There’s no doubt about it, New York City is the home of fashion. New York Fashion Week is one of the premier fashion events in the world, and the city hosts some of the biggest names in fashion design and modeling. So if you’re planning to visit NYC, it’s time to up your style game and dress like a New Yorker. We’ve put together some advice on what to pack to fit in with New Yorkers and their elite sense of style, while staying comfortable and warm so you can truly enjoy exploring what the city has to offer.
The NYC style
To start with, if there’s one color that New Yorkers wholly embrace, it’s black. Why? Because black is simple, timeless, elegant, and functional. Whatever the season, whatever the year, black looks good on everyone and goes with everything. A simple pair of black jeans with a black crop top and boots with the right accessories instantly looks put together. The good news is that this makes packing very easy – if it’s cute and black, throw it in your suitcase.
However, when the weather is changing and spring has sprung, even New Yorkers do sometimes like to wear some color. The key to this however is mixing in a delicate pop of color. This could be a bright silk scarf, a colorful bag or belt, or some funky-colored sneakers. Accent pieces like these will let you still keep your outfit minimal while bringing in some color. Just remember, New York isn’t Miami, you’re not likely to blend in wearing an all-out colorful or patterned outfit.
New York is a walking city. Even if you plan to take the subway or Uber around, much of the ambiance and sites of the city are best enjoyed by foot, so the shoes you bring are extremely important. Your daily step count in New York is guaranteed to be higher than normal, so bring a good pair of sneakers, boots, or flats that you can comfortably walk miles in. And since April is still chilly, stick to closed-toed shoes, at least if you plan to be out much. Heels are great for a night out, but we’d recommend taking a cab to your destination in that case – it doesn’t bode well for the night if your feet are killing you as you arrive.
When it comes to general “looks” that are popular in NYC, the sporty, street-style aesthetic is definitely high on the list. A well-styled sweatpant and sweatshirt outfit or workout set are perfectly acceptable style and comfort-wise. To go with it, some sneakers and a warm puffer jacket for the April temperatures and you’re set.
With so many world-famous modeling agencies and front page models wandering around the city, it’s no surprise that the model off duty look is also common in NYC. To unleash your inner supermodel, the key is to keep things simple with your outfit and play with sizes and cuts. Some essential pieces to pack to achieve this look in NYC are cropped tees which can be great layering pieces under an oversized jacket or blazer, low top sneakers that go with everything, a classic black leather jacket, or a sprinkle of athleisure (such as a sweatsuit and blazer combo). Trendy accessories are also absolutely essential for this look, so make sure you bring some cool sunglasses or a unique bag to throw over your shoulder as a statement piece.
Packing for the weather
By the time it hits April in New York City, the worst of winter is in the past. Temperatures are slowly rising and the seasons changing, with spring officially taking over in April. If you’re in NYC in April, temperatures typically stay around the 60’sF at daytime, and drop to about the 40’sF at night. In terms of packing, this means that for daytime outfits you can pack pretty much anything, as long as it’s somewhat warm. Since the real feel temperatures can vary when the sun is out, we’d recommend dressing in layers, so throw in some long sleeved shirts or base layer tops, as well as sweaters or cardigans to throw on over them. You can also never go wrong with jeans or pants with a nice top, or a dress or skirt with tights, but really, pretty much anything goes in April as long as you have a good-quality, warm coat or jacket to wear on top. To fit in with New York’s sportier, street looks we’d recommend a classic black puffer jacket from North Face or Artizia, or for a more elegant look, a trench coat or longline blazer. And especially for the colder evenings you’ll want to pack a chunky knit scarf, a beanie, and gloves if you’re afraid of catching a chill. And if you’re going to be outside a lot on an usually cold day, long underwear may not be sexy, but they might be necessary!
What’s more, as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”, and this is certainly true in New York as well. April is one of the wettest months in NYC, and even when the sun is out and the weather is milder, you should still expect some showers. So make sure to pack an umbrella, a pair of shoes that can handle the rain, and perhaps a waterproof jacket, or at least something with a hood.
Packing for April events
There are always a huge number of evening entertainment options in NYC, and April is no exception. Theater fans can catch the latest show on Broadway, comedy geeks can spend a laughter-filled night at one of NYC’s many local comedy clubs, and anyone can check out which music star is playing at the city’s huge concert venues. If you’re wondering what to wear and how to pack for events like these, you have a lot of flexibility. You’ll want to pack on the nicer-side for a night on Broadway or at the ballet – nice dress or shirt with heels or bootie (no sneakers). But for comedy clubs, concerts, or sporting events, the vibe is definitely more casual so pack whatever you can comfortably laugh, dance, or cheer in.
Packing to go out
New York’s casual and minimalist vibe may give you the illusion that you can wear whatever you want out, but this isn’t really the case. If you want to get into NYC’s hottest clubs, which are often filled with celebs and socialites, you’ll definitely have to look the part. But looking the part doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, a classic little black dress with the right jewelry, heels , and accessories, or with a bold makeup look is perfect. You can basically never go wrong with a short, tight dress and heels. But if strappy heels aren’t your thing, go for some sexy thigh-high boots which elevate any outfit, while keeping your legs warm. And don’t forget to throw on a jacket of some kind – the nights are still cold in April and even though you’ll be toasty inside the club, you still have to get there and get home!