Empire State of Dress: What to Wear in NYC

Heading to New York City soon? Lucky you! It’s a city unlike anywhere else in the world, buzzing around the clock from sunrise ‘till sunset and is the scene of many iconic movies and TV shows and inspiration for countless songs.

It’s also one of the most stylish places on the planet, with world-class shopping opportunities and some of the most fashionable locals around. If you want to look and feel fabulous in NYC, read on to find out how to dress in a way that makes you look every inch as stylish as a native New Yorker…

Chic, comfortable footwear

Subways are crowded, and taxi cabs are expensive – which means you’ll be doing a lot of walking in New York. In fact, New Yorkers walk the highest number of steps a day compared to anyone else in America, so if you’re heading to the Big Apple, expect to rack up significantly more steps than usual. Comfort should be your first priority in NYC, so pack a stylish pair of boots or trainers, and consider saving anything with a heel for a dinner at a fancy restaurant rather than attempting any sightseeing in them.

boots in new york

A practical (but stylish) bag

Next up, make sure you have a stylish and practical bag to carry with you. From viewing the city from the top of the Empire State Building to riding the Staten Island ferry, you’re likely to spend all day soaking up the sights and sounds of New York. As a result, you’ll need somewhere to store your essentials. Opt for something you can comfortably sling over a shoulder in a dark colour – it will show less dirt (an important consideration in a city as crowded as NYC), and consider opting for fabric such as leather: it will stand up to the crush of people and buildings, and will only look better with a little wear and tear.

new year

Dressing for dinner

But what about dressing for particular activities? Well, it doesn’t get more fun than heading out into New York after the sun has set – the city is alive with rooftop bars, hipster watering holes and every manner of restaurant you could imagine. Dress up in whatever you feel best in – whether it’s a knock out dress (with a little room around the middle for dinner), or your favourite pair of jeans with a killer pair of heels. However, the key thing is to layer up: temperatures can get pretty warm in venues hosting Broadway shows, and you can guarantee that NYC’s best nightclubs are going to be warm too. But, hailing a taxi or walking from bar to bar could get a little chilly, making a lightweight jacket a good idea.

When in doubt, wear black

New Yorkers are known for their love of neutrals, especially black, white, grey and navy in experimental silhouettes. So, skip the bright zany prints and tight-fitting clothes, opting for plain colours in playful proportions. An oversized coat, billowing trousers or a t-shirt with unexpectedly full sleeves will make your outfit appear considered without being too try-hard, or worst of all, too restrictive.

Or wear what you want!

If there’s one thing New Yorkers are famous for above all else, it’s their no-nonsense bolshiness. So, act like a true New Yorker by packing your favourite clothes and wearing whatever you want with pride. Whether it’s your trusty denim jeans, or an avant-garde trend you’ve been itching to try out but haven’t felt confident enough for, New York is the place to wear it. Don’t worry about what’s all over the catwalks this season, and pay less attention to your favourite fashion bloggers – you’ll have the time of your life in NYC if you feel like yourself. That’s the real Empire State of Dress.

Flush the Fashion

Editor of Flush the Fashion and Flush Magazine. I love music, art, film, travel, food, tech and cars. Basically, everything this site is about.

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