Here we have a little guide for keeping comfortable outside in December in Iceland. You even get to see my undies! You’re welcome, fellas.
I will say that all things considered, 32F/0C is really not too terribly cold – I’m not some sort of badass viking or anything. The coldest parts of the winter here in NY get colder than that, and I notice a clear difference in my comfort levels when the temperature dips below freezing. So if you’re traveling to Iceland in the winter, you shouldn’t be too worried about keeping warm, assuming you make a couple of preparations.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS PROBABLY BORING IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ALL MY CLOTHES
I think the biggest differences for me were made by wearing leggings under my jeans, and by making sure I was covering as much of my skins as possible, so as to avoid the wind chill factor. I think I did a pretty good job of that between my gloves, scarf, and hat. Also, it’s not that I was wearing ESPECIALLY warm clothing, but I was definitely wearing a lot of layers. It helped my insulation!
For example, as you can see in the diagram above, which shows what I wore on my first day out and about, I wore underwear, socks, leggings, and jeans for my bottom half. My torso was covered by a long-sleeved shirt, cardigan (decided I didn’t need to wear this after the first day), fairly warm blazer-ish jacket, and a pea coat. Accessories included gloves, a scarf, a hat, and of course, shoes.
I was a little bit nervous that I’d find I didn’t pack warmly enough, but I was actually perfectly comfortable walking around outside all day! Then again, I prefer being cold to hot, so individual results may vary.