When in Iceland, dress for the weather. Nearly everywhere in Iceland is prone to potentially extreme shifts in weather: sunny days without a cloud in the sky can turn to rain in a matter of moments, the winds could shift and a warm day could become frigid. When in Iceland, be prepared for these shifts in weather by wearing both inner and outer layers of synthetic fibers and always keep a rain jacket with you at all times.
Other that being prepared for the wind and rain, Iceland is not the coldest of countries in the world. Expect the temperature to be between 40 and 70 degrees F in the summer and 20 to 50 in the winter. As the Icelanders say, “It is the wind that kills you, not the cold.”
As far as fashion goes, it is my impression that Under Armour is the national uniform of Iceland. Synthetic fiber compression shirts, shorts, and pants are viewed as a must if engaging in any sporting or outdoor activity. As far as safety goes, this type of under layer could truly be a life saver, as the fibers are designed to wick sweat away from the body and dry fast if they get wet. If going out in the back country of Iceland, be sure to wear synthetic under layers.
Once prepped for the weather Icelanders tend to be good dressers. For men, the fashion is simple: t-shirts, button up shirts, jeans and khakis with a good synthetic fiber jacket tends to be the rule. For women, clothing that shows of the natural figure seem to be highly praised.
When going out for some nightlife, the people of Iceland tend to put on a fashion show, as everyone seems to dress their best. It is common for men to wear full suits and ties. For the women, the shortest skirts and lowest cut blouses seem to be the rule — just show as much thigh and cleavage as possible and you will fit right in.
In all, most foreigners and travelers seem to dress very slack when compared to the Icelanders, but don’t let this bother you, as nobody seems to care too much. If prepping to go to Iceland, just wearing what you do at home combined with some synthetic undergarments and a good rain jacket would be in line. But if you plan on competing with the Icelanders when out at the bars, be sure to bring at least one set of highly fashionable clothes.