Sunday our group journeyed into London via the overground train. Shelly had secured us all Oyster Cards, the transportation cards used for train, tube and bus in London, and we quickly learned to use them. Getting around London via their public transportation was easy and even somewhat fun. Everyone uses these modes of transportation, so it never felt scary. One of Shelly’s goals is to help her travelers learn the ropes so they can venture out on their own, as we all did on Thursday.

Most of our group on the overground train to London.
Most of our group on the overground train to London.
heart stripe tee // cotton ankle pants // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // Allsaints scarf (similar option) // Naot Whetu water resistant sandals

So Sunday we met up with a guide Shelly had arranged, and took a three hour walking tour of London. It was a lot of walking, but we were prepared for it. We got lunch at a pub, attended an afternoon Evensong service at Westminster Abbey and had a lovely dinner out before traveling back to our home for the week in Hampton Court.

Reader Question: Did you enjoy your Hobo crossbody bag? Did you see any of the sling bags being used? What do you think of those?

My Answer: I thoroughly enjoyed using my Hobo crossbody (and here). It was large enough to carry my small umbrella, my small wallet, my sunglasses and reading glasses, lipstick, mints, hand sanitizer and a snack. It was perfection and I’ll definitely use it again, even for everyday. I did see many people wearing the sling bags and I think they’re a great option. I do like that I can carry my bag as a crossbody, which I did almost always in London, or as a shoulder bag, but maybe you could do that with a sling, too.

What I Wore to Visit Windsor Castle & Tea

Monday Shelly had a driver take us to Windsor for the first part of the day, where we strolled the streets a bit and toured Windsor Castle. I highly recommend taking advantage of the many audio tours available at the historical attractions in London. But we also used private tour guides several times, and they were all invaluable and so enjoyable.

short sleeve button up // black utility pants // belt // sunglasses // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // low profile sock // grey tweed shoes (Use code KAYFLATS for savings on first pair of Ally flats)

After grabbing lunch on our own in Windsor, we all came back together and journeyed into London via the train. We strolled the streets of the area a bit and then had tea at Braserie Max in the Covent Garden Hotel. It was lovely!

Reader Question: How did your shoe choices work for you?

My Answer: I took three pairs of shoes to London: my On sneakers, my Naot Whetu water resistant sandals and my tweed Ally flats (Use code KAYFLATS for savings on first pair of Ally flats). I learned long ago that it’s always best to rotate between at least two pairs of shoes if you’re doing extensive walking on your travels. I mostly wore my sandals and sneakers on high walking days. But my Ally flats did well the one day I did wear them for touring. And I especially enjoyed having them for our final dinner out on Friday. Oh, and I did wear these socks with my flats and these with my sneakers. I think that was key. And I took my slippers to change into at the house and really enjoyed having them.

What I Wore to Oxford

It’s so hard to choose, but I think Tuesday in Oxford may have been my favorite day. The weather was glorious and the tours were among my favorites. I absolutely loved Oxford and have decided one of my few regrets in life is that I didn’t study there. Ha! As if! But before exploring Oxford, we toured the home of author, teacher and apologist C.S.Lewis. Wow!

cashmere sweater vest // white cotton tee // black utility pants // sunglasses // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // no-show socks // On Cloud 5 sneakers

I thought my cashmere sweater vest looked appropriately scholarly. Ha! This outfit served me so well that day.

The Kilns – the home of C.S.Lewis, author of Chronicles of Narnia and other classics.
The study in which Lewis would have written his books and essays
On Our Way to Turf Tavern in Oxford - In business since 1381!
On Our Way to Turf Tavern in Oxford – In business since 1381!
Fish & Chips at the Turf Tavern.
The Eagle and Child, where C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien and other members of the Ink Spots met each Tuesday for conversation.
The Eagle and Child, where C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien and other members of the Inklings met weekly for conversation.
Magdalene College at Oxford University, where C.S. Lewis was a teacher, lecturer and tutor, but never actually a professor
Magdalene College at Oxford University
Magdalene College at Oxford University
Magdalene College at Oxford University – the dining hall

Reader Question: Was it awkward traveling with women you didn’t know?

My Answer: Not at all. The group had met on Zoom three times prior to the trip. But also we all had one very important thing in common: we’re all Christians. And we knew going into the trip that each morning we would gather for a brief devotional time together with Shelly. Those were special times. But Shelly also peppered our meal times with thought-provoking questions that helped us get to know each other nicely, things like, “Who has mentored you?” and “What three words would your closest friends and family members use to describe you?” Everyone was just lovely. Most of us are in the same life stage, too. And everyone except Candy and me had their own bedrooms, and the two of us certainly didn’t mind sharing our spacious room with two twin beds.

What I Wore to the Globe

Wednesday we went back into the city to tour the Globe Theatre. Then we split up to do our own thing until meeting back up for dinner at Maggie Jones’s, which was shut down just a few days later because of a fire. This was the only day I wore jeans, so if I were to say there was anything I packed that I didn’t really need it might be these. Then again, if it had gotten colder I might would have worn them more.

jeans // similar tank // shirt // sandals // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody

Reader Question: What can you tell us about the fashions you saw in London? What were women wearing?

My Answer: Typically people dressed casually and weather-appropriate, but also a little nicer than here in the U.S. Not that they were dressed “fancy.” I just didn’t see anyone looking sloppy or dressed in sweat pants or pajamas or such, like you do sometimes see here.

That said, I was mostly in touristy areas, so I was undoubtedly seeing a lot of tourists like ourselves as well as Londoners. I did see A LOT of women in dresses with sneakers, just as I’d been told. Again, I’m sure most of those were either tourists or women out doing their shopping and such.

me and candy at maggie jones's
Candy and I are standing in front of Maggie Jones’s, where we had a lovely lamb dinner and the best bread pudding with custard sauce.
Inside Maggie Jones’s reminded me of something from a Dickens Novel.

What I Wore Touring Buckingham Palace

Thursday Candy and I slept in a little and then ventured into London on our own. The pace had been pretty fast the previous four days, so we welcomed the opportunity to take it easy that morning and then to take it slow rest of the day in town.

cashmere sweater vest // white cotton tee // cotton ankle pants // sunglasses // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // On Cloud 5 sneakers

I absolutely loved our tour of Buckingham Palace. We saw the royal mews (cars, horses and carriages), a special “dressing the Georgians” exhibit and the staterooms of the palace. The palace itself is magnificent, but we also had the treat of seeing a display of the coronation, with Camilla’s gown, the king’s attire, the thrown chairs and the Diamond Jubilee Carriage.

Later that afternoon Candy and I took a London cab to Liberty of London for a little shopping. I got the baby the prettiest dress and bloomers. (And no, that is not the price I paid. Ha!)

What I Wore to Tour Hampton Court Palace

And our final full day in Britain was spent right there in Hampton Court. I loved that we stayed in this little bedroom village. It had a bustling but quaint little downtown area and beautiful homes. And within walking distance we could visit the Hampton Court Palace, originally commissioned by Henry VIII. It was amazing to visit such old castles.

button down // tank // black utility pants // sunglasses // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // Naot Whetu water resistant sandals

Reader Question: I noticed you stayed outside of London. Did you like that and would you recommnd it?

My Answer: I did love where we stayed. It felt nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city some. We were in an Airbnb in Hampton Court or, more specifically, Molesey. And it was so easy to get in and out of the city with their public transportation, which was all clean and felt very safe. Shelly says it was definitely cheaper to get a large house in that area (ours had 6 bedrooms) than it would have been in the city. But if you’re traveling alone (or as a couple), you could probably get a hotel room for a good price. If you’d like to stay in London, Shelly recommends hotels in the Firmdale group and says the Lime Tree is her favorite.

Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle
Hampton Court Castle
Candy and me at Hampton Court Castle

That evening we had dinner at a lovely French restaurant there in Molesey. So I changed into a clean top, my travel pants and my flats with my trench coat and scarf. I really don’t remember what I top I wore, but it was cleaner than the one I’d worn that day. Ha!

probably this top // pants // shoes // trench // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // scarf (similar)

What I Wore to Travel Home

When Saturday arrived I had such mixed feelings. I could have tacked on a few days to my trip and explored some more, but opted to wait until James could join me for that. But it was hard leaving London, despite the fact that I was pretty exhausted by that point. So in the end, I was glad to be going home.

heart stripe tee // trench coat // black pants //sunglasses // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // no-show socks // On Cloud 5 sneakers // Allsaints scarf (similar option)

It had turned chilly that morning, so it was nice to have my trench coat to wear to the airport. I was able to easily put it in my carryon once we got to the gate. For information about what I packed as far as toiletries, cosmetics and other travel essentials, see this previous post.

heart stripe tee // black pants // Lagos necklace // bracelet // earrings // Allsaints scarf (similar option) // crossbody // no-show socks // On Cloud 5 sneakers

Well, that’s a wrap! I tried to keep track of all the questions that came in (there were a lot of duplicates, of course), but if I neglected to answer yours, just ask again in the comments and I’ll definitely reply. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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Blessed for My Day

Each morning we began our day in London with a group devotional led by Shelly. On the first day our theme was kings and kingdoms. She reminded us that while we would be hearing about and visiting the castles of kings, we serve a greater King, the One who is King of kings and Lord of lords. During our week I thought a lot about what it must be like to be a king or queen, especially in our modern world. It goes without saying that through the centuries there have been both good monarchs and bad ones.

But it did my heart such good to remember that even the king’s heart is like a channel of water in the hand of the Lord. Our God alone is sovereign and He has ruled throughout the generations. He is worthy of our devotion, our reverence and our awe.

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes. ~ Proverbs 21:1

xoxo, Kay
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26 thoughts on “What I Wore in London and Answers to Your Questions

    1. No, she considers her tours a ministry to women. Maybe that could change someday. But for now it’s just women.

    2. Hi Cheryl! Thanks for asking, but Kay is right. For now, I feel led to lead tours for women only. But who knows? That could change in the future. Stay tuned!

  1. I am very interested in the Nato sandals you are wearing, but every link takes me to the Ally flats instead. Please include a corrected link.

  2. Kay, thank you so much for this blog about your London trip. The photos were wonderful, and you always looked both polished and comfortable. I’m glad you and the other ladies had such an enjoyable trip. I am a member of the Barbara Pym Society (she is my favorite novelist), and the Society holds a meeting in Oxford every September at Saint Hilda’s College. I hope to attend next year and combine it with a trip to London. You really whetted my appetite for the trip. Thanks again, Judy B.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post–combined “What I Wore” and Trip Report 🙂 You had such a lovely trip! Thanks for all the details.

  4. Your photographs are wonderful! I read all 7 volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia to my children and I would live to visit the home of C. S. Lewis. It looks beautiful.

  5. Great post. Good info. I was wondering about your carry-on suitcase choice and what you like about it that makes it worth the price.

    1. Hi Nina, Thanks. I do have both the medium and smaller Away bags, and I really like both of them. I think I probably could have done just as well with the smaller bag. They are constructed a little differently. The smaller one really is a carry-on tote, while the medium is more for packing some clothes for a couple of nights. They are very sturdy and wipe clean easily. I like that they have side straps that fit over the handle of my suitcase nicely for moving around the airport. And I did use the shoulder strap on my return voyage, and it worked nicely. They have nice compartments and are just easy to get into.

  6. I’m packing for an 18 day trip to Italy and this post really inspired me to go with the neutrals. Also the shoe issue (problem?) is such a dilemma that I am so happy people are wearing comfy sneakers nowadays. I have been a CS Lewis fan for a number of years. There are a few films about him on, I think, Netflix but also a wonderful fiction read by Patti Callahan “Becoming Mrs Lewis” totally captivated me.

    1. Hmm. I’ll have to read that one. Sounds good! My son and daughter-in-law are in Italy right now, and they texted this morning that they had already done 18,000 steps and still had a good 2,000 to go before the day’s end.

  7. A most enjoyable read. Kay, you look so fresh and young in the photos. Your choices of clothing were perfect for the trip. I loved all the photos including the places you visited. Thank you so much!

  8. Thanks for all the details of your trip! Sounds like so much fun. I can’t imagine going on an 8 day trip with a carry on and a roller bag! I just got an AWAY medium suitcase and I had an AWAY small tote. I think you said your AWAY tote is the medium. I returned the small because I just didn’t like the way it opens and what it holds. My question is do you like your AWAY tote? And was it heavy to carry? I prefer a very small rolling tote so I don’t have to carry a big bag. I would love to hear your experience as you said you checked your roller bag on the return trip so you had to carry your bag. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Debbie, that was the one thing I didn’t like about checking a bag on the way home – it meant I had to carry my tote on my shoulder and it was definitely more cumbersome that way, but still manageable. I do like the bag. But I definitely prefer being able to situate it on the roller bag for moving through the airport.

  9. Thank you for sharing your adventure. We are planning to go to the UK next fall and I’m going to refer to your blog for some really good info! PLUS, I enjoyed seeing the places you visited and your outfits. I totally understand how you packed and why you packed what you did. Superb clothes coordination. You looked fabulous!!

  10. Thanks for saying that you hope I have a blessed day. May seem small but gone thru a lot with my husband in the hospital lately. Just felt good to hear those words from you. Great you went to see
    C.S.Lewis’ home. Could have been a witness to those holding down that fort. That Christians are still wanting to see this Christian man’s home. God bless you.

  11. Wowza! Those black Talbots travel pants are $36 today!, i usually take a small but I was tempted to also get a medium just in case I want to gain a little weight 😜

  12. I am so happy to hear that you were able to see C.S. Lewis’s home; he has always been family favorite! My husband and I read all the Narnia books to our son at a very young age and he just loved them. As a young adult he re-read them on his own and enjoyed the even more. Thank you for sharing some of your trip with us; I am so happy that you enjoyed your trip with like minded women.

  13. What a beautiful trip you had Kay! So pretty and hope to see all of it someday myself. Looks like you have made some new friends and dressed perfectly each day. I would be dragging after such a long travel and time change but well with it! Enjoyed this post soo much !

  14. Thank you so much for the gorgeous photos of your trip! Makes me want to follow in your footsteps! Especially loved the pictures of C.S. Lewis’ home. I have watched the three Narnia movies with my 6-year-old granddaughter, and now we need to start on the books. You look fabulous, as always.

  15. What a FANTASTIC recap of our week in London, Kay! I’m so glad you enjoyed our time there. I, too, will remember our time together for a long time–such a happy week! I especially loved how you embraced everything we did and became a seasoned and unintimidated traveler so quickly. Great job!

    Kay said it would be OK for me to invite any of you along on our 2024 tours. Feel free to check them out at 🙂

  16. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your wonderful trip – I feel like I just took a mini-vacation! I especially enjoyed seeing C.S. Lewis’ study and home – my Bible study group watched a film about him this summer called “The Most Reluctant Convert” which was very good. Glad you had a good trip and are back to help us figure out what to wear – sometimes I worry it is vain to worry about what to wear, but without a plan we can just grab at things and actually waste money because we have not figured out what we actually will need and use.

  17. Thanks for a lovely London recap. My husband and I were expats living there (about 30 minutes outside of London) for 2 years. We brought most of our guests that came to visit to Hampton Court…it’s one of my favorite places! Your trip sounds like it was just fabulous!

  18. Hi Kay , so pleased you enjoyed your trip to London , We are so proud of our Capital City , my husband and I visit every other year we love it , and so pleased you saw all the really lovely sights and Molesey is a beautiful village to stay in or visit, and Shelley’s Tours sound really fantastic for women travelling alone and how well she looked after you ladies , what a beautiful start to your tour days having a morning Devotional, so uplifting too.
    Kay you really cracked it with your choice of outfits , even with them being Casual Style you looked Beautiful, Classy and Chic but more importantly you looked like you were comfortable too. Thank you so much for all your inspiring blogs and all your hard work helping us ladies to look and feel good dressing for our day. You’re a Star 🌟.
    P.S Your hair looks beautiful ( it always does whichever style you choose) in that shorter Bob Style ♥️

  19. “Probably this shirt” 😂 I recently purchased the Talbots crop travel pant at a great sale price after having my eye on them for months. I love seeing how you dressed them up for your French restaurant outing. This Blessed for My Day is right on target. Thanks for all your hard work on these England posts. I’m pinning the whole posts for future travel reference!