WHAT TO WEAR IN ICELAND
What can I say? Finding out that I was going to visit the fabled land of fire and ice was probably one of the most incredible feelings I have ever experienced…..
Coming from a place on earth that literally has no seasons, the prospect of visiting this legendary Island and have the possibility of experiencing not only the cold, but also SNOW for the first time was pretty overwhelming. What on earth was I going to wear?
The average temperature in Medellin is 25 degrees celsius all year round which means I literally do not even own a thick jacket of any kind and pretty much everything in the closet is geared more towards summer. Inevitably, I was going to need to start from scratch and build a wardrobe specifically for Iceland and as someone who does not have the word “basic” in their vocabulary that was not going to be a particularly easy task!
Like you guys reading this post, I looked everywhere online for inspiration and guidelines and saw that pretty much everyone was talking about essentials for survival rather than essentials that look stylish so I guess this is where this blog post was born.
I created a checklist of things that I thought I would need to buy and set out on my mission. So I started off locally and let me tell you, Medellin is not the kind of place to buy winter clothing – I mean, it exists but everything is about 4 times the price of what you can buy it for online, so with the exception of things like my wooly hats, gloves and a couple of jumpers, that’s where the majority of things were purchased.
As soon as you start the search for the main items like your waterproof and windproof principal jackets, you are going to see that you literally can spend a fortune of getting something functional. I decided to splurge on a Helly Hansen jacket and spent wayyyy too much for something that now sits at my in-laws house collecting dust in the UK and probably should not have done. For other things, I used Amazon and other online retailers and got really reasonable prices and surprisingly great quality. I set myself a final budget of £300 to get everything that I needed and I managed to stick to it.
TOP TIP – If you do not want to spend the earth on speciality clothing for Iceland, why not try looking on Ebay for like new options? My husband bought a literally brand new looking Helly Hansen outer jacket for £10!
THERMAL BASE LAYER – Price £10.95
Essentially a base layer should be worn against your skin. It acts like an extra layer of skin on your body and because it is made of a modern – and, some say, magical! – material it will keep you warm or cool. Essentially, a base layer moderates your body temperature to keep it cooler when you’re in hot conditions and warm when you’re in cold temperatures. I decided to buy something cheap but let me tell you…. it worked!
Here is a link to the Ebay store I bought the top and bottoms from: Base Layer
SNOW/ HIKING BOOTS – Price £29.99
As I suggested earlier, I do not do basic so decided to go a little “out there” with the boots and got a pair of Hi-Tecs that are just super furry and cute…. but more importantly, super comfortable and waterproof. They were amazing for the long hikes to places like Bruarfoss or the Sólheimasandur plane crash site.
These came from Amazon and I definitely recommend: Hi-Tec Boots
THERMAL SOCKS – Price £ 2-5 per pair.
You’ll need super warm socks… I am not sure if I can find too much more to say about these, I am sure I could come up with something super witty but I will refrain on this occasion. Just ensure you get thermal socks.
UNDERWEAR – Price ( Should already own)
Duh, pack your panties! You can take the most comfy bras you own, even just sports bras because you’re going to be super covered up so it doesn’t really matter, you just want to be comfortable. Plus they’re easier to pack! That is unless you are going to Iceland to find your very own Ragnar Lothbrok (from the TV show Vikings) and forget everything I just said…..
JEANS/TROUSERS – Price ( Should already own)
They must be super comfortable, because they will go over the undergarments, so nothing too tight. You’ll want to test them before you pack them because you will walk a lot and also spend a lot of time on the car traveling to places so… you want to be able to move.
WATERPROOF TROUSERS – Price £9.69
I searched everywhere for some stylish waterproof trouser but I failed to find them! Salopettes may be easy to find in Europe but in Colombia…. stores look at you as if you are mental when you ask if they sell them! So, looking online, I saw that they were pretty expensive for something cute from major ski brands, so in a last ditch effort to save money my husband made me buy ultra basic mens waterproof trousers. They did the job but they look awful in pictures but sometimes, Iceland demands functionality over style and believe me, you NEED waterproof trousers!!! Waterfalls, snowy/muddy paths, all of that = getting soaked!
Again, Ebay here
SWEATERS – Price £15-20 each
I went out and bought a couple of knitted sweaters to put over the thermal top, they were very cozy and cute for pictures! I highly recommend getting bright colored jumpers as they pop in the photos! I bought my sweaters in standard stores like Pull and Bear, Bershka and Zara, no special requirements other than comfortable and warm.
FLEECE TOP – Price £20-35
As you can tell by now, layering is everything for Iceland! You can wear these instead of the sweater and they’re basically a second thermal layer! I love mine from Helly Hansen and also wore it to bed every day because it was sooooo cosy. I got mine from Sports Direct.
ONE MAIN SNOW JACKET – Price £120
As I said at the beginning of the post, I totally went crazy on buying a main jacket….. I went with a Helly Hansen sailing jacket from their site and although it was 30% off, it still cost 120 pounds. Would I do it again? Probably not but you cannot argue with the quality of the brand, and it did everything it said it would and kept me warm and dry! This was purchased from Sports Direct.
MORE WINTER JACKETS – Price £60
Kind of an impulse buy but it was a deal I just couldn’t pass up ( I swear ) Many high street fashion stores sell jackets that look like winter jackets but they’re not made of materials that will keep you warm and dry. That being said, I happened to be in Zara and saw this beautiful jacket and much to my surprise, it had a label that confirmed it was adequate for snowy places. Normally, these are expensive, but you can be lucky like me and find a 60% off offer! As I said, I just couldn’t say no…. at least it meant that I didn’t have to wear the same jacket everyday.
WOOLY HATS – Price £5-10
Take some wooly hats to cover your ears! Quick tip: take different colours so photos don’t look the same and add that pop of primary color all the top instagramers get!
SUNGLASSES – (Should already own)
Yes, you heard right. Hopefully you will be as lucky as us and the sun will shine for you every day! It might also get windy so you’ll want to protect your eyes. Plus you know sunglasses always elevate your outfits!
A BIKINI! – (Should already own)
Last but not least, take a swimsuit with you! Because you’re going to go to one of the lovely hot springs! Literally everyone goes and experiences the Blue Lagoon so make sure you dont forget! One thing to know… when you buy the premium package to include the dressing gown and flip flops, dont be surprised if when you leave the water, someone has stolen them! Its kind of crazy…. but we can talk about that in a different post.
I managed to JUST about stay within budget (£296 spent) but certainly could have reduced it by buying cheaper jackets. Don’t feel that you need to spend hundreds in order to look good. The most important thing is to spend what you can afford and buy what keeps you warm and dry. If you manage to look stylish at the same time, that’s a massive bonus.
The reality is, the trip to Iceland is going to be magnificent no matter what you look like so just wrap up and enjoy!
I really hope you find this post helpful! And hopefully you liked my video so much you go and SUBSCRIBE!
P.s: There’s many more Iceland videos coming!
My husband and I love traveling and if you’re here, I’m sure you do too. Here you can find some Travel Inspiration and also follow our adventures around the world!
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