The best outfits to wear in Ireland focus on quality, comfort, and covering up for chilly weather. Outfits like a thick knitted sweater and slacks work well in cities like Dublin, while jeans,  a cardigan, and a t-shirt may feel more comfortable for a springtime road trip in Ireland.

Ireland often has chilly breezes and rain year-round, though temperatures rarely drop below freezing, Because of this, pick layered outfits so you can bundle up when necessary. Like most of Europe,  you will not see many people out in public in sweatpants or sneakers in public places. If you want to fit in, avoid wearing athleisure or tennis shoes and aim for a smart casual style instead, with an emphasis on warmth and comfort.

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Smart Casual

wear ireland smart casual

The key to looking put-together on your trip to Ireland is to pack smart casual instead of totally informal clothing. Smart casual is like a slightly less formal version of business casual, that blends both formal and informal garments together into a comfortable, put-together outfit. This means swapping out the sweats for jeans, khakis, or slacks. Instead of a hoodie, pack a nice jacket, preferably with a rainproof outer layer. 

While you should bring comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots if you plan to explore the countryside, make sure you also bring dressier ballet flats or loafers to wear in cities. Take a look at this list of the 10 best affordable and comfortable ballet flats here.

Warm Layers

wear ireland warm layers

One of the most important rules to follow as you pack for a trip to Ireland is to bring outfits with warm layers. This means having outerwear like a coat or jacket handy in case of rain. But it can also mean layering a shirt, a sweater, and a blazer for a trendy style, or piling a sweater vest over a button-down over a t-shirt. Layers will help you keep warm without looking bulky. 

Plus, you can easily take off a layer like a cardigan if you step inside and feel too warm! You can find the 20 best affordable and sustainable cardigans to try here.

Dark Colors

wear ireland dark colors

While it’s more of a guideline than a rule, you do tend to see darker, more formal colors worn throughout Ireland. You can also prepare clothes in neutral or solid colors for classy, smart outfits. For example, try pairing dark wash jeans with a grey t-shirt and a smart black blazer. Or add a cable knit grey sweater with black slacks for an evening out.

You will absolutely want to up your sweater game before visiting Ireland. Of course, keep in mind that in Ireland, these cozy garments will go by the name of a :"jumper" instead of a sweater! Take a look at this list of the 10 best affordable, ethical, and vegan sweater brands before making a purchase.

Rain Jacket

wear ireland rain jacket

A rain jacket is an absolute must for your trip to Ireland! Depending on which part of Ireland you visit, you can expect rain 50% of the days in the year or as much as 75% of the days out of the year!

If you plan to spend a fair amount of time out in the country, you may want an old-fashioned raincoat with a hood. For city wear, consider a much sexier trench coat instead, especially if you sensibly keep an umbrella with you at all times to protect your head. You can find the 10 best affordable and sustainable trench coats here.

Blouse with Jeans

wear ireland blouse

Several nice blouses and your favorite jeans also make a great choice for easy outfits to wear in Ireland. A blouse and jeans feel comfortable and can easily dress up or down depending on your environment. For example, add heels and fancy earrings for dinner out in a city, or hiking boots and a jacket for an afternoon climbing to see the Blarney Stone!

Choosing a blouse instead of a t-shirt sets a slightly smarter style. You will look put together without sacrificing comfort. Just make sure you pick a sustainably made blouse, like one of the 15 best affordable and sustainable blouses from this list.

T-Shirt and Jeans

wear ireland tshirt

For countryside hikes or days in the airport, you can definitely go casual with a t-shirt and jeans. Pick your favorite vintage-style tees and pair them with a comfortable cardigan or jacket. Make sure you bring nice jeans with no holes, fraying, or stains. Dark-wash or black jeans tend to look a bit sharper and more formal as well.

This list of the 17 most popular European jeans may give you inspiration to up your denim game!

Button Down and Khakis

wear ireland button down

For guys, make sure to bring two or three nice button-down shirts to pair with khakis or slacks on your trip to Ireland. You can roll up the sleeves on a button-down for a sunny day in the countryside, or add a belt and loafers for a dressier outfit to wear to a nice restaurant in a city.

There is nothing wrong with wearing a t-shirt to a pub in Ireland, but in general, you will see men looking a bit more dressed up in the city.

If you need new button-up shirts before your trip, take a look at this list of the 15 best ethical button-ups for a dressy look.

Sweater and Jeans

wear ireland sweater

Another classic way to dress up a pair of jeans for a smart casual style to wear during your trip to Ireland is to pair a sweater with your jeans. You can go with a tailored, form-fitting sweater in a fine knit for dressier occasions, or a chunky, cable-knit sweater for a casual afternoon.

Even in the spring and summer, Ireland can have chilly breezes. You may want a light, breathable sweater made from natural fabric like organic cotton during the warmer months, though. Find some sweater inspiration in this list of the 15 best organic cotton jumpers and sweaters here.

Nice Walking Shoes

wear ireland walking shoes

While you will want dressier footwear to wear out, you should plan to bring practical footwear like hiking boots for countryside adventures. Keep in mind that many Irish cities require a lot of walking, too, so shoe styles like loafers and ballet flats will work better than heels or slippery dress shoes.

If you plan to spend time in the country, look for waterproof or rain-resistant hiking shoes. You can find the 18 best affordable, vegan hiking boots to consider here.

Oversized Sweater

wear ireland oversized sweater

One of the coziest outfits you can plan for your trip to Ireland is an oversized sweater, paired with leggings, jeans, or slacks. For casual comfort, you can even wear an oversize sweater on top of a dress, or with a skirt and tights.

If you need warm tights that come from an eco-friendly source, check out this list of the 10 best ethical hosiery brands.


wear ireland cardigan

Men and women should both bring a warm, plush cardigan for a trip to Ireland. A quality cardigan can look smart with slacks and a blouse, a dress, jeans, a t-shirt, or khakis and a dress shirt. A sweater that buttons offers one of the best solutions for layering because you can leave it open for a cooler style, button it up when you feel a draft, or easily take it on and off to adjust to varying indoor and outdoor temperatures.

Make sure you find an ethically made cardigan, though. You can find out more about the harmful effects of wool production on the environment here.

Sweater Dress

wear ireland sweater dress

Another cozy and stylish option for knitwear to wear in Ireland is a sweater dress. A sweater dress is basically an extra long, somewhat fitted sweater, usually in a bulky knit. You can pair a sweater dress with tights or leggings, and finish off your style with chunky boots for a more urban vibe or chic ankle boots for a modern style.

You can find the 18 best affordable vegan boot brands to check out here!

Skirt and Leggings

wear ireland skirt

Do you worry that you might freeze if you pack a skirt to wear during your trip to Ireland? One easy way to get around this difficulty is to wear your skirt on top of leggings in the winter, or tights in the spring and fall. That way, you can enjoy your cute outfit without exposing your legs to a chilly breeze.

The other good thing about pairing a skirt and leggings or opaque tights is that you don’t need to worry about what skirt length will look appropriate in certain settings. In general, though, a knee-length skirt with some room for movement, such as a pleated or A-line skirt, offers the most practical solution while traveling.

You can find the 10 best affordable, organic bamboo leggings to add to your outfits here.

Ankle Boots and Summer Dress

wear ireland dress

Ireland does have beautiful summery days a few months out of the year, with temperatures sometimes reaching around 70 ℉. This may seem quite cool to people accustomed to a warmer climate, so you will want to pack a sweater or jacket to go with any cute summer dresses you pack for your trip!

Also, you will likely find ankle boots a more practical alternative to sandals, even in the summer. If a sudden rain storm comes through your boots will keep your feet dry! They will also offer a functional solution for walking around and looking at tourist sites.

You can find 20 cute and cheap summer dresses here.


wear ireland umbrella

You definitely need to bring a compact but sturdy umbrella for your trip to Ireland. If you can find one, look for a travel umbrella that folds down into a small cylinder and then fits inside a hard travel case, so you can stash it away in your bag when you step into a pub or shop in the middle of a rainstorm.

If you intend to visit the countryside during your trip, you may also want to invest in rain boots. You probably won’t see a lot of people in the city wearing these boots as you might in the States, though, so save them for muddy, sheep-dotted hillsides!  Take a look at the 15 best affordable, eco-friendly rain boots here.


wear ireland parka

Another practical item you may need to consider for your trip to Ireland is a warm parka. A parka is basically a long winter coat with a hood. Ireland does not get that cold, often staying firmly around 40 ℉ from December through February. But even though temperatures rarely drop below freezing, the damp chill in the air and consistent rainfall can feel unpleasant if you don’t prepare with appropriate outerwear.

Check out the 20 best affordable and sustainable winter parkas here.

Dressy Winter Coat

wear ireland coat

If you don’t like the idea of toting a bulky parka onto an airplane, consider a more urban peacoat or overcoat instead. This style of coat is easier to take on and off as you duck in and out of city shops during your trip to Ireland, which is a big plus as a tourist!  A peacoat can also look quite stylish when paired with smart-casual outfits like jeans and a blouse, too.

Of course, finding a quality peacoat or overcoat can prove challenging if you want eco-friendly outerwear. Take a look at this list of the 15 best vegan wool alternatives for the winter to get started.

Winter Boots

wear ireland winter boots

If you visit Ireland during the rainy winter season, you will want to bring either snow boots or waterproofed hiking boots to keep your feet dry as you splash around city streets or hike through frosty fields in the countryside.

You can find the 16 best sustainable winter boot brands here!


wear ireland scarf

Another great layering element you should include in your Ireland travel wardrobe is a scarf or two. A warm knitted scarf can add another layer to your fall and winter outfits. In the summer, a cool cotton scarf or a pashmina offers a great solution for days when the temperature seems summery, but the sun vanishes behind a cloud and suddenly you feel the damp chill in the Irish air.

Take a look at the 15 best affordable and sustainable winter scarves here!


wear ireland sunglasses

It may seem like much of your travel wardrobe is stocked full of rainy weather apparel as you get ready to head to Ireland, but you should also prepare for sunny days! Make sure you bring a nice pair of sunglasses with you for the gorgeous sunny days you can also encounter in Ireland’s rolling green hills.

You can find the 15 best affordable and sustainable sunglass brands to check out here.

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About the Author: Hannah Cobb

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