What to Wear in Ireland

by | May 7, 2017

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Last updated on November 19th, 2023

I traveled mostly in the West of Ireland (Galway, Mayo, Clare) in early fall. In that part of the country, most women in their 40’s and older wear skirts and blouses (or dresses), stockings, and shoes with a bit of a heel, and have short “done” hair. I wore corduroy pants, clogs, and pullovers, and have au naturel, shoulder-length hair; so, although I never felt that I was inappropriately dressed, I didn’t blend in as much as I thought I would, given that I’m related to a lot of the locals!

Paula, Santa Fe, USA

Sightseeing in Dublin is wonderful however many of the old streets built with cobblestones still remain. While this adds to the delightful ambience of the city, it is extremely hard on your feet. Be prepared and pack good solid walking shoes. You’ll be glad you did!

Caroline C., Alberta, Canada

If you want to blend in with the Irish, a nice dark pea coat, wool scarf, and leather shoes will do the trick. A cute hat is a lifesaver for rainy-day frizzy hair and will help to keep your head warm. Comfy shoes are a must; you’ll be walking a lot. Leave baseball caps, fanny packs, bright rain slickers, and running shoes at home unless you want everybody to know immediately you’re a North American tourist. People will tell you to ‘layer’, but I found that stores and pubs tend to be a bit toasty at this time of the year. You’ll quickly tire of peeling off those layers each time you head indoors. I did just fine with a long-sleeved top under my coat. Remember that the weather changes abruptly in Ireland so bring an umbrella and enjoy the showers without feeling damp all the time.
P.S. Enjoy my favorite place on earth and drink lots of Barry’s tea. It’s fabulous. Ditto for the Irish butter.

Chelsea, California, USA

The rainiest months in Ireland are August and December with 2.9 inches of rain.

Dan Richardson, Dublin, Mini Rough Guide

Editor’s Note: Wait until you get to Ireland to buy your rainwear and umbrella. Styling is unique and…oh-so-effective!

When travelling in Ireland keep in mind that you can easily experience “four seasons in any one day.” To say that the weather is changeable is an understatement. But don’t let this deter you. Plan to dress in layers so that you can peel as necessary. Pack both a lightweight raincoat (that can be carried easily in a backpack or shoulder bag) and try to locate a umbrella with a handle made from aluminum. These are ultra light and fold down to practically nothing. If you are properly prepared for the passing showers, you can carry on with your “fun” plans just as the locals do. P.S. While sandals are nice to wear during the summer, the changeable weather here means that your feet could be wet much of the time. Closed shoes make much more sense.

Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman Editor

I visited Ireland in January, when it is cold and very rainy. Layers were great for keeping me warm but not so great when going into pubs, restaurants etc. They take up a lot of room, can make a mess if you’ve been out in the rain for awhile, and are a pain to take on and off. A much better idea is to go with a pea coat (or something similar) with a hood or a longer, waterproof jacket. Invest in some good gloves, you’ll need them. Not having to take layers on and off at each place makes it much easier to socialize, which I believe is what travel should be about.

Shannon, Trumbull, USA

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1 Comment

  1. Laura from Dublin

    The great thing with Ireland is that you can wear whatever you want. Nobody will look twice. Baseball caps and Ireland hoodies are a strong giveaway that you are from abroad/from the US though! 🙂


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