How to Plan for a Stylish Night Out in London

Words by, Lucy Parks

Photography by, London

The article above is a featured guest post enunciated, and written by, Lucy Parks. Specially written for Approved by, Igee Okafor

London’s a city famous for its sense of class, with Saville Row tailors, illustrious theaters and world-class cuisine crowded into a city that knows how to be smart and stylish on a night out. If you’re spending some time away in the UK’s capital, take the time to read this handy guide to looking the part when heading out on a night on the town - it’ll help you fit in so that you feel as much a part of the culture as James Bond or Sherlock Holmes.

  • Where to Go

There’s no use simply heading out into the dark streets of London town hoping to stumble across something that suits your fancy - while there’s an almost infinite amount of nights to be discovered, many of them will have sold out by the time you arrive, and you may be left high and dry, overdressed in a local pub. A great bet is to start with one of the West End theatre plays that London’s so famous for - usually ending around 11pm - which is the classiest start to a stylish night out in the city center, where you’ll only have to follow the crowds to find further delights.

  • What to Wear

In London, fashion isn’t as fancy or crucial as in New York or Paris, but it still tends to conform to certain local trends. If you’re hoping to run shoulders with the rich, cultured and - in many cases - famous in London, you’re going to have to look the part. Some go for the smart side of smart-casual, with smart, polished shoes and bright socks suggesting individuality while a sleek jacket or blazer with a skinny tie will set you in good stead for entry into the city’s more stylish and selective establishments.

  • What to Drink

You’re in London, and as such you really ought to conform to the tipple of the locals. A brisk Beefeater Gin and tonic - distilled in London - or a Scotch whiskey won’t raise an eyebrow whether you’re in the theatre bar during the interval or in a jazz cafe late at night. Don’t, whatever you do, complain that the beer isn’t cold enough - you’ll be greeted with exasperated sighs. Try sampling a locally-brewed ale - just ask the barman - for your taste of warm, sloshy, traditional London beer, or head to a cocktail bar for classy, prim and very British concoctions.

  • How to Act

The British are famous for their manners, and London may well be the epicenter of such behavior - it’s not uncommon to see a flustered man on his way to work apologizing to the lamp post he just clattered with his umbrella. Act the part and win friends by yourself being polite and sophisticated. Conversational topics that’ll hook Londoners include the day’s weather and how terrible it’s been; the various complex routes back to your hotel; and, usually, a generic comment about ‘the football.’ No, Londoners are a pleasant bunch - and they’ll certainly be friendly to you if you dress and act the part.

These four tips should guide you gently through your classy night out in London, ensuring you’re not offending local sensitivities, blending perfectly into the culture and enjoying all that London has to offer.

Thank you for reading!