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Not sure what to wear in New York City and desperately searching for the perfect NYC packing list?

Makes sense to me since as a local New Yorker, I can tell you with the utmost asssurance that the weather in NYC is manic at best (so always check the weather prior to your trip since it can change rapidly from day to day)

Plus:

New York City is one of those rare and magical places where you can literally wear just about anything and no one will even look twice.

No, really.

You could walk around in a giant Teletubby suit and people would assume that you’re just a lost, costumed character from Times Square.

Yeah, we’re used to the incredibly weird and totally embrace it. So do the same when creating your very own New York City packing list.

Because let’s be honest:

Where else in the world would you find a no pants day on the subway?

That’s why:

It can be difficult, at best, to create a perfect, NYC packing list if you’re not from the area.

Because seriously:

It can be hard to figure out what constitutes chic, fashion-forward, NYC attire that will help you look and feel like a confident local; a local who desperately avoids eye contact while confidently, and briskly, walking down the street (hint, hint, do this and you will look even MORE like a local). 

Now, I’ll gonna be brutally honest here:

You definitely won’t find me on any New York City Fashion Week catwalk any time soon.

However:

As a native New Yorker who has lived here for well over twenty years, I can show you what to wear in NYC so that you can blend in with the locals.

And lesson number one?

Leave the scrunchy at home. No respectable NYer wears a scrunchie. And if they do, it’s to a SoulCycle Class, while carrying an organic, antioxidant-rich, Kombucha Tea.

Bot more lessons to come on what to wear in New York City my young Jedi of awesome.

So for now:

Just sit back, relax, take off that I heart NY shirt, and grab an authentic, NYC bagel with a smear of cream cheese to satiate your hunger as we swan dive into this local’s guide on what to wear in NYC.

Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high chance that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Contents hide

1. PINCNEL Women’s Backpack and Purse

First things first:

Obviously, you’re gonna need a super sleek, stylish, and totally practical day bag to hold all of your crap while you’re schlepping through NYC on the subway (cabs are way too expensive and there’s a ton of traffic so buses can take forever).

And this PINCNEL Women’s Backpack totally checks all those boxes.

And added bonus? It’s in black and NYers LOVE black since it’s slimming, matches everything, and helps you blend in so that rookie thieves don’t mess with you.

But what really makes this one of the best carry on bags for women is the fact that this bag comes in six different colors, has a unique, waterproof/antitheft design (nylon is fused with leather to create a fabric that can withstand slashing), and is big enough to hold a 10″ MacBook, among other things!

Pretty sweet right?

A bag that’s big enough to hold all of your day trip essentials, but not so big that you’ll develop back problems and turn into Quasimodo.

Plus:

This backpack is even designed with a fantastic back zipper, that accesses the main compartment and rests up against your back while you use it.

Therefore:

Say goodbye to theft-related anxiety and hello to serenity since there’s no way that anyone could open the zipper and steal all your belongings while you’re walking around.

Hooray!

There are also two adjustable shoulder straps, one detachable crossbody strap (use this in museums that don’t allow backpacks), and a slew of interior and exterior pockets to keep you uber-organized while looking like a super snazzy NYer.

And all this for just $26!!! Crazy right?

Trust me, no way are you gonna find a backpack this cheap and this awesome while in NYC.

#justsayin’

***Overall, NYC is a pretty safe city. I’ve lived here for well over twenty years and have never had a problem with pickpockets or muggers. So, while you don’t need to go out and buy an assortment of crazy anti-theft devices, like a money belt, do use common sense and try to avoid parts of the city that look a bit sketchy.***

2. Dark Skinny Jeans

 
 
 
 
 
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Like the rest of the world, we in NYC love a good pair of booty poppin’ skinny jeans.

That’s why:

No NYC packing list would be complete without an uber cute pair of dark skinny jeans.

And in fairness:

No booty pop is needed but they do need to make your butt look cute and make you feel as though you’re wearing the most comfortable pair of sweat pants EVER.

And you’re gonna need a BOATload of comfort after eating all the delicious bagels and pizza that NYC has to offer.

Because if nothing else, NYC knows how to do food right.

That’s why I live and die by these Aviator travel jeans!

Not only are they the most comfortable pair of jeans that I’ve ever worn. but they’re true to size, make you look/feel amazing, and have five insanely large pockets, with zippers, that can fit even your behemoth passport.

But the cherry on top of this sundae of awesome?

These jeans are incredibly well made and will probably last longer than any cockroach on the planet since they’re durable, flexible, and breathable (the heavens open up as a choir of angels sing and rejoice).

Personally:

I go with a dark wash, or black, pair jeans since I think they look a little chicer, but you can’t really go wrong with any of the clothes on Aviator’s site.

The only teeny tiny drawback?

These jeans are $110 a pair. I know, pretty pricey.

But:

These pants are so well made that buying a single pair of these jeans is way cheaper than purchasing jeans of lesser quality every two months. 

And:

If you go to their website, you can sign up for their email list, and get an extra 15% off!

That’s a $16.50 discount that you can use towards buying another pair for your London packing list (insert winky emoji here)!

Okay:

I know not everyone can afford a $110 pair of jeans. If this sounds like you then check out these Levi’s Gold Label Jeans.

I wore these before I got my Aviator’s and think they’re a viable alternative since they look nice, are true to size, have a comfy elastic waistband (it’s also a control top waist that holds in your muffin top and makes you look a solid 5 pounds lighter), and cost just $25 a pair.

Perfect for any ladies out there who are on a budget but still wanna look and feel GOOD.

3. Fashionable Black Leggings

Anyone who reads my blog knows of my incredible fondness for black leggings.

I mean:

What’s not to love? They’re comfortable AF, easy to pack, versatile, cheap, and are just an all-around, essential piece of clothing that every woman should pack when traveling to NYC.

Why you may wonder?

Well, you want to be comfortable since you’ll be walking around a lot.

But:

You’ll also want to pack a TON of layers since the weather in NYC can change dramatically from one day to the next.

That’s why, leggings are key when packing for NYC.

Just pair them with a nice chunky knit sweater, scarf, and cool pair of boots (no heels, you’ll kill your feet) for a casual look, or dress them up with a nice sequence dress and a glam pair of ballet flats.

Boom, you’re done! Super easy and super comfy.

However, not just any pair of leggings will do. They need to be durable enough not to rip every time you wear them, but they also can’t make you look like you just walked out of a CrossFit class meant for Olympic champions.

Haha, me, do CrossFit? Talk about a JOKE!

Anyway, I love these American Apparel leggings because not only are they uber comfy (even after you wash them and they shrink a bit), but they come up over my stomach and prevent me from sporting a wicked awful muffin top of DOOM!

Plus:

They cost just $20 and come in colors that I legit, didn’t even know existed. 

So, definitely try these leggings out and let me know what you think.

4. Timberland Boots

I like to be as transparent with my readers as humanly possible.

Therefore:

I’ll be the first one to admit that I haven’t actually worn a pair of Timberlands since I spent my summers working at a stable…in ye olde middle school.

Yeah, it’s been awhile.

However, It would be remiss of me not to mention Timberlands on this NYC packing list since almost every NYer on the planet owns, loves, and worships all that is Timberland.

Plus:

I’d lose what little NYC street cred I have left if Timberlands didn’t make this list.

Personally though:

I still see them as construction boots and would never wear them outside of a stable.

But, clearly I’m in the minority.

And I do know from personal experience that they are comfortable, durable, and basically the unofficial uniform of New York City.

Which makes sense since the streets of New York City are filthy, making it imperative for everyone to own a quality pair of work boots that will keep their feet warm and dry when the wrath of the polar vortex rains down upon New York City.

Plus:

Timberlands tend to hold up MUCH better than UGGS in the rain/snow, and come in a variety of different colors and styles that will suit just about anyone.

I mean:

They now make Timberlands in high heels and colors like pale pink. Need I say more?

However:

I’ve heard that Tims do run a little big so I definitely get a half size smaller than you normally do. 

This way:

They’ll still be comfortable but easy to wear with a pair of heavy socks. 

Plus:

These boots are pretty versatile. So, you can easily wear them with the laces done up, or only half way up, with the tongue sticking out (and they won’t slip out because of the boot’s high ankle).

They also look wicked good with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into the boot or with your socks coming out of the boot and over your skinny jeans (they look awesome with leggings too). 

Definitely a fantastic pair of boots that will make you look and feel like a REAL New Yorker.

5. Official New York Yankees Hat

You're not a real New Yorker if you've never bought or owned this iconic, New York Yankees hat.
You’re not a real New Yorker if you’ve never bought or owned this iconic, New York Yankees hat. 

While I don’t wear a Yankee hat on the reg. (I wear a slightly more polished sunhat instead):

I have owned, worn, and loved one of these hats for a time.

That’s why:

I can absolutely confirm that yes, these hats are amazing and yes, they really are beloved by most NYers all across the city, minus the Mets fans (FYI: NYers refer to NYC as “the city”).

Sorry, but I consider the Yankees more of New York’s team since they’re more internationally known. Guess we can thank Jay-Z for making the Yankee hat an actual “fashion trend”.

And while there are a ton of different Yankees hats out there, this is the only official, Yankees hat that locals will wear, making this a perfect New York City gift idea for any New York lovers out there.

But:

If you REALLY wanna look like a local and wear this hat correctly, then you CANNOT bend the brim and you must keep the sticker on.

Do this and New Yorkers will accept you as one of their own.

But seriously:

I’ve had one for years (not that I really wear it anymore) and it’s comfortable, stylish, durable, and even comes in a variety of colors.

Plus:

Buying this hat online is WAY cheaper than buying them at Yankee Stadium.

So:

Feel free to get your NYC swagger on with an official Yankees hat like this.

6. Waterproof Boots

So:

If you’re not in the mood to rock construction worker chic Tims throughout your entire vacay, then you’ll definitely need a pair of boots that are stylish, comfortable, and waterproof since NYC has been getting a lot of rain lately.

And waterproof is a must since you don’t want to get caught in one of those black hole size mud puddles that NYC is infamous for.

That’s why:

My pick for the perfect NYC boot is the UGG Simmens! Seriously one of the most comfortable and stylish walking shoes that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.

Not only are they cute AF, and mad comfortable to BOOT (get it), but they are waterproof and come with an awesome zipper that helps you quickly and easily remove them at airport security.

Plus:

They have a wool insole to help keep your feet warm and a rubber sole bottom for added traction.

That’s why:

They’re perfect for almost any season in New York City, except maybe summer when it’s disgustingly hot and humid.

So:

If you’re looking for a pair of boots that can withstand the wear and tear of NYC, but that will still look fab in the process, then these are the boots for you.

FYI:

My precious…I mean, these boots run a small so I consider ordering a half size larger than you normally do.

7. Raincoat

Since it rains a lot in London (DUH), everyone must have a rain jacket on their London packing list.

Definitely check the weather before you leave for NYC because if it says no rain, then obviously there’s no need to pack a raincoat.

Because let’s be honest:

This is NYC, so I pinkie promise that you’ll be able to find anything and everything that you could EVER possibly want here.

That’s why:

If there is some sort of freak, Sharknado level crazy storm, just grab a cheap, plastic poncho from a street vendor and call it a day.

They’re like $5 and you can just throw it out when you’re done with it.

But:

If it looks like a tsunami of rain is about to descend upon New York City, or if you visit during spring (March-May), then definitely pack a flattering raincoat that will keep you warm and dry.

And my fave?

The Cole Haan packable raincoat! Not only does it neatly and easily fold up into your suitcase, but it also has a removable hood (I love this because I think raincoats always look so much sleeker without a hood) and a charming belt, that when used, gives it a more customizable, feminine fit.P

I also love that the fabric is durable, comfortable, waterproof, and heavy enough to be worn throughout the spring and fall (just wear a sweater underneath during the fall so that you don’t get cold).

However:

This jacket does run a bit small, especially in the back and arms, so try and order a size or two up if you think you might want to buy this jacket.

8. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

Raise your hand if you carry electronics with you on vacation?

(This girl’s hand shoots straight up and almost pokes someone’s eye out)

Yup, just like the rest of my self-indulgent generation, I too am a tech-dependent Millennial who would probably fall down a well or get eaten by a rogue shark if I didn’t have my GPS with me at all times.

Therefore:

It’s beyond imperative that I keep my phone fully charged and ready to go 24/7.

Because:

If the battery on my phone actually does die, it’s like a Defcon 5 national emergency.

But Never Fear:

That’s where this pint-sized portable of wonder charger comes in.

Feel free to oh and ah at all (kidding).

So take a deep calming breath, namaste it up, and chillax because this gadget will recharge multiple devices and save you a trip back to your hotel.

The best part though?

This charger is so small that it easily fits inside your makeup bag, leaving space for super important things like that Harry Potter wand that you just HAD to buy

I get it. The Muggle struggle is real (if you hate Harry Potter just ignore this).

9. Electronics with an International Adaptor

Now:

Since appliances in the United States run on 110v of electricity and electrical outlets are shaped differently than the rest of the world, anyone living outside of North America (and most of you are not) will need a dual adaptor and current converter when using electronics in New York City.

Don’t get me wrong:

Most laptops, cellphones, and cameras should be totally fine, but many hair dryers, curling irons, and hair straighteners won’t be since they don’t support multiple voltages.

Just to be certain though:

Double check the tag on any appliances and make sure that it explicitly states that the appliance is dual voltage. If it does then you can safely use it in the US without a currency converter.

Now:

Obviously, you’ll want to bring your smartphone too, if it isn’t already permanently attached to your hand.

Therefore:

Try and purchase a sim card for your unlocked phone prior to your visit so that you don’t get hit with a ton of data overages while using the internet to navigate the not so mean streets of NYC.

Also:

Don’t forget to pack a decent pair of headphones, which is the socially acceptable way to ignore people who try and talk to you. Three cheers for social isolation!

Personally:

I love a good pair of noise-canceling headphones since they drown out all the ambient noise and let me watch my movie/listen to my music in peace.

But any pair of headphones will do. It just depends on your budget. 

Some other electronics that you might want to pack include a tablet with a keyboard, a lightweight laptop, and an e-reader, like a Kindle

Just make sure that you choose wisely and don’t overpack!

10. Camera Gear

While I wouldn’t exactly call NYC picturesque (just look at the garbage heaps and the rats the size of cats), there are a ton of beautiful parks and iconic landmarks that you’ill want to take pictures of.

Therefore:

Unless you want to draw everything by hand, you’ll clearly need camera gear of some sort to commemorate your trip.

Personally:

I’m not a huge fan of selfie sticks (aka Millennial wands of self-indulgence) since I feel like a total tool when I use them.

That’s why:

As a die-hard solo traveler, with no Instagram husband to speak of, I suck it up, force my eyelids open even before the sun dares come up, and drag one of my favorite travel tripods around with me wherever I go. 

Yes:

It’s 110% as un-fun as it sounds, but totally worth it once you get a bunch of amazing pictures that make you feel like a slight Instagram baller.

But:

If you still want to use a selfie stick, that’s totally cool. No judgment here. I just don’t like it for me.

Just know that in most major cities, a selfie stick is the hallmark of a naive and unsuspecting tourist.

And speaking of tourist (terrible segway I know):

There are a few other photography essentials that you might want to add to your NYC packing list.

You know, things like spare batteries, spare memory cards, any type of lens you may need, a UV filter, and a great camera bag to store all this expensive gear.

My personal fave just happens to be any of the amazing bags over at GATTA.since they are the highest quality and most stylish camera bags that I’ve everowned.

Sure:

They’re a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth the investment in my humble opinion.

Because trust me:

I’ve had camera bags break on me, mid-trip and it’s never fun and always anxiety inducing since you’re constantly wondering if today is the day when your camera will finally be destroyed.

I happen to love the Rosewood Camille (above) and the Chloe Noir (smaller, chic, and black).

Both of these camera bags are stylish on the outside, with a fabulous, felt like interior and an adjustable divider that creates a customizable fit to cushion your camera and help protect it from damage.

PSST: Pack extra Ziploc bags to put your wet clothes in or to keep your electronics dry.

11. Collapsible Water Bottle (This item will save you a ton of money on bottled water while visiting NYC)

I know:

A collapsible water bottle will never be the sexiest or most exciting item on any travel packing list.

But:

When you visit New York City and begin to realize that a single bottle of water can cost upwards of $3, this reusable water bottle starts to get a whole lot sexier.

Plus:

Not only does it help you save money on drinks, but it also protects the environment by reducing your overall plastic consumption.

Added bonus?

Ultra-left wing hippies will also stop throwing titanic levels of shade your way as you guzzle down your filthy, mass-produced, environment destroying diet coke (all a joke since I LOVE diet coke).

But why buy THIS water bottle?

Well, it’s a nifty, collapsible water bottle that will take up little to no space in your bag when you’re not using it to carry water.

So:

No more bulky water bottles that seem to take up way too much room in your bag.

Instead:

Just deflate this water bottle, roll it up, and, BAM, you now have a ton of space for other, nifty travel essentials.

Just take the handle strap, pass it under the rolled up water bottle, and then hook the strap to the plastic ring that attaches the strap to the water bottle

And that’s it. Poof, you are now an NYC packing pro.

12. Stylish Walking Shoes

Since New York City is the largest city in the United States, and the ninth largest city in the world (thanks Google), clearly you’ll need to do some walking, even if you take the subway everywhere.

That’s why:

Comfortable but stylish, walking shoes are the key to any outfit when figuring out what to wear in NYC.

And if you do get new shoes, be sure to break them in BEFORE, and not during your trip to New York City.

Because honestly:

I don’t know too many people who go around saying, “Oh gee, I just love blisters and watching my heels bleed from the discomfort of my shoes,”

That’s why: 

You need to treat yo’self and check out the Steve Madden Women’s Gills Fashion Shoe.

Truthfully though:

I was a bit nervous about buying these shoes since I didn’t think I would like them.

See:

I had previously purchased a pair of quilted, Steve Madden slip-on sneakers, and they were exactly what I wanted.

They were stylish, comfortable like traditional sneakers, and really easy to slip on and off, which was perfect for the sirport.

Except for one tiny problem…they gave me horrible blisters until I broke them in.

That’s why:

When I finally got these shoes, I wasn’t 100% certain that they would be comfortable.

But:

I diligently researched these shoes before I bought them and ordered a size larger than normal as a preemptive strike against any potential blisters; something that probably wasn’t entirely necessary since the heel has extra padding and is also a bit rounded to prevent blisters.

Well:

I’m delighted to report that these shoes are comfortable, last a LONG time, look good with almost any outfit (just be sure to buy a neutral color shoe ) and are easy to put on and take off.

That’s why:

My love for all things Steve Madden has been fully restored! HOORAY!

***Remember to put on no-show socks if you wear these to the airport. Because nobody wants to step on the airport floor in their bare feet. That’s just gross.***

13. Faux Leather Jacket (The perfect addition to any NYC Packing List)

Now:

I definitely wouldn’t wear this jacket in the dead of winter when the polar vortex is in town and there’s three feet of snow on the ground.

But:

If you’re looking for a fashionable jacket that will keep you warm and toasty on a cool spring day, then this Lock and Love Quilted Faux Leather Jacket is where it’s at. 

Not only does this tailored, faux leather jacket make you look super chic, but it’s also incredibly durable, and made with high-quality stitching that makes it last for what feels like forever.

It’s also black, which is great since New Yorkers will forever love the slimming beauty and power of this magnificent color.

FYI though:

I’m a vegetarian. So, I won’t be wearing real animal products any time soon, which is yet another reason why I adore this imitation leather jacket.

Plus:

The faux leather used to make this jacket is incredibly high-quality, which is why it actually looks and feels like real leather, and not like a glorified potato sack.

It also comes in pretty much any color you can dream up which is always a bonus.

Be forewarned though:

This company does not do returns. Therefore, if you purchase this jacket, carefully read the reviews and select the size that’s best for you

Yes:

This jacket is meant to be a form-fitting jacket, but not so form-fitting that you faint due to a lack of oxygen.

That’s why:

I would order a jacket that is two sizes larger than your normal size since it’s better to have a jacket that is too big than too small.

14. Chunky Knit Sweater

Chunky knit sweaters are another one of my not-so-low-key clothing obsessions.

But:

They are even more awesome if you’re traveling to New York City during the summer.

Why, you may rightly wonder, since NYC is disgustingly hot and humid from June through August?

Well:

While it may be hot outside, inside of every building in NYC, the AC will be cranked up to sub-Artic temperatures.

Therefore:

Fail to pack something warm during the summer and you’ll spend your entire trip to NYC feeling like you’re about to freeze to death.

And let’s be honest:

If you’re gonna pack something warm to wear anyway, might as well make it something that’s WAY nicer than that grody old sweatshirt of yours with the unintentional thumb holes.

Plus:

A chunky knit sweater is just a great go-to travel item if the weather suddenly changes and you need something to keep you warm.

You could even MacGyver it up and use your chunky knit sweater as a blanket or a pillow during a long flight.

Personally:

I love this sweater from MEROKEETY since it’s soft, comfy, and drapes over you nicely and not in a living room curtain kind of way (but it doesn’t have any closures which is kind of annoying). 

Plus:

It fits well, falls just above the knee, has deep pockets for added storage, and a flattering v neck that will make you feel like you’re the reincarnation of Jennifer Aniston.

However:

The stitching is a bit odd and gives it an almost terry cloth look which I am not a fan of.

It also isn’t made for frigid weather.

Therefore, don’t go out in the middle of the winter wearing this, and only this, you know, like one of Jack’s French girls (Get the Titanic reference? No? Right…awkward).

15. Little Black Dress 

When trying to figure out what to wear in New York City:

A women’s travel dresse is always an ABSOLUTE must!

I mean:

Not only are they easy to pack, but they always make you look and feel AMAZING (like you tried to look good without actually doing anything).

Now::

This dress happens to be a Boatneck Sleeveless Vintage Tea Dress from one of my favorite designers on Amazon, Grace Karin.

I love their dresses (I have a dress with a short sleeve black top and a white bottom with lemons that I get a ton of compliments on) since they’re high-quality, last forever, true to size, come in any pattern/color imaginable, are reasonably priced at $30 a dress, and hide any bodily imperfections with the help of a pair of  Spanx.

Added bonus?

This dress is made of some mystery, magic material that is wrinkle resistant, which is essential for me since I don’t think I’ve ever used an iron in my life.

Just a truly timeless look that might even make someone like Grace Kelly go a bit weak in the knees.

Also, a fantastic piece if you’re planning a fab night out in NYC and want to dress up a bit for a Broadway show (FYI: You can dress up for a Broadway show if you like but you definitely don’t have to. No joke, you could literally wear sweatpants and no one would care. Also, before you purchase Broadway tickets, find out how to get them for half price!)

16. Tide to Go

Since I am a total, un-hot travel mess:

Tide to Go is a total MUST since I’m always spilling something all over myself.

So:

While I can’t save myself from acute spillage of the least attractive kind, I can do a little incognito damage control by whipping out this little cleaning wand of wonder to dab away any evidence of my incredibly un-dainty ways.

Sure:

I’m a glorified walking disaster, but that doesn’t mean I wanna look like a bag lady while walking down the ever-posh streets of Manhattan.

That’s why I stick with this little miracle and pray for deliverance from my accident-prone ways.

And while we’re at it, add some Advil to your NYC packing list too.

Because trust me:

There’s nothing worse than having a pounding headache from a debaucherous night before, with no relief in sight (except maybe a $10, mini-bottle of Advil that you’ll find at the airport).

17. Travel Insurance

I know:

Travel insurance is probably THE single most boring thing on the planet to talk about…except when you have a medical emergency and it saves you from a lifetime of debt to a foreign country.

In that instant:

We all want to profess our undying love for travel insurance and tell ignorant travelers about the beauty, wonder, and awe of this modern day mircale.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Hey, all I know is that when the proverbial doo doo (only pretend I said something far more severe) hits the fan, I never regret my decision to play it safe and purchase awesome travel insurance.

But I’ve been there.

I too have been tempted to save a few dollars (or yen, pounds, pesos, euros, etc.) by skipping the travel insurance.

But:

As you get old, wise, and infirmed, you, and your dwindling bank account, quickly see the error of your ways.

So moral of this parent size lecture?

Always get travel insurance, even if it’s not from the company I recommend (COUGH…WORLD NOMADS TRAVEL INSURANCE IS THE BEST). 

Why, you may wonder?

Well, as a veritable maven of travel mishaps, I’m the type of person who would trip over an escaped tiger and plummet down the side of a cliff, and end up in a full body cast, after a leisurely stroll through the woods. 

And while you probably aren’t an accident-prone disaster like me, you also probably aren’t a psychic who can predict exactly when you’ll need travel insurance.

That’s why you just need to suck it up, put your big girl panties on, and add travel insurance to your NYC packing list.

But what is the best travel insurance out there?

Personally, I LOVE World Nomads Travel Insurance! 

Not only do they cover you in almost any country that you might want to travel to, (besides SUPER offbeat places like Pakistan), but they also give you an amazing level of coverage, make it super easy to customize your plan, and even let you extend/change your policy while you’re still traveling,

Amazing no? 

But, out of the buffet of options available to you, how do you know what plan to get?

Easy! 

If all your gear is worth less than $1000, purchase the basic plan.

However:

If you’re a travel blogger like me and carry a camera, laptop, tablet, and phone, all of which cost well over a $1000, then the explorer plan is the way to go since it will reimburse you for any gear that is lost or stolen (both offer emergency medical coverage of up to $100,000).

So, my fearless travel fam:

Go forth, buy travel insurance, and be the awesome traveler that I know you are.

18. Inflatable Neck Pillow

I HATE sleeping on planes. It is literally the worst thing ever. 

I sit there, wide awake, plagued by a perpetual case of insomnia while everyone else is in a blissful slumber, quietly dreaming about our final destination. 

But:

The only thing that makes the entire ordeal even slightly bareable is a neck pillow.

And my pillow of choice is the inflatable daydreamer neck pillow.

Not only does it give me the neck support that I need to sleep on a plane, but it’s also easy to pack since it occupies a fraction of the space that a normal neck pillow does.

I just deflate it, roll it up, place it in my carry on, and marvel at the space I have for all of my other carry on essentials.

Plus:

It even has a velvety soft exterior and a built-in air pump for easy inflation.

Yup:

This little sleep-inducing marvel will help you get the rest you need while taking up minimal real estate in your carry on.

19. Toiletries

Yeah:

Discussing the finer points of toiletry packing doesn’t exactly make me tingle all over and want to frolic around in jubilee.

However:

I also don’t want to have rats swooning at my feet because I smell like a trash heap while strolling through the streets of NYC.

Therefore:

We should probably discuss toiletries, at least briefly, so that you don’t forget anything ultra-important, like a toothbrush. 

But let’s be real:

You’ll need the same essentials that you would for any other trip around the globe.

You know:

Things like a brush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, moisturiser, contact lens solution (if you wear contacts), medication, and any makeup or sanitary products that you can dream up.

But:

If you do have a momentary memory lapse and forget something uber-important, no need for a post-apocalyptic meltdown since NYC has anything you could ever want.

Now:

In terms of toiletry bags, I usually just throw all my stuff in a ziplock bag and call it a day since I’m not super glam.

However:

I recently decided to try and be a bit more organized and discovered this fantastic toiletry bag.

Not only does it come with a durable hanging hook that makes everything 10,000 times easier to find, but it also has a sturdy zipper, a breathable mesh pouch, a sturdy handle, and is big enough to hold almost every toiletry imaginable. 

Added bonus?

It only costs $16 which is pretty perfect since no one wants to spend a year’s salary on a bag that will only ever sit inside their bathroom or luggage.

***Remember to pack sunscreen in the summer and chapstick in the winter so that your lips don’t shrivel up like the Sahara desert.***

20. A Nice Top

The good thing about NYC is that you can wear pretty much anything and it’s totally okay.

So:

Walk around with a bright, purple mohawk and no one will even look twice.

However:

Rock a huge backpack, an I love NY shirt, white velcro sneakers, and a straw hat, all while carrying a selfie-stick and we’ll all know that you’re a tourist.

Instead:

Dress to fit the vibe of NYC which is gritty, fast, and exciting. That’s why, I would rock something slightly edgy.

No:

You don’t have to wear anything that has nipple holes and requires pasties, but something with a little extra spark that is still neutral enough to be worn with a jacket or a colorful scarf.

That’s why I love this top.

The unique design of the shoulder gives it a little extra something, but it’s also neutral enough to be worn with some awesome jewelry or a retro-chic jacket.

Plus:

It’s super soft and loose enough to hide all of your wobbly bits, which I for one am a huge fan of.

And I mean really:

This shirt only costs a whopping $9, so how can you go wrong?

Exactly.

21. The Perfect Carry On Bag to Put Everything in!

Cabin Max makes one of my favorite carry on bags for women.

I have now had this bag for well over three years:

And besides some minor wear and tear, it’s still in great condition.

I mean:

Not only is it 100% fully functional, but this bag has also survived my recent foray into digital nomad life for the past three months.

And yes:

This really is the ONLY piece of luggage that I travel with, besides my day bag. So, you can just imagine how much  this bag has gone through.

But:

What really makes this bag so special is the fact that not only is it light weight, durable (no holes in my bag yet), and made of water-resistant material, but it also has an awesome 44 L capacity, with 21″X 14″ X 9″ dimenions that meet the maximum carry on bag allowance for any IATA (International Air Transport Association) flight.

Truly the perfect bag for anyone who needs a place to store all of the items on their NYC packing list.

And if you’re looking for better backpack organization (a task that truly is impossible at best):

This bag has got you covered since there are three main zippered compartments, and two internal zippered compartments, that make the perfect place to store precious valuables like your wallet, keys, electronics, etc.

***If you want to be infinitely more organized than I can EVER hope to be, you can also add some packing cubes to your NYC packing list. I don’t think they’re essential but they do help keep your bag organized while you’re traveling.***

And all for just $44.95! Talk about B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Plus:

This bag also comes in a variety of colors and patterns that will appeal to even the quirkiest of travelers (and yes, I am 100% refering to myself).

One word of caution though:

Before purchasing this bag on Amazon, please note that not all the bags listed are actually the same size.

Yeah, some are actually bigger than others. That’s why:

If you are planning to do carry on only travel only to NYC, then definitely opt for the larger of the two bags.

***HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Because while this guide on what to wear in NYC may be super useful, there are also a few things that you do NOT want topack for your trip to NYC. You know things like heavy books (that’s what your kindle is for), everything you own, an I Love NY T-Shirt, a drone (they’re basically banned throughout NYC), super uncomfortable shoes (trust me, you’ll be doing more walking than you EVER thought possible), and anything uber-valuable that might get lost, stolen or damaged.***

22. A Scarf (Pack a light scarf for the summer and a heavy scarf for the winter)

Scarves are probably one of the best travel clothes for women EVER!I mean:

Not only are they small and incredibly easy to pack, but they keep you cool in the sun and warm on a chilly day.

Plus:

They can give your outfit that perfect pop of color or add a bit of modesty if you’re entering a church like St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

And added bonus?

They never EVER make you feel fat!

SIGH.

If only all clothes were as delightfully wonderful as scarves.

And unlike hats:

Scarves don’t blow away in the wind, are easy to carry, and won’t get ruined if they get squished inside your bag. 

And this scarf? Yeah, it’s kind of sort of special.

Not only is it incredibly light-weight (well ventilated in the summer and warm in the winter), and available in a ton of fantastic colors, but it’s also elegant and long enough to be worn as a scarf, sarong, or headwrap; making this scarf a true carry on essential for any minimalist packer who doesn’t want to overpack! 

***PSST: If you’re not sure what to pack for New York City in the winter, then deifinitely check out this durable, heavy, and super warm, winter scarf for women. It’s a total steal at $20 and it’s super chic too! Also, if you’re NYC during the winter, don’t forget a nice pair of gloves (these gloves are doublely awesome because you can text in them too!), and a warm hat too!***

23. Sunglasses (Perfect for the WINTER and SUMMER)

Whether you’re visiting New York City during the winter or summer:No New York City packing list would be complete without a chic pair of sunglasses to help you channel your inner Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Because I don’t know about you but:

Nothing makes me look like a self-important, wannabe celebrity faster than a nifty pair of retro, polarized, black sunglasses.

I’m joking though because sunglasses really are the best.

Not only do they protect my light eyes from harmful UV rays, but they also make me look infinitely cooler than I actually am.

However:

Aside from their amazing protective capabilities, sunglasses also expertly hide the luggage-size bags under my eyes that are the  not-so-lovely reminants of a night of debaucherous fun at one of NYC’s many epic, rooftop bars.

24. Shorts or a Skirt for the Summer

While I do love a nice skirt (this one is particulialry amazing since I’ve gotten about a million compliments on it):I tend to forget that I’m a lady and inadvertantly sit with my legs wide open at the most awkward of time. WHOOPS.

That’s why:

When deciding what to wear in New York City for the summer, I usually prefer a nice pair of shorts to a skirt any day.

And there really is nothing more classic, and comfortable, than a nice pair of Levi jean shorts.

Not only are they the perfect length:

But they also come in a variety of washes that are sure to satisfy a bunch of different personal styles.

 Added bonus?

They even come with this uber-comfortable, elastic waistband that makes them incredibly comfortable to wear, even after an impromptu, self-guided food tour through NYC.

Because yes, these shorts really are pajama level comfortable.

Plus, they’re even better than your typical jeggings since they have a built-in, control top waist that makes any potential muffin tops a thing of the past.

Hip hip hooray!

And unlike normal jeans, these shorts have a medium rise that sucks in your pouch but still gives you enough room to move around comfortably. 

And while they are incredibly strecthy:

They’re also made of a real, jean material and not some cheap AF jegging that everyone knows is fake.

So:

Just an overall great pair of comfortable travel shorts that will cost you a mere $20!

Because let’s keep in NYC level real, who doesn’t love saving money?

25. A Microfiber Towel

Umm:

Who doesn’t want to picnic it up in one of NYC’s many fantastic green spaces?

I mean:

Not only is it a great way to save money, but it’s also a fantastic way to experience NYC just like a local.

But:

No one wants to worry about grass stains all over their butt after enjoying a nice picnic lunch in NYC’s immortal Central Park.

And that’s where this handy, microfiber towel comes in.

Not only is this towel enormous, but the microfiber practically dries instantly.

Therefore:

If you’re a super fancy person who books a hotel in NYC with a pool (or if you end up staying at a hostel that charges you to rent a towel), then you can easily use this towel to dry yourself off and still pack it up while its damp since you don;t have to worry about a thin layer of mold forming along the exterior.

Because yes, this towel really does dry THAT quickly!

It also comes with this super nifty, breathable storage bag that makes packing this towel in your carry on a total breeze.

26. A Travel First Aid Kit

You know how mom and dad always INSIST that you buy travel insurance, even though you never actually use it?

And you know how it can be tempting to save money by NOT buying travel insurance?

Well:

A first aid kit is kind of the same thing. Sure, it isn’t the sexiest thing on this list, but it’s super helpful when you are… trapped down a well (where’s Lassie)!

Just Kidding!

It’s infinitely more likely that you’ll get a blister or scrap your knee while biking through Central Park.

So, we’re  not talking Grey’s Anatomy level serious stuff here.

But a travel must have none the less because even though you probably won’t use your first aid kit, it’s still nice to have it if whoops, you accidently cut yourself while shaving.

So:

Give this super nifty, super compact first aid kit a try since I love it and use it on all my trips.

What to Wear in NYC: Winter Packing List

The winter season in New York City is cold, with daily highs of 44 degrees (on a good day) and lows of 25 degrees, between the months of December and February.

Also be aware of the fact that:

NYC can be quite wet during this time of year, with eight days out of every month typically receiving rain or snow.

However:

That is only a guideline. Do yourself a favor and ALWAYS check the weather forecast before you arrive.

Not only can the weather be warmer than you think (one Christmas it was 70!), but you also don’t want to pack knee-high snow boots if you don’t have to; which is exactly what you’ll need on a snowy day in NYC since the slush puddles here are MASSIVE.

  • Heavy Down Jacket that is waterproof (lighter winter jacket if it’s not frigid)
  • High Snow Boots (or waterproof boots if the weather is dry)
  • Comfortable and Fashionable Slip-on-Sneakers (1)
  • Dark Jeans (1)
  • Cardigan (1)
  • Stylish Sweater Dress (1)
  • Fashionable Leggings (2)
  • Long Sleeve Shirts (4)
  • Socks (3)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Comfortable Sleep Clothes (1)
  • Bras (3)
  • Hat (1) Gloves (1) and Scarf (1) (NYC is known to be windy and cold in the winter.
  • Toiletries
  • Camera Gear
  • Electronics

What to Wear in NYC: Fall Packing List

Fall is a beautiful time to visit New York City.

Not only are the summer crowds gone and the hotel prices cheaper, but the weather is less hot and humid, making it easier to walk around the city.

Additionally:

Once the cool, crisp air rolls in, leaves all over the city begin to change and develop exquisite, vibrant colors that are a wonder to see.

So:

If you’re planning to visit NYC during the fall season, between the months of September and November, expect daily highs of 65 degrees and daily lows of 42 degrees, with sometimes cold and blustery days.

You may also encounter some rain, or snow, since it typically rains seven days out of every month.

  • Raincoat (1) or a Heavy Jacket (1) if the forecast calls for cold weather
  • Scarf, hat, and gloves (1 of each) if the weather looks cold
  • Ankle Boots (1) or snowboots (1) if snow is in the forecast
  • Fashionable Slip-on-Sneakers (1)
  • Dark Jeans (1)
  • Cardigan (1)
  • Stylish Dress (1)
  • Fashionable Leggings (2)
  • Long Sleeve Shirts (2)
  • Short Sleeve Shirts (2)
  • Socks (3)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Comfortable Sleep Clothes (1)
  • Bras (3)
  • Toiletries
  • Camera Gear
  • Electronics

What to Wear in NYC: Spring Packing List

Unless you’re an allergy sufferer, spring is a fantastic time to visit NYC.

Not only are all of the flowers in bloom, but between March and May, temperatures are gradually warming up.

Therefore:

Expect longer days with average highs of 65 degrees and average lows of 40 degrees.

Also add vibrant, floral patterns to neutral clothing to better fit the overall aesthetic of the season.

  • Short Sleeve Shirts (2)
  • Long Sleeve Shirts (2)
  • Dark Jeans (1)
  • Fashionavle Leggings (2)
  • Dress (1)
  • Raincoat (1) or umbrella (1) or Jacket (1)
  • Socks (3)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Bras (3)
  • Comfortable Sleep Clothes (1)
  • Fashionable Slip-on-Sneakers (1)
  • Cardigan (1)
  • Comfortable Ballet Flats (1)
  • Toiletries
  • Camera Gear
  • Electronics

What to Wear in NYC: Summer Packing List

One word: Air-conditioning.

Travel to New York City during the summer and air-conditioning will be your new best friend since NYC is notoriously hot, humid, and disgusting throughout the summer.

Throw in huge crowds and high, peak-season prices and you’ll understand why summer is my least favorite time of year to visit NYC.

Therefore:

Pack light clothing, in colors that repel the sun (like white), as well as sunscreen and a sunhat since average highs are 85 degrees and average lows, are 68 degrees between the months of June and August.

***Also pack a heavy sweatshirt or sweater since every indoor space in NYC cranks up the AC to temperatures that are beyond frigid.***

  • Short Sleeve Shirts (2)
  • Sleeveless Shirts (2)
  • Summer Dresses (2)
  • Long Skirts (2)
  • Sunhat (1)
  • Sunglasses (1)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bras (3)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Socks (7)
  • Comfortable Sleep Clothes (1)
  • Light Rain Jacket (1)
  • Cardigan (1)
  • Heavy sweatshirt or sweater (1)
  • Comfortable Sandals with a back (1)
  • Fashionable Slip-on-Sneakers (1)
  • Swimsuit (if you plan to visit the beach)
  • Toiletries
  • Camera Gear
  • Electronics

PRINT OUT YOUR FREE NYC PACKING LIST RIGHT NOW!

Don't forget a thing and print a free guide on what to wear in New York City!
Don’t forget a thing and print a free guide on what to wear in New York City!

Huzah! You made it to the end! 

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or squeeze the life out of you (from pure joy) since you made it to the end of my epic post on what to wear in New York City!

But regardless of my inability to EVER be concise, I hope you now understand exactly what to wear in NYC if you want to be both stylish and comfortable.

And if you’re even slightly intrigued by this guide on what to pack for NYC, then pin this now and read it again later!

Not sure what to wear on your next trip to New York City? Then check out this ultimate packing list for NYC, filled with essential packing tips and tricks, from a local, that you'll need to help you create NYC outfits that are perfect for every season. #NYCOutfits #NYCTravel #RNYCGuide #NYCOutfits #NYCPackingGuide
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