While it’s important to know what to wear in Ireland, it’s equally important to know what not to wear in Ireland.
If you wear the wrong clothes or the wrong shoes in Ireland, you’re at risk for a miserable trip — cold, wet and windy.
But, don’t worry. I lived in Ireland for several years growing up, so I know exactly what you should and what you shouldn’t bring to Ireland with you.
Beware, some of the items on this what not to wear in Ireland list may surprise you!
Here’s what not to wear in Ireland.
1. Rain Boots
The No. 1 item that I recommend not to wear in Ireland is a pair of rain boots.
The rain in Ireland is usually more like a mist than a downpour, so you won’t have to walk through deep puddles.
Although people may tell you that you “need” rain boots in Ireland, this is simply not true. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need rain boots for Ireland.
Locals do not where rain boots (known there as “wellies”), and the clunky boots will just take up too much of your precious suitcase space. Skip the rain boots.
Even if you’re traveling to Ireland in the summertime (by the way, I have an entire guide on what to wear in Ireland in summer here), you will not want to be wearing shorts in Ireland.
Unless the weather forecast predicts temperatures above 80 degrees, which is possible but extremely rare, you’ll regret wearing shorts.
Even then, remember that the wind is very cool near the ocean and near cliffs. Your legs will be freezing even in seemingly warm weather.
Speaking of cold, windy cliffs, you also might want to reconsider wearing your favorite hat in Ireland.
You don’t want to lose your hat to the blustery wind on the Wild Atlantic Way or on the Cliffs of Moher. The Irish wind is notorious for a reason. Opt for sunglasses and sunscreen for sun protection instead.
4. Hair Down
Similarly, to all my fellow long-haired travelers, you may want to reconsider wearing your hair down when traveling along the coast — purely because the wind is bound to tangle it every-which-way anyway.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with wearing your hair down in Ireland, but spending two hours curling your hair in the morning is, to be frank, a waste of time.
Learn from my mistakes. Remember to bring ponytail holders on your adventure days if you don’t want hair in your face constantly. You can thank me later!
5. Tank Tops
Furthermore, just like not wearing shorts, you should not pack tank tops for Ireland unless you know for certain that the weather will be unusually warm.
Again, even if the forecast predicts warm weather, don’t neglect bringing a sweatshirt/sweater and a jacket. I can practically guarantee that you’ll still want both the sweatshirt/sweater and jacket at some point during your trip.
6. No Layers (What Not To Wear In Ireland)
By now, you probably understand the fact that Ireland is chilly.
Don’t get me wrong, the weather in Ireland is beautiful most of the time. In fact, my all-time favorite weather is Irish weather. It’s just not the type of beautiful that involves short shorts and bikinis. It’s more refreshing and majestic than hot and sunny.
That being said, bring layers to Ireland.
Throughout any single day in Ireland, you could experience warm sunshine, damp cloudy mists and quick lashing rain showers. By packing and wearing layers each day, you’ll be prepared for any kind of weather that Ireland dishes out.
7. The Color Green
The next item on this what not to wear in Ireland guide is totally optional, and probably laughable to those of you who aren’t keen on taking a ton of photos on your trip.
However, from a professional photographer’s point of view, this Ireland packing tip is key. Avoid wearing the color green.
In photos, green will make you blend in with the background. Instead, wear a color that sharply contrasts green, such as red, bright yellow or black, to make you pop out from the background. This will add a lot more depth to your photos.
For more easy travel photography tips, check out my beginner’s guide to travel photography here.
8. Gym Shoes (What Not To Wear In Ireland)
Next, the last two items to not wear in Ireland are clothing items that will make you stick out like a tourist: gym shoes and touristy merchandise.
In Ireland, people tend to dress up more than in the United States. This means that wearing gym shoes out with your old jeans and torn Old Navy T-shirt isn’t going to impress the locals.
Walking shoes are important, though, so if you don’t own any nicer walking shoes, you may want to check out my guide to the best travel shoes.
9. Touristy Ireland Merchandise
Likewise, wearing touristy merchandise will make you look like a tourist no matter where you go.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with dressing like a tourist when traveling, always make sure beforehand that you are traveling somewhere where it is safe to dress like a tourist. Unfortunately, tourists are often targeted by scammers abroad.
Luckily, in Ireland, you don’t have much to worry about safety-wise by wearing a “Kiss me, I’m Irish” T-shirt –except making the locals giggle a little.
Now you know exactly what not to wear in Ireland. Are you surprised by any of these items you should avoid? Let me know in the comments below or sending me a message on Instagram!
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