The five key pieces to pack for Iceland

The five key pieces to pack for Iceland

No matter what time of year it is, be prepared for a chill in Iceland. The temperatures average around freezing in winter and creep up to highs of 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Even during the 24 hours of daylight in summer, blue skies and sunshine are a rarity.

Christine Amorose at Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland

The capital city of Reykjavik is surprisingly fashion-conscious, albeit one that skews more toward comfort items like vintage flannel and 90s-era Converse high-tops.ย One thing to leave behind: the umbrella! Even when it’s drizzling, you’ll never spot one on the streets of Reykjavik.

As with any cooler destination, the key is to take layers: sweaters, socks, scarves that can be taken on and off as the weather changes throughout the day. Beyond that, here are the five things not to leave behind:

Christine Amorose in Kex Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland

Chambray Shirt

I’m super obsessed with my Fitted Chambray Buttondown: it can be layered under wool sweaters or on top of tees or button-ups as a cardigan.

Christine Amorose and Aly Gill in Reykjavik

Woolen Beanie

The best way to beat the Iceland chill, especially when it’s windy: a warm woolen beanie! In true Reykjavik hipster fashion, bright-hued beanies don’t necessarily have to match your outfit: they can be a pop of color amidst the gray.

What to wear in Iceland

Hiking Boots

We ended up doing far more hiking than I expected: there were so many swimming holes and waterfalls and hot rivers to explore. Often they were right off the side of the road, but other times, it required a bit of walking up hills and through mud. Having warm, comfortable boots was key: I loved my Sperry J.Crew short shearwater boots, although they did get muddier than I intended.

Christine Amorose in American Apparel Leggings in Vik, Iceland


I swear by thick, stretchy leggings for airplanes and road trips since I like to curl up cross-legged or put my feet up on the dash. I always have a pair of basic black Zella Live-In Leggings with me since they can be dressed up or dressed down, but I also like to have a funky, patterned pair. Throw them on with a solid top and flats, and it’s instantly a fun, casual outfit (that can double as yoga-class appropriate).

Christine Amorose in a swimming hole in Iceland

Bikini (or not!)

There are plenty of opportunities to take a dip in Iceland, from the crowded Blue Lagoon to remote hot rivers–so don’t forget to pack a swimsuit. However, we found that we were usually the only people for miles around and the damp Iceland air took a while to dry out our suits. Point being: the stunning natural beauty and the ย incredible shortage of people make Iceland a prime place to skinny-dip.

What’s your favorite outfit from Iceland?

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    I need a Chambray shirt and the live-in leggings! Also love the colorful beanie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda @ Adventure Year

    That shirt looks super comfy! Actually, really all of the clothes you’ve mentioned look wonderful. I do love posts like this, because I am pretty lost when it comes to what to wear when I go certain places. Really all places. Very fashion challenged over here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Paige Miller

    I swear by my Chambray for any trip! I don’t have the rightly shaped head for beanies, but I would totally rock it in Iceland. So edgey!

  • Zoe Clarke

    Great Post ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The first photo reminds me of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • camorose

    LOVE Zella Leggings! Seriously so comfy and thick enough that you can wear them everywhere!

  • camorose

    Haha thank you! Hope I can provide a bit of helpful inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    So true–my chambray goes everywhere with me now!

  • camorose

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    Haha I hadn’t heard of him but that’s all one of my friends kept commenting on my Instagrams!

  • LivingWithTravelBug

    This was a fun post. I always like to blend in with the locals as much as possible when I travel so it’s good to know a little about the fashions there and what to travel with. Good note about the umbrella! It’s something people would probably never really know or think of.

  • Elila

    Hi Christine!
    Have read your blog for a while now & very much enjoy it! I dont usually comment
    but i had to thank you for the great tip on the Zella leggings! For anyone
    Who’s interested, theres a very good post over at Olive & Ivory comparing
    Lululemon Wonder Unders to Zella’s Live In Leggings, & finding them
    nearly identical!!! After learning of them from you, & then seeing that post,
    well that convinced me & i jumped to order a pair, as they are on sale for almost
    $20 off until 8/4/13 through the link you provided–so thanks! I made sure
    click through your site, using your link, to order just in case you get any sort of credit
    for that!
    Have a delicious day!

  • Megan C. Stroup

    I have always been anti-leggings, but I totally got caught up in the patterned leggings craze when I was in Europe. I bought two pairs – one in Madrid and one in Lisbon – and I even wear them now that I’m back in California! Shocker! Haha. Plus, I have a long denim shirt I usually wear over the leggings, so I have to say I love all your outfits. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    I made sure to borrow a cute small umbrella from my roommate at the last minute–and didn’t use it once! Save the space in your suitcase ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    Oh that’s awesome! I don’t have anything set up for affiliates with Nordstrom–but maybe I should ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to hear how you like them, I LOVE them!

  • camorose

    Haha yes! Chambray + leggins = my favorite casual outfit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elila

    Omg Christine i just got them yesterday and they are AWESOME!
    I have never had a pair of leggings this nice–they are everything
    you said, girl & more. My goodness they make the pair i was
    replacing look like a pair of footless pantyhose (grimace).
    And sooooo flattering! And because of you
    I got them for nearly 40% off! I couldn’t BE more pleased–thank
    for the great tip–these are just exactly what i needed! I definitely
    LOVE them too

  • LosAngelesSwimmin.com

    Love that photo at Hrunalaug, I had that spot all to myself for hours, looks like you did too.

  • camorose

    Hooray!!!! So glad you love them as much as me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    Yup! The best!

  • mmmisha

    hey there,
    not sure if youll get this message on time (or respond for that matter; i can only hope lol), just had a quick question about your boots. would you recommend them for a 10 hour hike in iceland? are they considered all terrain or would the sharp rocks potentially pierce the soles? im heading there in june and going to be doing quite a bit of hiking in various parts of the country, so im looking for a good pair of boots to buy. any suggestions would be awesome.
    thanks a bunch, and great blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  • camorose

    Hey! I love the JCrew-SPerry collars but they are definitely fashion boots, not all-weather terrain boots. They were good for short hikes here and there, but I would go with something more serious for 10 hours! Unfortunately don’t have any direct recs ๐Ÿ™ Have the best time though! Iceland is amazing!

  • mmmisha

    i noz ๐Ÿ™ i looking online at that shoe place. http://www.shoeme.ca/collections/womens-waterproof-shoes/products/ahnu-womens-montara-boot-af2139-black 10.5 might be too big D:

    Subject: Re: New comment posted on The five key pieces to pack for Iceland

  • mmmisha

    thanks for the response. i ended up buying a pair of these boots just because i like them. ive got like 6 months of winter in canada anyway, so theyll get good use :p figured it cant hurt to ask. aahh 3 months to go! i cant wait ๐Ÿ˜€

  • camorose

    Yay! You totally will–they’re super cute!

  • Nicole

    Where is your purple sweater and orange hat from? Love the color combo.

  • camorose

    Sweater is from JCrew and hat is American Apparel but both are v old!

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