By Charlotte Dow & Jessie Festa. This post contains affiliate links to trusted partners we think you’ll love!
Wondering what to wear in NYC in winter?
There are plenty of options, as you’ll see in this post.
Now, one of the best things about living in New York City is that we get to experience all four seasons.
We get beautiful springs full of blooming trees and mild temperatures, long summer days to hang at the beach, falls full of colorful foliage, and magical snowy winters.
Moreover, we get our fair share of extreme weather — tropical storms, blizzards, and heatwaves — and sometimes we experience all four seasons in one week.
This unpredictability naturally makes packing for a trip to New York complicated, regardless of when you’re visiting.
Despite our ever-changing weather, there really is no offseason when it comes to tourism in New York.
Winter is a great time to visit the city and check out world-class museums, unique restaurants, performing arts, and more.
Visiting New York in winter does take a bit more planning when it comes to what to wear, though.
How do you make sure you’re prepared for frigid temperatures, icy streets, and potential storms when you’re exploring the city?
Don’t worry, this post has you covered.
Check out this guide to staying warm while looking cute during your next winter trip to New York City, written by a local.
📸 Need help capturing the beauty of NYC — with you in the photos? Book a private NYC Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.
What To Wear In NYC In Winter
Tip #1: Play with colors and fits
Wondering what to wear in New York in January? Here is one of my top suggestions for clothes to wear in NYC in winter:
A fitted coat looks chic and can be changed up with accessories like bright scarves for a pop.
Choose a longer style for extra coverage — a necessity on long, cold days exploring the city.
Accent your look while staying warm with a colorful hat or scarf; the sky may be grey but your outfit doesn’t have to be!
Pop into one of the many Instagrammable cafes in NYC to snap a chic seasonal photo for your feed.
2. Layer up
The weather outside may be frightful, but the radiator heat in many older New York City buildings can have you feeling steamy pretty quick.
Dress in layers so you’re prepared for whatever temperatures you might experience during your adventures.
A breathable, good quality sweater will keep you warm outside while keeping you from overheating indoors.
Thermal tights under a skirt or dress also offer great coverage if you can’t stand another day in jeans.
This also makes it easy to dress for exploration as well as any romantic winter dates in NYC.
3. Have fun with footwear
You shouldn’t visit NYC without a sensible pair of travel flats.
Boots have a bit of a monopoly on winter footwear in New York City.
And for good reason.
They’re sturdy, protective, and will keep your legs and feet nice and toasty on cold days.
Tall riding boots are a staple when it comes to New York winter clothes. They’re a chic but sturdy favorite among New Yorkers, while combat boots give your outfit a bit more of an edge.
Whatever shoe you pick, make sure they have lots of traction to keep you steady on icy sidewalks so you don’t end up visiting urgent care during your trip.
4. Choose warm and flashy fabrics
While many people tend to dress in all black during New York winters, you can really make a statement with warm, standout pieces.
Now is the perfect time to break out that metallic coat you haven’t had a chance to wear yet, or those red faux leather leggings you found on sale.
Stay extra warm by adding a turtleneck as your base layer; a chic but cozy staple. This one by Icebreaker is a top pick, as the brand is one of the best for high-quality Merino wool clothing.
5. Choose multipurpose garments
A large blanket scarf — like this stylish option — is a versatile way to stay warm wherever you go.
Wrap it around your neck and tuck it under your coat to protect your skin from cold winds.
Use it as a shawl indoors to keep warm in heavily air-conditioned restaurants and movie theatres.
They’re even perfect for travel when you want to take a quick train or plane nap.
With so many ways to style a blanket scarf, you’re sure to find one that best fits your look.
You’ll be glad you packed this when you head out into the snow for some winter photography in NYC!
6. Invest in gloves with a smart touch
A smartphone is a key tool for any trip and you’ll definitely want to keep yours handy while exploring New York City.
Make sure your hands stay toasty while you scroll with smartphone-friendly gloves.
The classic fingerless styles will usually do the trick, but there are plenty of fashionable touchscreen gloves that will allow you to use your phone while keeping your full fingers covered.
From faux leather to wool to ski gloves, there are plenty of options out there to fit your personal style. Personally, I love the Glider Gloves brand.
7. Coordinate your colors
Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the perfect photo opp with your travel companion.
If you’ll be taking photos, consider what vibe you want the pictures to have. Colors next to each other on the color wheel have a more harmonious quality, as shown above, while colors across from each other tend to stand out and pop for a more energetic quality.
New York Packing List For Winter
Wondering what to pack for New York in winter in terms of cozy essentials?
Here are Jessie’s favorite seasonal staples. These are what she recommends as a local and tour guide who spends a lot of time walking around outside:
- Thermals or moisture-wicking leggings to wear on their own or underneath your jeans or trousers
- Moisture-wicking shirts to wear on their own or underneath other clothing (I love these turtleneck-style shirts and dresses)
- A long down jacket (like this one)
- A warm hat (like these Merino Wool options)
- Original BUFF (to wear under a scarf; very necessary on super cold days)
- Speakeasy Scarf (my favorite travel scarf as it has hidden pockets)
- Glider Gloves (warm and comfortable — and you can still text)
- Hand warmers (simple ones like these to put inside your gloves)
It’s easy to feel a bit constricted by the weather when dressing for winter in New York.
But with a little creativity and a few fun, warm items, you can really stand out as you navigate the city streets.
Just remember to carry cash for coat check!
Need help capturing the beauty of NYC — with you in the photos? Book a private NYC Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.
Top New York City Winter Tours
Throw on your most stylish NYC winter outfit and explore the city through one of the following top-rated tours:
NYC Travel Insurance
When visiting New York City — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.
One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
Share your tips for what to wear in NYC in winter below!
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