Notting Hill Carnival: Our Top 7 Style Tips
(This post was originally published on August 27th 2017 and updated on August 19th 2019)
Notting Hill carnival is nearly here! A beloved annual event that has taken place in London since 1966. For two days in August - Sunday and Bank holiday Monday, people of all different races and cultures come together to celebrate Caribbean culture. This event attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world's largest street festivals, So for those of you who are going, we have put together a guide on how to style your way through Carnival and make your experience fun and fuss free.
WEAR FLAT SHOES
A must! It will be a long day so heels are a no-no . Trainers are our shoe of choice - a stylish pair of Adidas or Converse maybe? You can wear any style, as long as it's comfortable and can endure the whole day.
CARRY A BUM/SHOULDER BAG
Essential and practical, just leave your valuables at home and pack the essentials - glitter. lipstick. mobile and a little cash to buy food and drink, just in case some food vendors do not accept cards
WEAR YOUR LINGERIE AS OUTERWEAR
Yaaaasss! Carnival is the perfect time to let any inhibitions go and wear your prettiest lingerie as outerwear. Could be your favourite bra, pair of silk shorts, cotton slip or bandeau, whatever you choose - be cute, stylish, bold and show off what your mama gave ya.
BE BRIGHT & BE WILD
Why oh why would you come to the carnival in grey, black or navy blue? It's all about the colours baby! You need to shine and be seen so, glitter, sequins and all the colours of the rainbow are the colours of choice, even if you decide to throw on a t-shirt and jeans, just make sure its bright.
BRING A WHISTLE OR A PLASTIC HORN
People need to know you've arrived at Carnival to Turn Up! This translated means Get Lit! Which translated means - have lots of fun! So you go and blow that whistle girl and turnup!
BRING YOUR SUNGLASSES
The weather forecast can be a little unpredictable for the August bank holiday weekend, but generally it's Sunny, so it may get a little bright and not just from the sun, but from the constant smiling and bright colours - it may dazzle at little. So, if your eyes need a little rest - bring sunglasses and yes make them stylish!
LEARN THE DUTTY WINE
Ok ladies, you may get accosted from some "friendly" carnival goers who will want to dance with you and start rubbing against you like a dog on heat - don't worry and don't panic. If it's not for you - just politely decline the offer and walk away, however if you're a little crazy (like us) you will join in what we call the "dutty wine or "dancehall" moves - translated as "dirty dancing" a mix of reggae tunes with sexy dance moves and is a huge part of Caribbean culture. Artists such as Rhianna have introduced this culture to the mainstream but if you are still a little unsure what it's all about check out Rhianna "Work" video below. it will give you some lovely examples of these "infamous" moves. You have been warned.
GRENFELL DISASTER - an important sidenote
The Grenfell tower disaster in 2017 occurred in the borough in which the Carnival is held, and it was debated whether the event should continue to take. People overwhelming voted in favour for Carnival to go ahead and we are so glad they did. With so much sadness and uncertainty in the air, the world needs to come together to spread love and joy. So If you do decide to go to Carnival this year, just for a moment - dance a little harder, blow your whistle a little louder and smile a little wider to honour those affected by that terrible tragedy.