Every other fashion website or blog I read has an article on “How to dress like a French woman” or how to dress like whatever other nationality out there. And I agree, achieving that effortless French look is a goal to so many but Iceland and the other Nordic countries are doing pretty well also, so I figured, I will put together some points on how to dress like an Icelandic woman. Icelanders already have a pretty distinct look and it’s also quite uniform, in my opinion. So, although I am not Icelandic myself, in the last 4 years and with my interest in fashion, I have observed the trends and (although initially fought it) even adopted few of them myself.
Here is what to wear if you want to keep stylish in Iceland and even pass as a local:
1. Wear fur
Blame it on the weather but fur is the perfect way to keep both warm and fashionable when in Iceland. And you have two options: you can go for a new piece, whether it’s a fur coat, a huge fur hat or just fur trimmed gloves. There are quite few jaw-dropping Icelandic brands that have fur clothing. My favorite ones are: Eggert the furrier which makes living on air and water to save money for that fur hat completely understandable. Then there is the new brand Nora whose coats have that perfect Scandinavian cut. Nora is using sheep fur and is all about organic and sustainable products.
The other option, which is the one most Icelanders go for, is to buy a vintage fur coat. I have been quite obsessed with vintage fur pieces lately and have managed to gather quite few also. Although I don’t own any coats, I do have a fur cape, and fox fur collars are my go-to, usually paired with some chunky knits and large coats to kinda tone down the glamour and keep a good balance that goes with the grey weather. The Icelandic shop where I have bought most of my fur pieces is Gyllti Kötturinn which is a vintage shop downtown Reykjavik, they have sales quite often and I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever left that place without buying something I love.
2. Ankle boots
Obviously wearing sandals or flip-flops in Iceland is not an option, not even in the summer (and ditch the flip-flops altogether). Unless you wear socks to match. Same goes for pumps, you can wear them, sure, but again, pair them with socks or leggings. So, the shoes you want to wear to pass by as Icelandic are ankle boots. They can be flats or wedges or have heels, all options work. Except you must wear heels to go downtown partying in weekends though, the higher, the better!
3. Chunky knits
This is quite an obvious one except the knits must be chunky. If it’s chunky enough to make you doubt whether you should go out like that, then you have reached the perfect amount of chunky-ness. And I’m not even joking, I love to wear chunky everything in Iceland, sweaters, coats, ponchos, capes… ok, it’s mostly that, you wanna keep skinny jeans or tights on the lower side. Why? To make the chunk even chunkier, of course! So, embrace it and once you do you won’t be able to give up the coziness.
Layering is a must. The weather in Iceland changes many times a day so you wanna be prepared for both a blizzard and for some sun rays. And the way to do that is to layer as effective as you can. Start with a base-layer like a tank-top or even one of those wool-thermal tops (I don’t own one, I don’t do practicality, just esthetics. Yes, I catch a cold often but what are you gonna do :D) Then add a long sleeve top and then a cardigan and then another cardigan and a jacket and a chunky scarf and then you’re done. Two jackets is not uncommon either. Huge parkas on top are a must! 66 North is doing the best of jobs in the parka area.
5. Black everything
I guess it’s more a matter of wearing dark colors rather but can’t go wrong with black, that’s for sure. When I moved to Iceland I had couple colorful pieces (I was already wearing lots of black and grey) but they just felt out of place, wearing turquoise or pink or any electric colors just didn’t work. I guess it’s more a matter of not having bright colors like popping colors and have more blurred ones and toned down colors. Kron by Kron Kron is a colorful and delightful exception though. Either way, if you’re thinking about putting on some spring-colors then just don’t. But army-green is very popular and also prints. Jör is a great Icelandic brand where you can get your black stash from.
6. Wear Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s Market has, in my opinion, the most Icelandic looking stuff. They have new collections every season which include a lot of wool, fur, leather and everything else to keep you warm. They also keep really consistent and are doing a great job with their branding. The brand is really cool and crazy fashionable in an Icelandic, rustic kinda way. I mean, if you get the chance, check out their design studio and shop – Farmers & Friends which is so perfectly designed I wanna move in! So, yes, if you are coming to Iceland or just wanna feel like you’re in Iceland then get one of their pieces, a sweater or some mittens, it’ll sure do the trick!