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What to wear in London in January

What to wear in London in January

Wondering what to wear in London in January? In this roundup we will guide you through everything you need to know for visiting London in Winter including what to pack for London in January for the weather, dress codes and more.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Weather in London in January 

The weather in London is notorious for being changeable no matter what time of year you are visiting, but this is especially true in in January. London in January is definitely still experiencing mid-winter and January is often the coldest month in the city. But how cold is London in January?

How cold is London in January?

View of Tower of London and the shard in London in January
What to pack for London in January

In answer to how cold is London in January I would say pretty cold. In fact January often gets the title of the coldest month in London with the average daily temperatures usually hovering between
9°C/48.2F and 4°C/39.4F.

Looking at these temperatures you can see that lots of light layers are the key to successfully packing for London in Winter as well as having a warm Winter coat.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

Is it rainy in London in January?

What to Wear to dinner in London

Although London can be rainy whenever you visit, January is actually one of the rainier month with usually around half the days of the month experiencing some rainfall.

Therefore you will definitely want some waterproof layers and some waterproof shoes as well as a compact travel umbrella.

Does it Snow in London in January? 

Yes, in fact it can snow in London in January though it is not the snowiest month (this honor usually (but not always falls to February). Now for snow to settle in London is a rare occurrence but you will get some. In fact you will usually see around 3 days of snow in London in January though it will usually be mixed in with rain and fall as sleet. And usually it will just dust the streets rather than being deep.

Note: if you want more specific guidance on specific winter weather in London check out our monthly posts:

What do locals wear in London in January?

Locals in London are firmly wearing their Winter capsule wardrobe in January. And as with any month you will find that Londoners tend to be practical in their dress sense. But don’t mistake practical and casual as not being stylish.

And no Londoner will ever leave the house without a compact umbrella. Also given the heat on the London Underground no matter the month, it is worth having lots of light layers which are easy to put on and off as you are traveling around the city.

Tip: Want to skip queues in London? we recommend buying your London attraction tickets in advance with skip the line access for some of the most popular attractions such as the Tower of London, London Eye and Cabinet War Rooms to name but a few. Even though the crowds are at their lowest in January, no one wants to be queuing outside attractions in the cold or rain.

What to wear in London in January 

But before we get onto the specifics of what to wear in London in Winter for women and men, we wanted to reiterate that we think it is a great idea to pack a capsule wardrobe.

It means you are less likely to lose your luggage when traveling and prevents you from overpacking. For help in packing a capsule wardrobe check out these posts:

What to wear in London in January for women

Woman in London in January wearing winter clothes in front of big ben and houses of parliament
what to wear in London in January


In Janaury you are definitely going to want a warm coat that has some insulation as well as waterproofing and wind resistance.

That is because the weather is definitely chilly at this time of year but also because many of the best things to do in London involve being outside for at least some of the time i.e. the Tower of London, river cruises and the royal parks.

Therefore we recommend picking a practical coat that is waterproof and wind resistant. My favorite brands are Eddie Bauer and Columbia.

Also it is worth noting that the underground even in January can be a hot and stuffy place so even if you wear a coat outside you might want to take it off on the Tube. 

In my opinion you won’t need thick thermal coats in London and I tend to use a parka jacket on most January days and they will be seen quite often in London. 

Click here to shop coats for London.

Note: if you decide not to include a coat as part of your Winter airport outfit be sure to check out our guide on how pack Winter coats in a suitcase.

Wool Hat, scarves and gloves

Whether you are a man or woman visiting London a wool hat or a beanie is an essential for visiting London in January as the weather can feel cold especially if you are walking around the city. 

I would also recommend taking with you a matching scarf and gloves set that match your winter coat to finish off the look. 

If you are planning on taking a lot of photographs while visiting London in Winter you would be best advised to take gloves that have a sensor that makes it easier for you to use your photos. 

Click here to shop winter accessories for London.


Jeans are a staple of any London wardrobe especially in January for both locals and tourists. The great thing about London is that jeans are not on the what not to wear in London list as London tends to be quite casual. 

Most Londoners will wear jeans to work, restaurants (unless a dress code prohibits) and even in the theater so be sure to add these to your London packing list. And you will see all styles of jeans on the streets of London so pack the pair that you feel most comfortable in.

Click here to buy jeans


As January is cold we recommend picking thicker trousers made of heavier fabric.

If you want a smarter pant then we love a regular black pant (we love the Athleta Brooklyn ankle pant for travel) or a thick wool pant.

Click here to shop trousers for London.


Leggings are great whatever time of year you are visiting London and you absolutely can wear leggings in London.

Leggings are great in January as they can be worn on their own or can be used to warm up a dress or as an added extra layer under jeans. 

I personally have never found the need to wear thermal leggings while in London but if you feel the cold you could always bring them with you just in case. 


For London in January layers are going to be your best friend. For a week in London I will usually pack the below layers:

  • a cardigan,
  • a hoodie, and
  • smart sweater.

Also I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to include in a Winter capsule wardrobe.

That is because it provides extra warmth as they are an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. Therefore it is easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space in your case.

Shop merino wool layers here.

Also don’t worry about hoodies being too casual. You will find locals and tourists all wear hoodies though I would stick to jumpers and cardigans for evenings out at smarter restaurants and would never consider wearing a hoodie to afternoon tea.

Click here to shop hoodies

T shirts

T shirts are great whatever month you are visiting London. In January they are a great extra layer under jumpers or hoodies and you won’t feel too casual in most places in a t shirt. 

What shoes do people wear in London in winter 

A good pair of shoes is a necessary for London in January or London in Winter. 

Click here to shop t shirts


Although I tend to avoid dresses for sightseeing in January, I would usually take one with me for evenings out. Because of the temperatures at this time of year I find sweater dresses / jumper dresses to be most appropriate.

However I would always pack a pair thick tights to wear with a dress as nights can be chilly.

Click here to shop long sleeve dresses for London here.


A pashmina or thicker wrap is always on my London packing list especially in Winter. 

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.

Click here to shop pashminas

Blouses / Shirts

Blouses with long sleeves are perfect for London in the Winter for both sightseeing and going out to dinner. They are a versatile layering item and can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going.  

Click here to shop blouses.


Goes without saying.

I also like to pack merino wool socks for Winter travel in Europe. They are thinner than hiking socks but are insulating so are good for cold weather.


Thicker PJs and better for January as it can be cold at night.

What to Wear in London in January for Men

So now you know what to pack for women in London in January, we will turn our attention to a men’s packing list. Alongside our regular men’s travel essentials we recommend adding the following items to your men’s packing list for London in Winter:

Coat / Jacket

I always recommend that you check the temperature for your travel week before you go as to decide what thickness jacket you need. But something warmer with some water resistance is a good idea.


A combination of chinos / dockers and jeans mean you should be covered for every occasion. I would also opt for smarter trousers when traveling in London however to fit in more with the locals.

T Shirts and Shirts

A mix of long and short t shirts are perfect for men during the day as both base layers and top layers on warmer days.

However if you plan on eating out I recommend packing some long sleeve button down shirts too.

Underwear, Socks and Pjs

Best Shoes for London in January


A pair of boots is an essential for men or women visiting London in January. 

Most Londoners will spend most of the winter wearing boots, either ankle or knee high so you will dress like a local wearing boots.

We recommend selecting a good waterproof pair with a good sole in case of ice.

If you go for a heeled boots which is always my preference I recommend picking a boot with a thicker heel as there are many cobbled stones in London and also escalators at Tube stations. Thin heels are dangerous in London so thicker or no heel is definitely best.

I would also avoid Suede boots due to the rain in London. Other than that you will see all styles in London from knee high to chelsea to Dr Martens so choose the type you feel most comfy in.

Note it is unlikely you will need full on snow boots in London in January and wellingtons are more commonly worn in the countryside i.e. The Cotswolds as opposed to the cities.

Shop Boots here

For information on how to pack boots for travel check out this post.


If you are traveling in London in January I would still advise taking a pair of sneakers with you for use on drier days. 

Visiting January in any month will have a lot of walking so a sneaker is the most comfortable shoe to be wearing. 

What to pack for London In January (non Clothing) 

Tower Bridge at Night
what to wear in London in January

Now you know what to wear in London in January, we will turn our attention to other non clothing essentials to pack.

Theft Proof Bag

As with any tourist city around the world there are pickpockets in London. Therefore we recommend using a cross body anti theft bag with you such as this one.

Click here to shop theft proof bags.

Medical Supplies

Remember to pack any medicines, prescriptions, Travel First Aid Kit and Blister plasters.


For storing items on your day trips to places such as Zaanse Schans and Giethoorn.

Lip Balm

Moving between heating and cold will dry out your lips very quickly in London. Be sure to pack some for use on the plane too. 

However if you forget just nip into your nearest Boots or pharmacy and there will be plenty of choice. Shop lip balm here.


For the same reason as above you will want to have a good quality moisturizer with you. Shop moisturiser for Winter travel here.

Compact Travel Umbrella

As I mentioned it is pretty rainy in London in January so an umbrella will be required. I would advise taking a small compact umbrella for easier use on busy streets and on the Tube and public transport. 

We recommend the Repel umbrella as this is a compact travel umbrella but it is also very sturdy with good wind proofing too.

Shop compact travel umbrellas here.

Universal Travel Adaptor

If you are traveling to the UK from the US then please not the plug sockets are not the same. Be sure you pack a travel adaptor with you

Click here to shop travel adaptors.


For our essential toiletries packing list click here. However if you don’t want to overpack, and are happy to purchase these on arrival we recommend heading to the chains such as Superdrug or Boots or even the larger supermarkets. These are all over the city and stock all health, beauty and toiletry products you would expect.


London is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, be sure to have a good camera with you.

Power Pack

You will be taking a lot of photos on vacation in London a power pack is an essential. 

Click here to shop battery packs

FAQS about What to wear in London in January

Hopefully the above has given you a good overview of what to wear and pack for London in January. However if you still have questions drop us a comment below and we will add our answers in our FAQ section below.

Do I need coat in London in January?

Absolutely! Given the weather in London in January you will need a big coat. We recommend picking a coat that is practical for being outside with some water proofing and wind resistance.

Do I need rain boots in London? Can you wear wellies in London?

Having a good pair of waterproof shoes is an essential for London in January however wellies aren’t necessarily needed. 

Most people in London wear wellies when they go for walks or go outside of the city rather than in the city itself. However Hunter Wellies can be a very popular fashion item so you could get away with wellies in London if you wanted them. 

What clothes to pack for London at night in January

London is not a very formal place, especially in Winter and therefore I would leave formal attire off your packing list. The only places with strict dress codes tend to be afternoon tea and some higher end restaurants i.e. Michelin star restaurants so a smart casual outfit for London is a good idea.

Have you visited London in January? Leave us a comment below telling us about what you wore in London and what you would have left at home.