One question we seem to get over and over is this: What should one wear while visiting NYC? Or….Paris or San Francisco or London or….fill in the blank. I’m lumping all the major cities together, more or less, because in my experience, what works in New York will also work in Paris, or Reykjavik or San Fran or really anywhere else. The only discriminating factor is the weather, so let’s just narrow this article down to focus on cooler weather.
When exploring any major city (or heck, even my own Philadelphia), I have a few non-negotiable requirements: First of all, comfy shoes. Like….walk-all-day comfortable. Secondly, I won’t suffer cold (or hot) for fashion, so layers are key here. And lastly, when exploring a new city (or even an old favorite) spontaneity is key. If we happen upon a perfect little place for happy hour/dinner/cocktails, I want to be able to just….walk in. I want my daytime outfit to be chic enough for a night-time outfit in a pinch. That doesn’t mean I don’t pack that cute little slipdress….but….a trip back to the hotel (just to change clothes??) sometimes feels like a giant waste of time.
The best part of travel, for me, is the adventure, the unknown, the discovery. Even in a city. So. What I wear – to basically any major city – during the cooler months, is this:
My Fool-Proof Outfit Formula For Exploring NYC (or other cities)
- A silky bodysuit – not only does a bodysuit (or silk cami, tucked in) help to keep you warm – and this works shockingly well – but silk camis or bodysuits layer beautifully under a sweater, and doubles as a date-night top if you find yourself somewhere fancy-ish.
- High-rise black skinny jeans – These will work for 99% of the places worth going. My favorite black jeans have a slight variation in the wash – it’s more interesting than a basic black.
- A Cute Sweater – I rely on drapey cashmere, or something thin enough to tuck in. Or….stripes. Stripes always work.
- Cool Kicks – Any sort of fashion-girl sneaker will work. Even at night, in cute little bistros. I love my Golden Goose sneaks, but my Adidas Superstars are also a go-to.
- Black Smartwool Socks – With black skinny jeans, black Smartwool socks look cute with any type of sneaker (we tested that theory here). And woolly socks not only help keep you warm, but they keep your feet soooo much more comfy when walking all day.
- Leather jacket – Real leather jackets are just the best for travel (or everyday). They’re both warm and chic.
- Big scarf, hat, mittens – These pieces are key to making this outfit honestly work in the cold. And the giant scarf wrapped around a leather jacket always looks so good.
- A Bag (big enough to hold the scarf, hat, mittens) – I like to be able to take my layers off and stash them somewhere. In most cities, I rely on a backpack. However, someone just asked about the best backpack to bring to Barcelona….and in that case, I wouldn’t do a backpack – pickpockets are an issue in Barcelona.
Oh Hey, New York
bodysuit: Tuxe Bodywear – I have an xs. It’s a pricey piece, but one I wear virtually all year round. Layered, in the winter (like this), and alone all summer long. It’s one of my wardrobe workhorses.
More Bodysuit Love
sweater: Free People – I have this in an XS. Love this thing.
More Sweaters (To Wear All Day)
sneakers: Golden Goose
Because I Wear Sneakers Like It’s My Job
scarf: Sole Society c/o
hat: Intermix – Over half off at Intermix right now!
So that’s it! And gang….I’d love some feedback on the format of this article. Was the collage helpful, or not necessary? Do you like the shopping widgets next to each piece, or would you prefer them at the end? We’re always messing around with the overall layout, trying to make these articles as useful as possible.