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JRJ09685-min Dress the Part

Dress the Part

November 8, 2019

JRJ09685-min Dress the Part

Dress the Part

November 8, 2019

What to wear in Iceland?

Sunny days, geothermal baths, hiking, whale watching tours, gale-force winds and ice storms on a black beach. One of the more complex aspects of traveling (and living) in Iceland is what to wear and when. Whatever the occasion, we’ll help you dress the part with this quick guide on what to wear in Iceland.

Never underestimate the weather

Leaving the house in Iceland without a coat is almost unthinkable and while it may be clear skies and butterflies when you head out in the morning, you may very well have a storm on your hands at lunchtime. This is not to say that you should be paranoid, but just keep up with the weather forecast, add the possibility of wind chill and bring that extra layer. If you’re heading out to sea, maybe to spot a whale or two, assume both wind chill and how cold it gets when you stand still for a long time, dumbfounded and awestruck by your new gentle giant friend. The rule of thumb is to be hugely overdressed when you step off that pier.

Layers, layers, layers!

Because of how unpredictable the weather can be in these parts and how extreme wind chill can be, your best option is to have all the options. In practical terms, that means layering. Layering is something of a learning curve, because the goal here is to be comfortable, not too warm, not too cold and nobody wants to have to lug their massive coat around on their nice tour of the countryside. Layer wool next to your skin, but make sure you like the design because you may well strip down to that one on a sunny day on top of glacier in the middle of winter. Add a thicker layer, a good fleece or a traditional Icelandic sweater for example, and a proper technical coat on top. Just make sure it is waterproof and zips open. Always have a hat available that covers your ears, a light scarf, good gloves and two pairs of socks: one thin pair, one woollen. The parka usually gets the biggest attention and budget but the key is truly in the underwear and accessories (cover your head, neck, feet and fingers).

Wool is your best friend

If it’s cold, always wear soft, thin woollen underwear (merino, alpaca, angora) next to your skin. This is the key to your success in extreme weather. Woollen socks are also vital in cold weather but they’re also very breathable so if you’re hiking, no matter the temperature, bring a pair of woollen socks. If you need to cross a river and your feet get wet, you’ll be so glad you brought them and your tired feet will be very grateful for them in the evening. Every Icelander has their own traditional Icelandic woollen sweater, (or is in the process of knitting one) and it isn’t just a pretty piece of clothing that just happens to be super hipster. It’s warm, cosy, comfortable to move in and very breathable.

Swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses

This might come as a surprise but never leave the house without these three. Geothermal pools, hot baths, spas and natural pools are a staple in this community and an excursion usually always includes one. The sun will accompany you for almost 24 hours during summer and can shine relentlessly in your face in winter, so sunglasses and sunscreen are a must, particularly if you’re going anywhere near a glacier.

Local no-nos

And finally some local tips if you don’t want to be the most obvious tourist in the world.
• It very rarely rains without that characteristic wind from every direction so umbrellas are considered more of a theatrical prop in Iceland.
• Shorts never really caught on here for obvious reasons but every town has that one quirky dude who wears them all year round in every imaginable weather.
• Those massively bulky down coats that the Kardashians and Drake wear? While we definitely appreciate good down in cold weather, it’s really not about the bulk.
• Oh, and absolutely nobody wears moon boots in Iceland.

JRJ09762
RE113 Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
RE-iStock

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JRJ09685-min Dress the Part

Dress the Part

November 8, 2019

JRJ09685-min Dress the Part

Dress the Part

November 8, 2019

What to wear in Iceland?

Sunny days, geothermal baths, hiking, whale watching tours, gale-force winds and ice storms on a black beach. One of the more complex aspects of traveling (and living) in Iceland is what to wear and when. Whatever the occasion, we’ll help you dress the part with this quick guide on what to wear in Iceland.

Never underestimate the weather

Leaving the house in Iceland without a coat is almost unthinkable and while it may be clear skies and butterflies when you head out in the morning, you may very well have a storm on your hands at lunchtime. This is not to say that you should be paranoid, but just keep up with the weather forecast, add the possibility of wind chill and bring that extra layer. If you’re heading out to sea, maybe to spot a whale or two, assume both wind chill and how cold it gets when you stand still for a long time, dumbfounded and awestruck by your new gentle giant friend. The rule of thumb is to be hugely overdressed when you step off that pier.

Layers, layers, layers!

Because of how unpredictable the weather can be in these parts and how extreme wind chill can be, your best option is to have all the options. In practical terms, that means layering. Layering is something of a learning curve, because the goal here is to be comfortable, not too warm, not too cold and nobody wants to have to lug their massive coat around on their nice tour of the countryside. Layer wool next to your skin, but make sure you like the design because you may well strip down to that one on a sunny day on top of glacier in the middle of winter. Add a thicker layer, a good fleece or a traditional Icelandic sweater for example, and a proper technical coat on top. Just make sure it is waterproof and zips open. Always have a hat available that covers your ears, a light scarf, good gloves and two pairs of socks: one thin pair, one woollen. The parka usually gets the biggest attention and budget but the key is truly in the underwear and accessories (cover your head, neck, feet and fingers).

Wool is your best friend

If it’s cold, always wear soft, thin woollen underwear (merino, alpaca, angora) next to your skin. This is the key to your success in extreme weather. Woollen socks are also vital in cold weather but they’re also very breathable so if you’re hiking, no matter the temperature, bring a pair of woollen socks. If you need to cross a river and your feet get wet, you’ll be so glad you brought them and your tired feet will be very grateful for them in the evening. Every Icelander has their own traditional Icelandic woollen sweater, (or is in the process of knitting one) and it isn’t just a pretty piece of clothing that just happens to be super hipster. It’s warm, cosy, comfortable to move in and very breathable.

Swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses

This might come as a surprise but never leave the house without these three. Geothermal pools, hot baths, spas and natural pools are a staple in this community and an excursion usually always includes one. The sun will accompany you for almost 24 hours during summer and can shine relentlessly in your face in winter, so sunglasses and sunscreen are a must, particularly if you’re going anywhere near a glacier.

Local no-nos

And finally some local tips if you don’t want to be the most obvious tourist in the world.
• It very rarely rains without that characteristic wind from every direction so umbrellas are considered more of a theatrical prop in Iceland.
• Shorts never really caught on here for obvious reasons but every town has that one quirky dude who wears them all year round in every imaginable weather.
• Those massively bulky down coats that the Kardashians and Drake wear? While we definitely appreciate good down in cold weather, it’s really not about the bulk.
• Oh, and absolutely nobody wears moon boots in Iceland.

JRJ09762
RE113 Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
RE-iStock

The RE blog

vaskur
Golden-Circle-and-Fontana-Steam-bath
Fjaðrárgljúfur
Into the Glacier
Eistnaflug_EydisKlaraThorleifsdottir
iStock-1151150610
RE63
JRJ09685-min Dress the Part
Thorsmork Panorama
Nature Pool
BlueLagoon1
Skógafoss waterfall Iceland hero mynd
RE05-Reykjavik Panorama
kirkjufell-12x7
Reykjanes

Drinks are on us!

Did you know that Iceland has some of the purest tap water in the world?

Read more