Q. I love your website- and especially love reading your advice. So here's my question for you: I will be traveling to Iceland in May. During this trip I will also be traveling to England, Scotland and Ireland. Can you recommend what to pack for such diverse climates, an easily totable bag since I will be frequently on the move, and a stylish jacket that will keep the wind out and keep me warm without looking like the marshmallow man? I'm in my early 30s-and certainly do not want to look like a tourist! -Don't want to pack a million bags
A. I’ve been to all of these countries and I can attest to a need for a coat in all four, though you will need more protection in Iceland. I visited Iceland several years ago during the month of July when they had finally cut a path through the snow up to the ice covered lands and glaciers. If you stay in Reykjavik, you can get away with a warm wool or cashmere blend coat and warm layers. Stick to a 3/4 length coat that hits just above or below your knees so your butt is covered for more warmth. Cashmere or wool blend knee socks, thin layers that insulate like silk long underwear, tights and cashmere turtleneck sweaters are a must to pack.
For the European countries, you’ll get a chance to enjoy Spring. Bring a small umbrella (there’s a reason it’s so green, it rains for short periods often.) The coat design should be simple so it matches more of your wardrobe and can be worn open in warmer temps. Keep it out of your bag so you have more room for clothes and toiletries. Pack only essential toiletries. Wear your boots or sneakers on the plane so you again save room in your bag. A blazer style jacket or short thin trench can work double duty as an indoor jacket when worn with a t-shirt or button down and as outerwear when layered with a sweater underneath.
Here are some coat options including a parka with a zip out lining to help you temperature adjust:
1. DKNY Coats Double Breasted Wool Coat, $209.98 at bloomingdales.com
2. Steve Madden Metallic City Parka with Removable Liner, $148 at nordstrom.com
3. Larry Levine Single-Breasted Coat, $141 (sale) at macys.com
4. Kenneth Cole Notch-Collar Trench Coat, $255 (sale) at macys.com
I’m assuming since you’re looking for a totable bag, you plan to do some laundry along the way since you’ll be visiting so many places. Here are some options:
5. Gloria Vanderbilt Luggage Lightweight 21" Expandable Carry-On Rolling Upright, $59.99 at ebags.com
6. Filson Extra Large Outfitter Bag, $365 at ebags.com
7. A. Saks EXPANDABLE 21" Expandable Carry On, $59.95 at ebags.com