Wondering what to wear in New York City?
Here are styling tips for every season, alongside useful packing tips too!
If you’re wondering what to wear in New York City, you’ve come to the right place, I’ve got all the info you need for what to wear in New York City!
In this guide to what to wear in New York City, you’ll find:
- My personal style tips for every season
- Real photos of me in NYC, with outfit ideas and suggestions
- What to pack, depending on the month you’re visiting
- Essentials you’ll need to bring, regardless of the season
- What to expect (weather-wise) each season, and how this impacts what to wear in NYC
New York City is a place like no other, and if you’ve found yourself wondering what to wear in New York City – then you’ve come to the right place.
As a regular visitor to NYC, for work and leisure, I’ve been here in every season, at all times of the year. So I have a pretty good take on what to wear in New York City!
So, let’s dive into it and explore what to wear in New York City for different times of the year!
Always think about the time of year you’re visiting!
When wondering what to wear in New York City, you first need to identify what season you’re visiting.
Why? New York City is a city of seasons, and the weather varies hugely depending on the time of year. What to wear in New York City is highly dependent on when you’re visiting.
In other words – the month, and the time of year you’re planning to visit NYC will heavily alter the kind of clothes you need to be packing, and what to wear in New York City.
So, first things first, when working out what to wear in New York City, first you should figure out what time of year you’re coming. Then you can look at our handy seasonal guide below!
What to wear in New York City… Season by season
So, you’ve figured out what time of year and which season you’ll be visiting… it’s time to figure out what to wear in New York City.
You can read below and plan your wardrobe accordingly for what to wear in New York City.
Obviously, I haven’t included every item you’ll need to pack on these lists below – just the more important items, and tips you might not have considered.
Winter (December, January, February, early March)
If you’re visiting New York City in winter and wondering what to wear in New York City in winter, this is the right section for you!
If visiting in winter, the main thing to consider for what to wear in New York City, is layers. You need to think about bringing lots of layers, thermals and warm clothes.
New York City isn’t known for ‘mild’ winters. Most winter months will experience snowfall, ice or sleet – so make sure you’ve prepared for that.
I would recommend the following for what to wear in New York City in winter, as some key items you won’t want to forget…
- Winter boots (with good, grippy soles). I would recommend bringing 2 pairs of boots, in case one pair get wet or snowy
- Multiple socks of varying thickness. Bring more socks than you think you’ll need!
- Thermal layers are key for what to wear in New York City in winter
- If you wear tights – these are also great for low-key layering too, and work well under jeans
- Bring two coat options if your luggage allows it. One for a waterproof choice on windy and rainy days, and another thicker choice that is snuggly and warm
- Hats, gloves and scarves. I recommend bringing multiple choices for each item, in case you get caught in wet weather, and one set needs to dry off
- Warm pajamas for relaxing in the evening (you’ll also want to think about what to wear in New York City in your hotel room too)
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Early Spring (late March, April)
Early spring can be a tricky one when it comes to what to wear in New York City. Why? Because the weather could go either way for you.
Some people visit New York City in early spring and get glorious sunshine and mild weather, but some experience the last bits of winter and get very cold temperatures. Which can make figuring out what to wear in New York City in early spring a little more confusing.
Because of this, your plan for what to wear in New York City in early spring, will need a bit of research and flexibility.
I recommend checking the weekly weather forecast before packing, to get an idea of what is predicted, and whether you’ll be getting lucky (or not).
Regardless of the ‘predicted’ weather, though, I always recommend the following for early spring…
- Waterproof layers are key for what to wear in New York City in spring!
- It might rain, it might snow, it might hail. Prepare for it all! A good waterproof coat and layers are a must-have if you’re planning to explore a lot outdoors
- When it comes to what to wear in New York City on your feet – Opt for light boots, AND trainers. Take both, so you have options depending on the weather
- A leather jacket or denim jacket is a great choice for what to wear in New York City in spring. Because they’re stylish but warm and windproof too
- An umbrella! A must-have item at this time of year
- A ‘wild-card’ outfit for both extremes. If you’re predicted to have glorious warm weather during your trip, make sure you pack one outfit for a super cold and wet day. And vice versa. If the weather looks freezing and wet, make sure you take one outfit for a glorious summer day. That how unpredictable this time of year is!
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Late Spring / Early Summer (May, June)
Next on our breakdown of what to wear in New York City, it’s late spring and early summer.
Late spring and early summer tends to be a gorgeous time to visit New York City. So that’s your first bit of good news!
Late spring and early summer tend to enjoy those balmy temperatures, without the crazy humidity that the height of summer often brings.
And if you’re wondering what to wear in New York City during this time of year – the answer tends to be… dress for sunshine!
Expect to see good weather, and expect to enjoy the sunshine… But have back-up layers for slightly wet weather too, because NYC is fond of a spring or summer downpour.
Here are some essentials for what to wear in New York City in late spring and early summer…
- what to wear in New York City in spring…. Lightweight, easy-to-dry clothing (summer dresses, cotton tops, light shorts)
- Have a few outer layers on hand for cooler evenings (denim jackets or leather jackets work well for this!)
- Comfortable trainers and sandals for all the sightseeing. It’s good to have the choice of both at this time of year!
- A hat (or two!) for keeping yourself out of the sun
- Sunglasses (of course!)
- An umbrella (for those unpredictable downpours)
The height of summer (July, August, early September)
OK, summer in New York City can be amazing, but it can also be very hot, humid and muggy. So choosing what to wear in New York City in the height of summer can feel a little daunting.
If you’re prone to overheating in the humidity, then you really want to pack light, airy and natural materials.
When it comes to what to wear in New York City in summer, choose textures and styles that will keep you cool.
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When packing for the height of summer in NYC, most of my list is going to be very similar to the one above.
But in the summer, you’ll want to check out NYC with a few added extras…
- Lightweight, cool, easy-to-wear clothing
- Natural fabric like linen and cotton will keep you cool in the humidity
- Comfortable trainers and sandals for all the sightseeing. It’s good to have the choice of both at this time of year!
- A hat and sunglasses for keeping yourself out of the sun
- Anti chaffing shorts for under skirts and dresses
- A swimming costumer – incase you want to check out one of the city’s outdoor spas!
- An umbrella (for those unpredictable summer storms)
- Shorts, skirts, flowy dresses – are all going to be your best friend.
Autumn / Fall (October, November)
Autumn and fall are one of the nicest times to visit the city. The temperature cools down, and the city comes alive again after suffering through the summer heat.
If you’re wondering what to wear in New York City in Autumn, then hopefully, you’ll find the answers below!
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As far as a general vibe at this time of year, in early autumn, the temperatures cool down, and there are less storms and pressure to worry about.
Yes, you may get some rain here and there, but generally, the weather is quite manageable at this time of year, which makes choosing what to wear in New York City at this time of year, relatively simple.
As late autumn rolls in (late October and November), the temperatures will start dropping even more, and you may want to bring those extra layers and warm coats if you’re sensitive to a chill in the air.
Here’s what to wear in New York City in autumn…
- Light, warm layers (a couple of jacket options are recommended!)
- Jeans and denim are perfect for this time of year, as they will keep the wind out and keep you warm.
- Cute sweaters
- Trains and boots are worth packing. The weather changes day by day at this time of year, and some days might be more fitting for boots than trainers.
- Stretchy waistbands (if you’re visiting at thanksgiving!)
Some other things you’ll want to remember when wondering what to wear in New York City…
OK, so now you know what to wear in New York City in a more general sense, depending on the time of year, there are a few more things I want to recommend to you, which are applicable no matter what time of year you visit!
So, let’s dive into those!
Always pack…. A night-out outfit
When it comes to what to wear in New York City, a fancy / night out / cocktail outfit is a must-do.
At least once during your trip to NYC, you’re going to want to splurge on a nice meal out, or some rooftop cocktails, and when that time comes, you’ll want to look the part!
So always pack something you feel great in for those nights when you want to feel a little fancy.
When it comes to what to wear in New York City, you always want to have a fancy option for nights out!
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Always pack… The comfiest shoes you own
When it comes to what to wear in New York City, comfy shoes are MUST.
We know clothing is important when it comes to what to wear in New York City, but shoes and footwear are just as important too.
Don’t even think about visiting NYC with a pair of flimsy sandals or flip-flops for all the sightseeing and walking. Comfy trainers / sneakers or boots are a must and crucial for our list of what to wear in New York City.
Usually when I’m in NYC, I’ll easily reach 20,000 steps (if not, more!) per day. So wearing comfortable shoes is an absolute necessity.
Always pack…. Anti chaffing shorts
Another suggestion for what to wear in New York City, is something for anyone who wears dresses and skirts and suffers with thigh chaffing.
If this is you, then you’re going to want to pack some anti-chaffing shorts for any time you want to wear skirts or dresses.
These handy little shorts are super slim-line and are worn under your dress or skirt to stop the chaffing. They’re a miracle working for you’re list of what to wear in New York City.
Because of all the walking you end up doing in NYC, I simply wouldn’t be without them!
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Always pack…. A portable charger
OK, so this isn’t technically what to wear in New York City, and it isn’t a piece of clothing, but it’s something you’ll want to have with you at all times!
With all the photos you’re bound to be capturing, and all the videos for TikTok, your phone battery is going to be depleted pretty quickly!
So trust me, you’ll want to pack a portable charger!
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Always pack… A waterproof jacket and an umbrella
Probably one of the most important items for what to wear in New York City. A waterproof jacket and an umbrella!
Listen, NYC weather in unpredictable and there’s always a chance of rain in the city.
Instead of wearing those god awful tourist ponchos (you know the ones I mean!) just pack yourself a lightweight waterproof jacket instead and keep it in your bag. Or, an umbrella.
I’ve been caught in summer storms than drenched me head to toe – and I wish I had kept one on me just in case!
Always pack… A secure day bag
I find that bag theft and pick-pocketing isn’t as bad in NYC as other big cities (especially compared to Europe) but it’s worth being safe, so I usually aim to carry a bag that feels secure.
If you’re opting for a rucksack, choose one with slash-proof material and one with secure zip fastenings.
If you’re carrying a handbag, then a secure clasp, or zip should do the trick. I also tend to prefer cross-body bags because they let me keep my hands on my belongings at all times.
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What is the general style in New York City?
Maybe you’re nervous about what to wear in New York City because you’re worried your style might not fit into the city’s style.
Well, let me tell you, one of the most wonderful things about NYC, is that everyone wears whatever they want.
When it comes to what to wear in New York City, the answer is, whatever makes you feel great.
Be creative, be fun, be stylish, be boring, be comfy – whatever floats your boat.
You’ll find all kinds of people in this amazing city, wearing all kinds of outfits and clothes. So there isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to what to wear in New York City.
Just do you!
I hope this list of what to wear in New York City has been helpful!
Has this list of tips for what to wear in New York City helped you with your packing list? Let us know!
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