What to wear

10 May 2017
Two students at Bellerbys College London

What to wear when studying at international college 

This is a critically important question and it is hugely variable, much like the British weather. If your college is in or near the city centre, I recommend bringing a minimal amount of clothing and using the space for other things you may want to bring.

Buying new clothes when you get here is not difficult. All city centres in Britain offer a wide range of affordable chains and boutique shops on every high street, so you can stock up according to the weather when you arrive. Even if your college and your hall of residence are far away from the city centre, almost all high street brands have online shops and delivery services.

What to bring?

If you bring a week’s worth of clothes that will give you time to settle in before you need to do laundry and go shopping.  As a male, I recommend a light-weight waterproof jacket (no matter if it's nylon or leather), t shirts, one shirt for formal occasions, three trousers with other accessories, socks and pants.  

I would not recommend bringing too much warm clothing, because there is a big chance that you won't wear all of it. Besides, if it really is that cold, you can buy more clothes here. A padded coat or jacket will take up a lot of space in your luggage, so I recommend buying one in Britain if you need to, since you may not feel it's too cold when you get here.

What to wear?

In England there are a variety of styles to be seen around towns and cities so you'll feel comfortable wearing what you usually wear at home. 

Some colleges will provide you with guidelines or even a school uniform so this may not be your concern. At independent colleges like Bellerbys, you can wear what you like. Since your clothing has a direct impact on how you present yourself, this can be a significant decision, especially on the first day of the term. If you are starting in the Autumn term, which is the most common option, I would say a jacket with short sleeves and a t-shirt will be comfortable enough since a British autumn is not very cold.

You may want to wear a shirt for the first day if you like, but I wouldn’t recommend a suit - you are here to study and it’s a good idea to ensure you feel comfortable. After the first day you should have a good idea about what other people wear and you can make the decision yourself for the following days.

On formal occasions, such as a talk or a ball, it is traditional for men to wear a suit. A black, grey or navy blue suit is most common and a different colour can make you stand out if you want to be different.

As for style, Britain - especially Brighton and London - offers a range of fashion options and it’s your choice as to how you want to dress and how much you wish to stand out.

What about the weather?

It is inevitable that everyone has different feelings about the British climate, but coming from East Asia I do understand that some people are very concerned about extreme weather.  

Weather wise, south-eastern England is moderately warm and although it rains quite often, heavy rain is quite rare. In the cooler regions of northern England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (the further north you go, the colder it feels) you may need a wool or bubble jacket.

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