When most people think of Iceland, they first think of the rugged natural beauty of the country – the icy glaciers that seem to go on forever, the sparkling blue fjords, the craggy moss-covered lava fields, the windswept black sand beaches. And when it comes to packing for a trip to Iceland, they think of the clothes they’ll need to stay warm and dry while exploring those landscapes and taking part in any adventure activities. But, if you plan on spending any time in Reykjavik, you’ll also need to pack accordingly.
Weather in Iceland fluctuates quite a bit over the course of the year – from a relatively balmy 60-70 degrees (Fahrenheit) and sunny in summer to cold, dark, grey and wet 20-30 in the depths of winter. For more on what to pack depending on the season, check out:
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The residents of Reykjavik are some of the most stylish in all of Europe and style runs the gamut from guys dressed in hipster chic distressed jeans, chucks and ironic t-shirts to classically coutured women in knee-high black leather boots, impeccably tailored black pants and dramatic capes, including every style in between. You will see some people sporting their performances pants, hiking boots and fleece hoodies, but if you want to avoid standing out as a tourist, it’s best to avoid this look for a night out. Your best bet: for a casual day or meal out, dress as you might on a fourth or fifth date – casual but stylish. If you’re going to one of Reykjavik’s nicer restaurants or plan on hitting the dance clubs, you’ll need to up the ante a bit more. Women can get by with stylish jeans and a nice top (though skirts and dresses are common) while guys will do well to sport well-made dark jeans or trousers with a button up shirt or designer t-shirt; many men opt for blazers as well.
What to pack
First things first – when packing for a trip to Iceland, make sure you’ve covered your bases with outdoor gear and anything you’ll need to stay warm and dry on any planned activities. With the remaining room in your bag, you can add just a few items to take your everyday wear into a Reykjavik-ready ensemble. For women, a pair of dark skinny jeans, leggings or black pants will do, along with a pair of stylish boots (or in summer, heels or flats), plus a nice top or stylish sweater. If you have room, a dress or skirt with a pair of tights can also come in handy.
For men, bring a pair of loafers, nice boots, or casual but trendy shoes like Converse and you’re covered for footwear. Add in a pair of tailored black pants or dark jeans, a button up shirt or a trendy t-shirt, and a dark blazer, and you’re good to go.