Friday, 16 September 2016

Dressing for Iceland 101

Photo Credits: Karman Wong

Capping off my summer, I ironically went somewhere relatively cold with my three friends. Despite the word "ice" in Iceland, the country is fairly green, and though we did see ice we had to deliberately plan for it. Iceland was surprisingly a very easy travel pick as I tend to jet-set to places out of my comfort zone. English-friendly communication, easy to drive roads, and non crowded attractions made for a smooth and enjoyable journey. It probably helps that Iceland is also one of the safest countries in the world! 

However, there were a few things that threw me off. There's a running joke in Iceland where if you didn't like the weather wait five minutes - literally. Sometimes the weather changes on you before you can even decide what to wear. Sunny one moment, rainy the next, and blurry fog that can easily mist your view. Packing for Iceland required some thought since I tend to go to consistently warmer destinations, but it was definitely an insightful learning curve.

Below is my look book paired with our dynamic itinerary. 

All Aboard Cozy 

OOTD (me-center): Cotton tee, denim shirt, suede leggings, loafers
Destination of the Day (DOTD): Reykjavik

Arriving at 6am, we had a full day planned so it was important to wear flight cozy clothing that was city walk friendly as well. Loose fitting tops, comfy shoes, and leggings did the trick with a swap of accessories for a day out. We were also super blessed to have arrived on a sunny day. 

Tip: I like to pack an extra layer or outfit in my carry on for an easy change on the plane or in the airport.

The Great Outdoors 

With plans to go caving, snorkeling, and horseback riding, we had to wear the protective armour necessary for Iceland's outback adventuring. From insulated neoprenes to waterproof gear that fisherman still wear today (see my head to toe orange look above), it definitely kept us warm and protected from the elements of strong wind, indecisive rain, and the Arctic chill. 

Tip: Always have an extra pair of shoes in the car as you never know when the pair you're wearing will get drenched or dirty. Thankfully my Scarpa hiking shoes endured even horse poop! Plus, a change of shoes will do you good for various activities during the day. 

On the Road Comfort

OOTD: Cotton long sleeve, khaki pants, windbreaker, printed scarf, cross body bag
DOTD: Svartifoss Waterfall

Renting a car was the best idea to maneuver south of the island as with durable shoes, stretchy pants to climb in, and a textured long sleeves to keep warm. From my bag camouflaging with the gray-blue pebbles to my pants blending in with the eroded rectangular structures at Black Sand beach, I couldn't have fluked this outfit match better! 

 Tip: I had packed my backpack in the car almost everyday, but as most of our treks were fairly short, this leather cross body bag was light weight enough to carry everywhere, yet still being able to fit my essentials: camera, wallet, phone, and lip chap for on the go purposes. 

 Layering Up

OOTD: As you can see, we were layered in windbreakers, sweaters, toques, gloves and scarves brrrrr!
DOTD: Diamond Beach / Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon  
OOTD: Wearing layers easy to take on and off as the temperatures got warm
DOTD: Fjaoraglijufur Canyon 
DOTD: Dyrholaey

As you can see, the weather changed as diverse as the scenery this day. It was important to wear layers that could easily be put on or taken off as the temperature got warmer. My toque kept my head toasty as with the gloves on my hand. On a whim, I packed my blanket scarf and boy am I glad I did! It was the right amount of coverage and warmth when a jacket wasn't necessary. 

Tip: A blanket scarf is great for doubling up as a blanket in the car when the day feels chilly.

Street Explorer

OOTD: Printed tank, black blouse, high waisted pants, loafers

We were blessed to come across another sunny day during our city plans. Icelandic style tends to incorporate the athleisure trend mixed with casual pieces. Wool sweaters, cardigans, and accessories are common staples sighted among locals as with outer layers of their iconic brands: 66 North, Icewear, and Cintamani. Don't say I didn't warn you about the price tag for their immeasurably high quality.

Tip: Always have a pair of sunglasses on you as the clouds love to play hide and seek with the sun... plus you'll look extra ray-dient!

Lightweight Dressy 

OOTD: Tweed jacket, navy tank, black blouse, printed skirt, stone necklace

You don't often see locals or tourists dressed up, but as this trip fell closely to my birthday, we had decided to celebrate with a nice dinner out. Iceland had so many great photo op spots; from street art and colourful buildings to architectural landmarks, the opportunities were endless. I highly recommend the deliciously local restaurant Resto for a delightful meal out! 

Tip: Pack light weight and wrinkle-free clothing for special occasions where you'll probably only wear them once. Dressing up with separates are great to rework into a casual outfit. 

Overall, Iceland was a pleasurable experience to explore and dress for. With the abundance of flight routes via Iceland Air, it's definitely worth a stop over, if not a full on trip.

Happy Travelling!

xo Sarah 

1 comment:

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