Summer outfits are a favorite of many and a nail-biting prospect for some. Whether you see the approaching season as a reason to rejoice or a cause to get back to that diet, though, often comes down to what your summer plans are.

For instance, if you’re planning a trip to Iceland this summer, a careful look at the climate is weighed along with the activities you look to do. Dressing for the occasion takes on a different meaning when the “occasion” is hiking mountains or trekking natural hot springs.

But looking at the forecast you wonder, what does “75 degrees and sunny” (24°C) even mean? How long are summer days in that nation so close to the Arctic circle, anyway? And should you still layer like you’re advised to when dressing for winter in Iceland?

Layers, in fact, are the name of the game for an Icelandic summer, but you have to know which layers to use. The forecast might be unpredictable, but your clothing will be a cinch after you read these summer wear tips by Icewear.

Lightweight cardigan sweaters—and New Looks

It’s hard enough to create a “new” look for yourself every day, and on vacation it’s pretty much impossible. Outdoor activities in wintertime are the worst since most of us only have a couple winter coats, so we’re always seen in one or the other.

Due to the types of layers most popular in the summer, however, suddenly your creativity is given room to flourish again.

Picture it: if you pack two lined wool sweaters and two cotton sweaters in your backpack for a trip to the southern coast of Iceland, you already have four unique combinations of under- and over-layer to use.

To have even more fun combining article (and to preserve that silhouette, if you fancy), using layers in the summer provides endless possibilities. This is easy since layers used in summertime are thinner and breathe more.

Here’s a breakdown of Icewear sweaters by thickness to give you an idea of what to wear. The top two are best suited for cold, winter days, whereas the three beneath can be combined endlessly for summer outings.

  1. Lined wool sweaters such as Bergen, Björn, Gunnar, Helga (these are as toasty as it gets)
  2. Icelandic hand knitted sweaters Edda, Hulda, Brynja, Skjöldur (like the famous lopapeysa)
  3. Light wool sweaters and those blended with acryl
  4. Merino wool sweaters (like the Ásta, Ásthildur and Ástmar in the Icewear men’s collection)
  5. Cotton sweaters (like this new Oslo Norwegian sweater by Icewear)

Lightweight Summer sweaters from wool or cotton?

After you’ve elected your layers, it’s important to consider what activities you’ll be doing in the summer. For example, if you’ll be training for an ultramarathon in the Icelandic countryside or playing football every day with friends, you’ll be most comfortable in sweatpants and hoodies (like the new collection Icewear just launched). For daily activities, dryfit leggings and t-shirts or long-sleeved and light sweaters will be ideal.

This Rumur cotton lumberjack shirt, for instance, is made with 100% cotton, which keeps it breathing as the Icelandic sun climbs up in the afternoon.

Fun fact: at the summer solstice, the days in the northernmost part of Iceland get as long as 21 hours. The sun barely sweeps the horizon before it climbs up again for the following day.

Layer up for Your Summer Activities in Iceland

Speaking of sunshine, summer in Iceland is absolutely beautiful. Though temperatures do get warmer, it’s rarely warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it all the more important to dress in layers for outdoor activities like hiking so you can stay comfortable as your body temperature rises.

Even with 75-degree weather, summer in Iceland does not mean wool articles get packed away. Wool for hiking outings is particularly beneficial for two reasons:

  1. First, wool garments are exceptionally breathable, allowing the body to adjust to temperatures more easily.
  2. Second, wool rarely needs washing, maybe only after 4-6 uses because of its natural anti-bacterial quality. This comes in particularly handy with lightweight Merino wool socks on an epic hiking expedition.

Popular though a Caribbean beach destination might be in the summer, those who love escaping to nature come to Iceland for its lush and green summer landscapes. From sailing to hiking and everything in between, there are activities for everyone.

Knowing how to dress for the Icelandic summer makes the experience more comfortable for everyone, so layer up because summer is on its way whether you’re ready or not!

Next, check out how to dress in the capital city Reykjavik in the summer!