Personal Stylist Goes Shopping on Vacation

Happy New Year! I know I already said that, but there it is again. It’s perky as we look outside and see our grey, Indiana weather showing up. As the skies and weather take a turn for the colder side, people are heading out on vacation, including myself. All that to say, here are my Personal Stylist tips to shopping on vacation.

Your Stylist Goes to Reykjavik, Iceland

This is going to be a little different blog compared to a lot of my stylist blogs you are familiar with. My husband and I recently vacationed in Reykjavik, Iceland, over New Year’s. Many of our friends asked us, “Why?” Well…the package we purchased seemed especially fun, and I had wanted to visit this little country after seeing some amazing photographs a photographer I know showed me. It was so natural, seemingly unspoiled, beautiful place. There is only about 4 hours of daylight right now in Iceland, so it gave my personal photos some beautiful, unusual lighting!

It lived up to those expectations and more. Of course we had to dress for it. I agonized over it, as I and any Personal Stylist would! I knew it was going to be cold, but it was really not that much colder than Indianapolis. I also knew it was going to rain; there would be ice and that I would need a coat that kept me warm but that was also water repellent and able to dry quickly. Of course, I needed sweaters—warm ones—and a variety of pants.

As for the coat, I ended up buying a North Face coat that was really two coats in one: outside was a waterproof coat with a hood and taped sleeves to keep the air out. Underneath that was a puffer of sorts that I would zip out and wear it when the outer raincoat was wet. That’s what happened. We were out in a windy, icy, sleety kind of day, and we came back drenched. My pants were drenched, too. Fortunately, that day I had worn a lighter, cotton pant that dried very quickly. Here’s a link to a similar coat.

Of course, I took two each of scarves, gloves and hats. Guess what I learned. Mittens are warmer than gloves. So, I bought some waterproof mittens, and I had spare gloves for then those were drying. These are similar to the gloves I used.

Personal Stylist Tip to Shopping on Vacation

Now, on to the good stuff. Have you ever vacationed somewhere and you quickly realize the “it” item you want to buy that’s made in the area and authentic? For me, it was a hand-knitted sweater made from Icelandic wool. There are more sheep in Iceland than people, so it’s not surprising that sweaters are a big tourist purchase.

Since I know how tourists can get tricked into buying a less than authentic item, I asked a couple of people where to shop. Our guide, Peter, a native Icelander, said you need to buy it at the knitting association stores where the sweaters are hand-knitted and use real Icelandic wool. I did my own research as we stopped at some of the stores in Reykjavik who featured them. Personal Stylist all-time tip, always do your research. Especially if you are going to spend quite a bit of your own personal money on the item. I quickly found two other types of sweaters: those made in Asia  on a machine that may or may not have Icelandic wool; sweaters hand knitted with Icelandic wool but made in Asia. Finally, the real deal: sweaters that were hand knitted by Icelanders with real Icelandic wool. That’s what I went for. Authenticity is worth your money.


This is like the sweater I bought. I think I can wear it soon!!


Beth Divine,



AICI Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist