Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What to wear in Norway?

"There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing", says the Norwegian.

I checked the weather today and as usual, RAIN. 23mm of it before 12!  With a warning for Hordaland (Bergen): fra i kveld og først på tirsdag lokalt bye nedbør. Translation, from tonight to early Thursday heavy rainfall.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind the rain. I just don't like being cold and wet.

Only grey rain clouds to be seen on the forecast.  No surprise there.
So, I begin my task of getting dressed for the day.  What do you wear in Norway, where there is an average of 88cm and 275 days of rain each year (Seattle is at about 36cm and 158 days per year)??  Well, what would you wear if you had to get in the shower and stay dry and warm?  You may laugh, but really, it sometimes feels like the same thing.

There are some "regularly" warn items here in Norway that I would have laughed at a few months ago.  Today, I wish I had one. Oh, wait, I think I do!!

The "Norwegian Jumpsuit that has been dubbed the adult babygro".  Ok, people don't wear this out normally, but I have seen it at least twice (in public).  I won't lie, if I had one of these, I might even wear it.  It looks cozy.  

Look closely, and it's warm outside???

Since, I don't walk around sporting this fabulous one piece, I try and find an alternative.  I look at it as a two part equation, the under layer and the outer layer.  The under layer simply consists of what I would wear out on a chilly day anywhere.  I have learned that the outer layer jacket and shoes are the most important. 

My rubber rain boots have become the most useful pair of shoes I own.  Sometimes walking to the bus stop (downhill) in the rain can be like walking through a shallow stream.  Only rubber boots will keep your feet from getting wet.  And of course, I bring my other slip on shoes with me to school so I don't have to walk around in boots all day.

A waterproof jacket with a hood is the best. An important thing to remember is that Rain in Norway doesn't always come from above.  Rain pants are also very important, especially on the days I have to stand outside with the kids and the rain is coming at you sideways.  

An umbrella.  I love my umbrella.  Unfortunately, I can't always count on it to work.  Another important reason to have your rain jacket with a hood!  It can get windy and there is nothing worse than a bent backwards umbrella.  Bergen is sometimes called the "umbrella graveyard" after all of the broken and sad umbrellas people leave on the streets.  Poor, sad umbrellas. 

I'd like to think that my pretty, flowered umbrella will brighten any day, but as you can see...still gloomy. 

Another umbrella having seen the end of its days.

My last, very important item is a big bag.  I prefer a big purse that I can fit my book, extra shoes, socks, lunch and my wallet inside.  As long as it can squish comfortably on a crowded bus and fits all of my stuff, it works for me!!

If you're going running outside, just expect to get wet.  Run harder and the chill might feel good.  And if you're going out to the pub, just disregard all of the above.  Rain, sleet, hail, snow.  It's all the same.  Wear a dress, leggings and heels of course.  Because it's not cold or difficult to walk downhill on cobblestone streets in that!!   


  1. You just made me a little homesick! Stay warm and dry!!

  2. Thanks Hanna!! You (and the boys) are welcome in Bergen anytime:) !!

  3. I loved this post!

    I've been away from the blogging scene for a little while now and your blog was one of the few that really drew me back in! I have seen oh so many of those onesies sported around my norwegian town (At least five or six,) and as comfy as they do look I can't quite bring myself to buy one...

    Also loved your post below this Norway vs. US - I'm tempted to do my own of it sometime if you don't mind me nabbing your idea! ;-) Uk vs. Norway ofcourse

  4. Thanks!! I'm glad you like the blog! Go for it, I'd love to see a UK vs. Norway post!!

  5. I found your blog through "Suitcase & Stilettos" and this post really made me laugh! The hardest thing I find with the Norwegian weather, at least here in inland, is that it changes constantly. It might start with sun, and then all the suddenly out of nowhere it's pissing rain. And next, freezing cold... Summer or winter!!! :)

  6. So glad the blog made you smile. I agree. I like when it goes from rain to sun, it's so pretty!! Or even better, when it goes from dumping to clear right when I walk out my door for work. Not a super fan of the other way around:) I have learned to love layers (and my big bag to carry extra scarves, hats and gloves in)!!