Iceland was epic. Fact. But beforehand I had a bit of a mare deciding what clothes to pack. Because let’s face it, it’s hard to be stylish when it’s freezing cold. It’s even harder when you don’t want to spend tonnes of cash on new gear. So here’s how I went about packing for my Iceland break. Let me know what you think!
A warm windproof jacket.
I read on a few blogs before I went to Iceland that you need a North Face jacket to keep you warm and dry in all weathers. But mate, I’m not made of money. I’m sure North Face are top notch at this kind of thing and I know a ton of people who really rate the brand and the great quality fabrics. But because I really can’t imagine that I’ll be going on that many trips in the extreme cold (I’m a sun-lover, k?), I just didn’t think it was worth splashing the cash. So I turned to eBay.
I soon realised that 85% of the weatherproof jackets on eBay are frump-city. But fear not, I found a gem. Was it North Face or another reputable outdoorsy brand? No. Was it great quality and durable? Not really. Was it at least fabulously stylish? Hmm. Well, I think so but it’s pretty niche! I opted for a vintage 80’s purple ski jacket. With polka dot panels. Nothing like staying true to your style on your trip, am I right?!
I know I looked a bit mental but it’s a lot more me than hiking gear and it kept me snug in the cold temperatures.
Fabulous knitted jumpers.
Despite it being Spring in the UK, I was keen to whip out the jumpers again. They’re warm, they’re snug and they look damn good. It’s not often you can be toasty and fashionable at the same time after all. I brought with me a range of knitted goodness including a vintage green and purple roll-neck (also off of eBay), a monochrome New Look jumper that I wore for most of this Winter, a fairisle cardigan that’s actually Primark Menswear but looked quite scandi-chic, and a classic black roll-neck. I love them all. And I love being warm.
All of the thermals ever.
I’m scared of being cold. I’m not cut out for it. So I went to Reykjavik armed with thermal gloves, thermal socks (both Amazon), a thermal long sleeve top to wear under everything (M&S) and a pair of thermal fleece-lined leggings (Primark). I recommend it, guys. It means that not only are you warm but you also need less layers, so look less like the Michelin man. Always advisable.
Warm and stylish accessories.
Other than my retro ski jacket, I didn’t want to get anything else that was ski-esque. Because you know, I wasn’t skiing. So I rummaged through my old winter accessories to find warm bits and pieces I could add to my Iceland look. I went for a dogtooth scarf and several knitted headbands and bobble hats. They were definitely warranted and kept me super warm in the freezing temperatures.
A stylish evening look.
This was possibly the hardest task. How are you meant to look good for a night out whilst still staying warm?? I opted for my black roll-neck and black dungarees with thermal leggings hidden underneath. I banked on Reykjavik being a casual kind of place as this was as stylish as I was prepared to be. It worked out pretty well as most people in bars were wearing jumpers and jeans, alas not a heel in sight. I did jazz up the look with glittery socks and a red lipstick obvs.
Ugh I wasn’t prepared to be buying hiking shoes/boots. Same as the whole North Face jacket dilemma, I just didn’t think I would get enough wear out of a pair of hiking boots to be investing in them. So I figured, my old and battered Nike Airmax trainers would probably do the trick right? They were perfect for exploring Reykjavik and like I said I even wore them out at night. It’s cool, the Icelanders are pretty cash.
Ugg boots. But not as you know them.
I knew I was taking my trainers with me but I was still getting a bit worried about if they would be totally appropriate for all Iceland activities. Luckily, when I told my mum I was going to Iceland and didn’t really have appropriate footwear, she offered up a pair of black knee-high boots with the trademark Ugg borg lining. Good grip for icy temps and warm and snug up to my knees. Perfect. I wore them horse-riding and when exploring the Golden Circle attractions and they sure did the trick. To be fair, even if she hadn’t, the trainers would have sufficed. Don’t bother buying anything extra in the footwear dept.
A backpack for adventures.
Iceland is all about exciting day trips and extreme sports so a backpack was perfect for carrying all of my essentials around for the day. I used this Mi-Pac one as it had a pocket inside for my laptop. I definitely think you need a bag like this for stuff like the Blue Lagoon where you need to bring a towel and stuff.
Swimwear for the Blue Lagoon.
Well that’s a good point. Remember swimwear! If you read my Top Tips for the Blue Lagoon post the other week, you’ll know I took a red bandana to keep my hair dry, a bright yellow Expedia towel to stand out from the avalanche of white towels and a monochrome swimsuit from Primark.
There you have it! All of the clothes I took to Iceland and I feel like I did it right. I was the right levels of warm and practical, whilst still maintaining my usual style. Job done.
What do you think? Anything I missed out? Do you have tips for being warm and stylish? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!