Lord Dufferin, Letters From High Latitudes (1857).
As in every church where prayers have been offered up since the world began, the majority of the congregation were women, some few dressed in bonnets, and the rest in the national black silk skull-cap, set jauntily on one side of the head, with a long black tassel hanging down to the shoulder, or else in a quaint mitre of white linen, of which a drawing alone could give you an idea; the remainder of an Icelandic lady's costume, when not superseded by Paris fashions, consists of a black bodice fastened in front with silver clasps, over which is drawn a cloth jacket, ornamented with a multitude of silver buttons; round the neck goes a stiff ruff of velvet, figured with silver lace, and a silver belt, often beautifully chased, binds the long dark wadmal petticoat round the waist. Sometimes the ornaments are of gold instead of silver, and very costly.
E.J. Oswald, By Fell and Fjord, or, Summer Scenes in Iceland (1882).
The women all wear a pretty black cap, like a small Greek cap, with the same sort of tassel falling over one shoulder, and it sets them off not a little. They have smartly fitting dark jackets and skirts, and gaily coloured handkerchiefs and aprons; and they wear Scotch plaids over their heads in cold weather. The men have no especial costume, except that their brown suits look very loose and clumsy; and in cold weather they pile clothes on above and below till they have the figures of bears. The richer sort are dressed like people elsewhere, only constant riding inclines them towards wearing clothes to suit, and high boots.
Mrs. Disney Leith, Peeps At Many Lands: Iceland (1908).
"Have the Icelanders any national dress?" I am often asked. Decidedly they have, though the ordinary costume is very plain. It consists of a black cloth gown, made rather full in the skirt, with a bit of white shirt showing in front, a coloured apron, a neck-ribbon, and, on Sunday, a pair of black kid gloves - nothing more showy or attractive, and yet it becomes them; and many of the women are extremely handsome. On their heads is always the little round hufa - a black woven cap with a long tassel, and a silver ornament through which the end with the tassel is passed. In cold weather a shawl or kerchief is worn over the head, as by the Scotch. The hair, which is often very fine, is dressed in long plaits, looped up to the head.

The festival dress is more remarkable. A high helmet covered with white muslin, from which a long white bridal veil depends, and often a golden coronet in front, is placed on the head, and the rest of the dress may be of flowing muslin, silk, or velvet. For out of doors a long coloured plush cloak, trimmed with ermine, is often worn, and a gold, silver, or embroidered waist-belt, often costly and of ancient work, is a great feature of a lady's toilet.

I cannot say that the men have any costume at all corresponding, though I believe in earlier days there was some more distinctive fashion for them than there is now.

The children we find dressed much like their fellows here, though there is the tendency to put anything young into "Écossais" - fancy tartan of wonderful shades - that you see in other parts of Europe. The girls do not wear the hufa until they are fourteen or older.

James Nicol, An Historical and Descriptive Account of Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands (1844).
The dress of the Icelandic peasant resembles that of a common sailor, being a short jacket of blue, gray, or black home-made cloth, wide trousers of the same material, woollen stockings, and shoes or short boots of untanned leather, without heels, and laced in front. The higher classes are clothed as in other lands, and even the common people, when going on a long journey or to church, approach nearer the fashion.

The raiment of the females is more peculiar, and highly ornamented, though almost all formed of the wadmal or common cloth of the country. It consists of a red or black bodice, with stripes of velvet covering the seams, and fastened in front with five or six silver clasps; round the neck is a ruff of velvet, adorned in a similar manner; above is the treya or jacket of black cloth, with silver buttons, and, above all, is the hempa, a black cloak lined with velvet, and fastened with clasps. The stockings are dark blue or red, and the shoes somewhat similar to those of the men. The headdress is a fantastic turban of white linen stiffened with pins, and generally from fifteen to twenty inches high. It is round near the head, but soon becomes flat, and curves first backwards and then forwards. It is fastened by a black or coloured handkerchief bound round it several times; and on bridal or other high occasions, is also adorned with gold and silver. By the quantity of these precious metals on the dress, a judgment may be formed of the wealth and station of the proprietor, the silver on that of a lady of rank being frequently worth 400 dollars. But with all this external magnificence, linen is almost unknown, the underclothing of both sexes being chiefly flannel or wadmal, to which many of the diseases prevalent in the country are ascribed.
Ebenezer Henderson, Iceland: Or The Journal Of A Residence In That Island, During The Years 1814 And 1815 (1818).
Here are two drawings of Icelandic clothing from Henderson's book:
Frontispiece illustration in William Jackson Hooker, Journal Of A Tour In Iceland In The Summer Of 1809 (1811).
Themes page || Travels in 19th-Century Iceland home page