How Londoners Are Really Dressing for a Summer Spent at the Park

·6-min read

London's green spaces have always been treasured hideaways for those who live here—however in 2020 the parks have played a vital role for many. At the beginning of lockdown this was where we retreated to for our one government-mandated walk a day and where some of us attempted to complete the couch to 5k app, and then as the restrictions have eased they have become the focal point of our social lives. Walk through any London park this summer and you'll see socially distant hen parties, 30th birthday celebrations and family reunions taking place alongside sun salutation yoga flows and personal training sessions. I have even seen someone make their own pub out of towering Amazon boxes. As the role of the park in our daily lives has shifted, so has the dress code. Instead of leggings and hoodies, people have started dressing up in the items we missed when we were unable to venture outdoors. So we sent photographer Nadine Petzke to capture how Londoners are really dressing for a summer spent at the park.

Nadine went to East London's Victoria Park and London Fields, and her photographs perfectly reflect the styling sensibility that Brits are known for. There's the mix of high end and the Great British high street— below you'll see neon Gucci sunglasses and Burberry trench coats, alongside a lot of ASOS and Topshop. Another typically 'London' styling move is to blend old and new—the capital's vintage shops might have been closed for months, but the images below show the amazing things you can find second hand. Londoners also have a reputation for never looking too polished or overdressed either—yes we'll wear our finery to the park, but we'll mix dresses with chunky boots and sandals, to give each outfit a throw-on feel.

After hours outfit spotting in the parks, Nadine noticed many recurring trends and looks. "I saw lots of simple capsule pieces, featured with a bold accessory with a pop of colour. I also saw a great deal of square and scoop-neck dresses with puff sleeves emulating the 80's era, which I really loved. There was also some neon pieces to tie in with the summer aesthetic. Sandals were a huge hit— I could not escape the Teva sandals! They are stylish and comfortable, and work with almost every outfit so I'm not surprised I saw so many." Keep scrolling to see 13 of the outfits that really caught her eye.

Style Notes: Rima wears a green checked co-ord from Zara, with beautiful gold jewellery including a Missoma necklace, Daphine rings and Astrid and Miyu earrings. She uses a red net bag and flat sandals to make the look feel more casual.

Zara Gingham Crop Top (£16)

Arket Turtle Bags String Bag (£7)

Daphine Oli 18kt Gold-Plated Ring (£65)

Style Notes: Eunice wears a green puff-sleeve midi dress by Zara, and then plays with colourful accessories with a bright lilac mini bag and blue strappy heels from Topshop.

Zara Green Puff Sleeve Dress (£50)

Topsho Blue Strappy Block Heels (£33)

Who What Wear Collection Mini Bag (£60)

Style Notes: Sasha brings a beach holiday spirit to East London by wearing a beige halterneck midi dress from Zara with Birkenstocks, a wide-brim straw hat and ASOS shell earrings.

Zara Halterneck Dress (£30)

Asos Design Large Flat Boater in Natural Straw With Size Adjuster (£17)

Daisy Jewellery Shell Earrings (£119)

Style Notes: Celine toughens up her pink Shein jumpsuit with a pair of Vagabond tracks-sole boots—an outfit that we can expect to see a lot of come autumn. We also love her rose-tinted sunglasses and gold chain.

Who What Wear Pink Boilersuit (£105)

Arket Chunky-Sole Leather Boots (£175)

Ferian Penzance Leather Cross-Body Bag (£585)

Style Notes: Katie mixes sportswear and tailoring, wearing a Nike crop top and New Balance trainers with checked trousers from Topshop.

Nike Swoosh Dri-FIT Sports Bra (£32)

Topshop Check Ovoid Peg Trousers (£22)

New Balance 574 Trainers (£91)

Style Notes: Letty shows that sometimes you can't beat a simple outfit for a day in the park. She wears a black dress with a tank top neckline which she found on eBay with a vintage beaded bag and trainers.

Arket Shirred Sundress (£79)

Converse Trainers (£65)

Loewe Shell Large Leather and Raffia Basket Bag (£450)

Style Notes: Shanu wears a green vintage bomber jacket with jeans from East London's Goodhood and a grey COS jumper, but it's the Gucci neon sunglasses that really make this outfit.

Alpha Industries MA-1 Reversible Shell Bomber Jacket (£170)

Reebok Aztrek 96 Translucent Panelled Sneakers (£42)

Loewe Neon Sunglasses (£288)

Style Notes: Alice (left) and Hannah (right) give us a lesson in minimalism in their co-ordinated outfits. Alice wears a yellow raincoat by Rains (a London staple), a vintage basket bag and a Uniqlo jumper and trousers. Hannah mixes vintage and high street, wearing a vintage navy jumper and baseball hat with Arket wide-leg trousers and white Vejas.

Arket Fluid Cotton Stretch Trousers (£69)

Veja Esplar White Leather Sneakers (£90)

Arket Corduroy Cap (£29)

Style Notes: Rosie's outfit is mostly comprised of vintage finds, from her necklace, to her white midi skirt to her Burberry trench. She also has the mix of high-street and designer buys, with a knitted vest by Missoni and sunglasses by Weekday.

Burberry The Chelsea Cotton-Gabardine Trench Coat (£1450)

Missoni Metallic Striped Crochet-Knit Tank (£324)

Weekday Arrival Cateye Sunglasses (£18)

Style Notes: This outfit is perfect for lazy afternoons in the park—the denim shirt dress is by H&M and the striped sandals are a Zara find.

Mango Denim Dress (£26)

Missoma Chain Necklace (£179)

Zara Double Strap Sandals (£56)

Style Notes: This is another look that might make you want to go on a vintage hunt—or just mix as many prints as you can. The printed dress is from the 80s and cashmere cardigan is also a vintage find, while the blue brogues are from Paul Smith and camo-print coat is from Rains.

Rains Checked Coated Trench Coat (£70)

Ghost Anouk Dress (£125)

Paul Smith Brogues (£350)

Style Notes: White dresses have been popular this summer and Kelly's ruffle-collar mini is from ASOS. But it's the Lexxola sunglasses I can't stop thinking about.

Topshop White Crinkle Ruffle Mini Dress (£26)

Lexxola Jordy Sunglasses (£190)

Loren Stewart Gold hoop earrings (£135)

Style Notes: Lucy has the perfect outfit for London's ever-changing climate, mixing holiday items with a chunky jumper from Mango. Before you ask the sunflower skirt is from American Apparel, and it's sadly no longer available to buy.

Faithfull the Brand Cuesta Pleated Floral-Print Crepe Midi Skirt (£68)

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star 70 canvas high-top sneakers (£70)

ASOS Design Emma Circular Rattan Cross Body Bag (£25)

Next up, see our guide to the key trends for spring summer 2020.

All images were taken in line with the government's social distancing guidance.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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