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, we retreated to them for our one government-allowed walk a day, and some of us attempted to complete the Couch to 5K app in them. Then, as the restrictions eased, they became 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 they 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.
Petzke 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 a 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, Petzke 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 '80s era, which I really loved. There were 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 & Miyu earrings. She uses a red net bag and flat sandals to make the look feel more casual.
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.
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.
Style Notes: Celine toughens up her pink Shein jumpsuit with a pair of Vagabond track-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.
Style Notes: Katie mixes sportswear and tailoring, wearing a Nike crop top and New Balance trainers with checked trousers from Topshop.
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.
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.
Style Notes: Alice (left) and Hannah (right) give us a lesson in minimalism in their coordinated 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 a baseball hat with Arket wide-leg trousers and white Vejas.
Style Notes: Rosie's outfit mostly comprises vintage finds, from her necklace to her white midi skirt to her Burberry trench. She also has a mix of high-street and designer buys, with a knitted vest by Missoni and sunglasses by Weekday.
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.
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 the cashmere cardigan is also a vintage find, while the blue brogues are from Paul Smith, and the camo-print coat is from Rains.
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.
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.
Next up, see our guide to the key trends for summer 2020.
All images were taken in line with the government's social-distancing guidance.