wear to wear in nyc in winter

New York City Winter Fashion Guide: What To Wear To Stay Warm + Stylish

Jessica Festa Beauty & Style, Discover NYC, Travel Tips Leave a Comment

By Charlotte Dow. This post originally appeared on Jessie on a Journey. This post contains affiliate links to some of the Jessie on a Journey team’s favorite products that 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, 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 step your game up even further with an NYC Influencer Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

What To Wear In NYC In Winter

NYC Winter Outfit, Central Park, New York City

Bring some extra color into your winter look with bright accessories. Photo taken during a private NYC Photo Journey.

Tip #1: Play with colors and fits

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!

Pro tip:

Pop into one of the many Instagrammable cafes in NYC to snap a chic seasonal photo for your feed.

Wondering what to wear in #NYCinWinter? This guide + packing list has you covered for the perfect #NewYorkCityTrip! Click to Tweet
Park Avenue Couple, New York City

Layers are essential for anyone exploring NYC in winter. Photo taken during a private NYC Photo Journey.

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 but keep 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.

upper east side in winter wearing boots

Stealing a kiss and looking stylish on a private NYC Photo Journey.

3. Have fun with footwear

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 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.

What is the first thing you would pack when visiting #NYCinWinter? Here are some recommendations for a #NewYorkCity local! Click to Tweet
Times Square photo shoot, New York City, NY

Who says winter fashion has to be all drab coats and muted colors? Photo taken during an NYC Influencer Shoot.

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 (this one is a top pick!) as your base layer; a chic but cozy staple.

nyc influencer shoot brooklyn bridge park

Enjoying the beauty of Brooklyn Bridge Park on a chilly day. Photo taken on an NYC Influencer Shoot.

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.

Another idea:

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!

Stay warm while looking stylish when #VisitingNYC in winter with this guide + #NewYorkCityPackingList Click to Tweet

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, pictured above.

times square in winter during photo tour

Taxis and Times Square fun on a private NYC Photo Journey.

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.

You can check out some of these best places to take pictures in NYC for inspiration.

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, and are what she recommends as a local and tour guide who spends a lot of time walking around outside:

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 step your game up even further with an NYC Influencer Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Share your tips for what to wear in NYC in winter below! 

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