Wondering what to wear in London in August? In this guide we will tell you how to look stylish in London in the summer for the heat, sightseeing and more.
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Weather in London in August
August is peak season in London and crowds and temperatures are at their highest. As such you need to pack for being comfortable in the heat and the crowds.
But what sort of temperatures can you expect in London in August?
How hot is London in August?
Although not the hottest month in London, that honor goes to July, August is till pretty hot. Most days you can expect temperatures above 20C (low 70s). However at the end of the month the temperatures tend to hover around 22-23C (mid 70F) in the afternoon.
And it is not unheard of for the mercury to reach 28-30C (mid 80sF) on some days during this month.
Therefore it is important to pack light and breathable fabrics if you are visiting during this month. But remember if your visit covers two months be sure to check out our other London monthly guides. The weather does change in London month to month, and you never known when there are some special events that do require at alteration to the dress code.
Is it rainy in London in August?
London can be rainy whatever month you visit. And although August is one of the hottest months of the year it is still likely you will experience some rain during your visit.
Typically there is c.50mm of rainfall in August which is spread across 13 days. However the temperature doesn’t usually drop too much with the rain so you shouldn’t be concerned with brining thick waterproof wear with you.
A light jacket and umbrella should suffice.
How do Locals Dress in London In August
There are two things that all Londoners know. Firstly that the city can get stifling hot in summer, especially as few places in London have air conditioning. And secondly that keeping a compact umbrella in your bag is always a good idea no matter the season.
As such you are likely to see lots of warm weather attire. However it is worth noting that as a multicultural and relatively casual city you will find that this presents itself in many different ways. For instance I tend to opt for loose flowing maxi and midi dresses while you will also see shorts and crop tops on those in the city for leisure rather than business purposes.
Therefore you can dress however you feel most comfortable for the heat.
Note: if you are traveling to other cities and regions in the UK be sure to check out our other monthly guides:
- What to wear in the Cotswolds
- What to wear in Cornwall
- What to wear in Oxford
London Dress Codes to be Aware of
Contrary to popular belief, not many places in London actually have strict dress codes. The four main places you may be worrried about a dress code are:
- religious settings
- fine dining restaurants and
- at afternoon tea.
And the truth is that some of these places do have dress codes and some do not.
For instance not many churches in London have dress codes. St Pauls Cathedral and Westminster Abbey for instance. This always surprises me as the Vatican City in Italy and the Sagrada Familia in Spain have very strict dress codes. However we do recommend you being modest in these places out of respect even if there isn’t a specific dress code that is enforced.
Another place that people worry about dress code in London is in the theatre. While some people do dress up to go to London theatre shows, you will also see people in more formal wear or even in fancy dress dependent on the show many people will wear casual attire. For this reason we say dress how you are comfortable and to suit the rest of your day’s itinerary. But for a full guide on what to wear to London theatre shows check out this more in-depth guid.
So lastly we will look at restaurants and high tea. The truth is that some of the higher end and Michelin Starred restaurants in London will have dress codes.
Some of these have a smart casual dress code so it is worth checking out our what to wear to dinner in London guide as well as your chosen restaurant to check you comply.
Afternoon tea is also a place where you can expect dress codes to be enforced where one is stipulated. For a full guide on what to wear to afternoon tea in London for specific location dress codes as well as outfit inspiration for every season.
Considerations for London August Packing List
Before we get onto the exact items to pack for London in August, it is worth pointing our some key considerations such as:
Cottons, linens and silks are all natural fabrics. Natural fabrics opposed to man made fabrics cope better in hotter temperatures. You will be cooler and will sweat less in natural fabrics so we recommend packing these types of fabrics if you are visiting during the summer months.
Nothing that Drags on the Floor
Though any visit to London will inevitably involve a lot of walking you will also spend a good deal of time travel on public transport such as the London Underground.
Few stations on the underground have lists and require escalator access. For this reason we recommend sticking to midi and shorter dresses and skirts to prevent the risk of your bottoms being caught in the mechanism.
If you like me prefer maxi dresses however just be sure to check that they do not drag on the floor.
What to wear in London in August
So now you know what to expect from the weather, what should you wear in London in August?
What to wear in London in August for women
Skirts and dresses
Although August is not the hottest month, it is one of them. Therefore I recommend packing lots of summer skirts and summer dresses for London at this time of year.
And due to the range of styles and fashion you tend to see in London you can choose the style and length you feel most comfy in.
Skirts and dresses also work for day and night in London and can be easily dressed up or down to meet dress code requirements.
If skirts and dresses aren’t your thing then trousers are a great choice. Personally I rarely wear jeans in London in August as I find it too hot.
For this reason I recommend packing looser fitting linen and cotton trousers instead. However if you want to wear jeans then there is no reason why you can’t from a dress code point of view.
You won’t find many locals wearing shorts into the office. However you will find that locals and international tourist will wear shorts while sightseeing.
Coats are not required in London in the summer. However a jacket is always a good idea.
Any style of jacket will do but you can never go wrong with a denim jackets in London in summer.
Loose blouses are perfect for London in the summer for both sightseeing and going out to dinner. They can be dressed up or down for night and day, and work in almost all venues that you will be visiting.
I don’t think I every visit London without a t shirt on the packing list. For summer we recommend short sleeve versions. But feel free to express yourself in whatever way you please as you will see plain, patterned, graphic and slogan tees on the streets of London.
I don’t think any of my European packing lists don’t have a pashmina on. For me they are the numebr one travel accessory. It can act as a scarf to dress or a a more casual outfit but is a useful extra layer on cooler nights and days.
PJs or Nightie
Lightweight pyjamas and nighties are an essential for anywhere in England in summer. Only a limited number of British hotels, airbnbs and holiday rentals will have air conditioning so you will want lightweight nightwear and loungewear with you just in case your accommodation falls into this category.
The sun can be bright in London so I definitely wouldn’t go in Augsut without a pair of shades that offers good UV protection.
Underwear and Socks
Goes without saying.
Top Tip: We recommend packing sneaker socks and some odour eaters if you have room in your case just in case your feet do get sweaty when wearing sneakers to sightsee around the city. There is nothing worse than stinky and sweaty shoes.
What to Wear in London in August Packing List for Men
For men visiting London in August we recommend adding the following items to your packing list:
- A Mixture of long and short sleeve t shirts for day time and night are perfect for August. Polo shirts are also good in London for very warm nights in London.
- Shirts – mix of long and short sleeves is perfect for this time of year.
- Trousers – we recommend selecting natural fabrics such as cottons and linen. Jeans can be too hot for the day however can be good for evenings in August.
- Blazer / Linen Jacket – perfect for smarter restaurants in London where you may need a jacket such as high end afternoon teas.
- Smarter Pair of Shoes for dinner
Best Shoes for London in August
Sneakers are my number one shoe for London. Both locals and tourist will wear sneakers in the city and you will all many of styles from bright white, sports trainers to more fashion sneakers. My advice is to wear whatever is your most comfortable pair for walking.
London is quite a casual city and any trip to London will involve a lot of walking a lot around the city. And as a historic city you will find there are lots of cobbles and uneven walkways in older parts of the city as well as stairs and escalators to contend with on public transport. For this reason I recommend wearing sneakers on most days in London.
However please note that some of the more upscale restaurants will not allow sneakers / trainers so do check your restaurant dress code. Also it is common for nightclubs in London to say no sneakers.
If you want to know what to wear in London at night check out this post.
For this reason I tend to wear sandals in London in summer.
Sandals are great for London in August. They are suitable for more upscale restaurants and if you pick a pair with good arch support are good for walking in the heat.
If you want a shoe with height in London wedges are the best bet. They cope well with cobbles and won’t get caught in escalators better than thin heeled sandals.
Also it is worth mentioning that stilettos are definitely on my what not to wear in London list because they are a hazard on escalators and cobbles.
What to Pack for London in August (Non Clothing)
Now you know the clothes you should bring to London what else should you pack for visiting this amazing city in Summer?
We recommend packing the below of London in August:
- Compact UMbrella – essential for any month in London.
- Sun Screen
- Aloe Vera / Aftersun
- Charging Equipment
- Battery Pack
- Travel Adaptor for electronics
- Crossbody Bag – anti theft type.
August: if you have room in your suitcase then you can bring toiletries with you. However toiletries are very easy to buy in London in supermarkets such as Tescos and Sainsburys of which there are many express versions across the city or the beauty chains such as Superdrug and Boots. For this reason we would leaving the toiletries at home and buying them on arrival to save on space in your suitcase.
What to wear in London in August FAQs
Do I need coat in London in August?
Given the weather in London in August you shouldn’t need a coat. However you can get cooler days and even cooler evenings even in August.
For this reason we recommend bringing a jacket with you for London in August. Feel free to bring any style you like but you will see many denim jackets in London this time. Leather tends to be too hot in summer in London.
Do you need a raincoat for London in August?
London isn’t overly rainy in August but you are likely to see some on your vacation. The good news is that it probably won’t be bad enough to warrant bringing a raincoat with you. When I am in London in August I tend to rely on my good old trusty travel umbrella.
Do I need swimwear in London in August?
You will only need to bring swimwear to London in August if any of the following applies to your and the rest of your vacation itienrary:
- you are staying at a London hotel with a pool (there aren’t that many) – our favourite one that does have a pool is One Aldwych. The pool plays music when you swim underwater. Check before travel if your hotel has this amenity and if it is open at time of travel
- you plan on visiting a lido in London to go outdoor swimming – my favorite one is at Hampstead Heath.
- you are traveling to another place in the UK or abroad where you have access to the pool or are going to the coast such as Brighton, Bournemouth or Cornwall.
If none of these things apply to you then you should be safe to leave the swimwear at home.
Do you have any questions about what to wear in London in August that we haven’t answered here? Then pop us a comment below and we will do our best to answer them.