Have you ever wondered about what to wear in Ireland, or what to pack for your much anticipated trip to the Emerald Isle?
Whether you are planning a trip to Ireland or just interested in what the people of Ireland tend to wear—you're in the right place.
We will go over what Irish people tend to wear and what you should consider adding to your Ireland packing list.
Ireland's average temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but I promise it is not always cold and rainy.
Before you plan your trip to Ireland, consider the best time to visit Ireland. This will give you a good idea of what you should wear during your Ireland vacation.
Here we'll review the essentials for tourists to Ireland, so that you can pack your suitcase or backpack with confidence.
Table of Contents
- What should you NOT wear in Ireland?
- What do people usually wear in Ireland?
- How do people dress up in Ireland?
- What clothes to bring to Ireland?
- Bonus Tip - Washcloths
- Happy Packing for Ireland
What should you NOT wear in Ireland?
Ireland has unpredictable weather and varied terrain. Sometimes just knowing what not to wear will help you make informed decisions about what you should pack for your first trip to the emerald isle. Avoid bringing things like:
If you plan on bringing a pair of dress shoes for a night out, consider opting for something with a shorter heel to avoid slipping. Ireland is known for rough terrain and slippery cobblestone streets wet from the rain.
Make sure you have plenty of practical, comfortable shoes to wear for outdoor activities. If you can squeeze a pair of sensible dress shoes into your luggage—go for it.
Ireland has many windy days. If you opt for a flowy dress, you are just asking for it. If you happen to be visiting during the warmer months, you can bring a skort or a flowy dress with a pair of shorts underneath.
In other words, don't wear anything you wouldn't wear walking through a wind tunnel, just to be safe.
Ireland is relatively conservative. It's best to avoid wearing any clothes that are sheer or see-through to avoid any awkward encounters or offending a local.
Trust me, Irish weather is usually not the best for sheer clothing. You could easily get drenched in a storm.
You may notice some Irish teenagers wearing very sheer and revealing clothing these days, but trust me, there's no need to emulate them. They've grown up in the Irish climate, and are accustomed to tolerating cold winds and rain. So let them at it, if that's what makes them happy.
Every piece of clothing you bring doesn't have to be water-resistant, it's probably better if it is, but it doesn't have to be.
If you bring a waterproof rain jacket, you can have a few other coats that aren't waterproof, but I wouldn't count on wearing them without some rain gear. Your Irish travel plans should always include a windproof, and waterproof jacket.
Chances are it will rain at least once while you are in Ireland. A pair of waterproof footwear will make your trip ten times more comfortable and protect your feet from the elements.
You don't want to be caught walking around in soggy tennis shoes all day, or dare I say, flip-flops during a rainstorm. Flip-flops might have a place in the summer months, but remember they're not very sturdy for rugged terrain. And trust me, access to some of Ireland's beaches is over very rugged terrain.
You'll want to be prepared for Ireland's ever-changing weather with a pair of waterproof shoes or boots, which will go a long way to keep you from walking around with wet feet.
What do people usually wear in Ireland?
Ireland's day-to-day wear is casual but always put-together. A pair of nice jeans and a blouse will do. Typically darker colors are popular, and a raincoat.
If you're visiting Dublin, you can expect to see trendy wear, a combination of formal and casual clothes.
The people of Ireland are experts at layering and dressing for unpredictable weather. You'll see a lot of casual yet elegant styles throughout the country.
How do people dress up in Ireland?
You'll never have to worry about being overdressed in a club in Ireland. Men typically keep it more casual with jeans and a button-down shirt. Women are more inclined to go all out, from a nice pair of slacks and a blouse to wearing a bodycon dress and heels.
Styles range, but everyone puts a little effort into their look when going out at night in Ireland. If you plan on joining the nightlife, bring a nice dress or pair of pants and a button-down shirt, and you're good to go.
Elegant scarves are always wonderful accessories. You can add a scarf to a blouse or shirt and dress it up in double quick time.
What clothes to bring to Ireland?
So now that we discussed what not to bring—let's chat about what you should bring.
I advise that you always think in layers. If the day is cold you can always add another layer. If the weather gets too warm, you can peel off an extra layer.
T-shirts are a great base layer, that can be built upon with a sweater, a fleece, a raincoat - whatever the weather demands.
A pair of jeans
A good pair of jeans or comfortable slacks (pants) will be the base of most of your wardrobe in Ireland. Jeans go perfectly with layers, or your can wear them as casual evening wear.
Shirts and Blouses
Remember, a long-sleeved shirt can double up as a lightweight jacket.
In the evenings in Ireland, especially during the months of June, July and August, midges can emerge as the sun goes down. A long-sleeved shirt offers some protection from these biting pests.
For shoes, I recommend bringing a few pairs: comfy shoes for walking, waterproof boots for rainy days, dress shoes for going out, and if you're visiting in the winter, some winter boots.
You don't have to pack big and bulky rain boots, which are called wellington boots in Ireland. Ankle boots or waterproof hiking shoes work great.
Chances are, no matter what season you come, your Ireland itinerary probably includes a lot of walking. I recommend packing a pair of comfortable shoes - one of the most important things you can bring. You don't want to wind up with aching feet.
In Ireland, we say that you can experience four seasons all in one day, no matter the time of year or month of your travels.
Warm socks are essential in winter time. For hiking choose moisture-wicking, merino wool socks.
Bring plenty of socks. Your feet may get wet and you don't want to run out of socks to change into.
If you plan on going out to dinners or evening events, bring at least one nice outfit you can wear out, like a dress or a nice blouse and pants or a skirt.
A rain jacket
Bring a raincoat, you can thank me later. That about sums it all up when it comes to raincoats in Ireland.
Just remember, that for layering, a lightweight raincoat is best.
March and April are two months that are known for squally unexpected rain showers. In the west of Ireland, this unpredictable weather is known as the Scaraveen.
A warm fleece
A warm fleece is a good addition to your luggage for any time of year in Ireland. Summer evenings can turn quite nippy.
I love that a fleece can be worn under a rain jacket and peeled off in layers as needed.
An umbrella is a good idea for your purse. Bring one that can fold up and doesn't take up too much space in your luggage.
Don't expect an umbrella to protect you on a wild windy day, but one can be very handy when wandering through small towns and cities on rainy days.
If you are visiting in the winter, bring a thick winter coat to keep you dry and warm. Ireland is a beautiful place. You don't want to feel miserably cold and not be able to fully enjoy sightseeing. Along with a winter hat, bringing a warm scarf and gloves is a good idea too.
Note: You'll enjoy mild temperatures and some warm days for summer travel. Consider bringing a mix of summer outfits like sleeved dresses and rain gear just in case.
Ireland does not get as cold as mainland Europe in the winter, but temperatures can plummet during December, January and February. Please, pack accordingly.
Bonus Tip - Washcloths
This is not an item of clothing, but one for anyone planning to stay in an Irish hotel or guesthouse.
Pack some wash cloths. Irish hotels only leave out towels, and do not leave face cloths or wash cloths in their bathrooms. So, if a wash cloth is important for your face cleaning routine, pack some in your luggage.
Happy Packing for Ireland
Using packing cubes to maximize space in your baggage is a great idea. Don't forget you may need extra room for your journey home, since you may need to make space for your purchases.
Other items you should not forget to pack include an adapter for your electronics, a charger, and your camera. You can buy spare batteries in Ireland, to avoid carrying them in your luggage.
I hope this helped you decide how to plan what you're going to wear in Ireland.
If you're planning a trip to Ireland or want to learn more about Irish culture in general, join my Facebook group, where I share all things Ireland - from Irish recipes, travel guides, and so much more!
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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