What to Pack for a Trip to NYC | NYC Packing List by Season
NYC Packing List by Season
Table of Contents
- 1 NYC Packing List by Season
- 1.1 Spring / Summer NYC Packing List
- 1.2 Fall / Winter Packing List for NYC
- 1.4 NYC Packing Essentials
New York weather can be unpredictable at best, like warm sunny days in February followed by snow the next. So when packing for a trip to NYC it’s best to come prepared for whatever the weather throws at you.
Here is my NYC packing list by season including my top recommendations that will leave you ready for a trip to NYC!
Ever wondered what the heck to pack for a trip to NYC?
After living now in NYC for 10 years, this is a question I get a lot. But I have to reassure you that it’s easier than it seems!
If you break down what you plan on doing in NYC, you can easily formulate how many outfits to bring. It’s likely that you’ll be sightseeing during the day which means packing a casual look. Then at night, you’ll probably change for dinner or a show. For night time opt for a dressier look.
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NYC Packing Formula
Depending on how many nights in the Big Apple, I would pack one casual sightseeing look per day and add in a few dressier options for nighttime. Sometimes there will be no time for you to change into a dinner look because time in NYC seems to not exist. So I wouldn’t be too concerned about bringing one for every night that you stay in NYC. For example:
3 Days in NYC: Bring 3 Casual Sightseeing looks & 2 Dressier looks.
5 Days in NYC: Bring 5 Casual Sightseeing looks & 3/4 Dressier looks.
Spring / Summer NYC Packing List
Dresses/ Rompers / Cropped Jumpsuits
I love packing dresses and rompers because they fit inside your suitcase so well, and they constitute a whole outfit. You won’t have to worry about matching which is a huge plus. Less thinking works for me. For sightseeing, I would pack a few casual dresses. Also, plan on bringing a little black dress for night plans like dinner or a broadway play!
2. Casual Tops
Spring: Light Sweaters // The weather is still heating up during Spring, so plan on bringing some long sleeve options. These light-colored sweaters add some color to the notorious all-black NYC uniform.
Summer: Breathable Tops // It gets HOT in summer so make sure your tops are breathable and lightweight.
4. Light Jacket
The weather in NYC can be so unpredictable especially during spring so definitely pack a light jacket. If you are coming during spring, even a lighter wool coat will work just because the weather is still heating up. During summer just one light jacket would work for cool nights.
Bringing comfortable shoes to NYC is a must with all the walking around you’ll be doing. For spring/summer I would plan on bringing comfortable flats, a bootie, and a dressier sandal. I couldn’t recommend these Viscata espadrilles enough. Each pair has padded soles so you can comfortably walk around and they come in over 10 colors. I wear them almost every day!
You can keep your packing list pretty simple with the basics and change up your look through accessories. I love packing a stylish fedora to dress up my looks, as well as lightweight scarves. Adding in some bright-colored earrings can change your look without taking up room in your suitcase.
Fall / Winter Packing List for NYC
1. Jackets & Coats
Fall: Meet the latest hybrid of a Jacket and a shirt: the Shacket. During fall you’re still going to need to bring a coat, however, it doesn’t have to be as heavy as a winter coat. This latest trend works perfectly because it can add some color to your look, add warmth without being too hot!
This is where I like to have fun with color and texture to brighten up your look!
Winter: Heavy Coat // When visiting NYC during the Winter you’re going to need to bring a heavy coat to keep you warm. Nothing ruins your mood when you’re consistently cold. If I were to splurge on a clothing item, my jacket is where I would spend my money!
Sweaters are a must for a fall/winter trip to NYC. Turtlenecks are my favorite because they add in extra warmth. You can also back a thermal undershirt for extremely cold days. I like the long sleeve heat-tech thermals from Uniqlo. They are extra thin and provide extra heat!
Just like Spring/ Summer, I recommend bringing casual jeans and one dark wash pair of jeans to dress up at night.
I also love these Spanx Faux leather pants for a night in New York. They are extremely warm, plus these pants look exactly like leather but for a much lower price!
4. Sweater Dresses
During the fall, you can pull off wearing dresses without being too cold. I also love wearing a sweater dress with over-the-knee boots on a fall day in the city!
This sweater dress from Lulu’s is my ultimate favorite. It’s not too bulky and has a cute low cut back. Plus, it’s under $60!
You’re going to need to pack at least one winter shoe that you don’t care if it gets wet from snow or the rain. Another fall/winter essential is an over-the-knee boot.
My favorite is the Lowland from Stuart Weitzman. While one of my priciest purchases… ever, I wear them almost every day in fall/ winter for the past three years! Another favorite is this bootie from Franco Sarto. While they have a small heel, but they are so so comfortable!
Hats: A cute winter hat is essential for winter. I love adding in a beret, or a cute chunky winter hat!
Scarves: Scarves are a great way to add color to your outfits without taking much room in your suitcase
Stockings: Planning on wearing a dress in winter? I’d pack some stockings to partially block the cold!
NYC Packing Essentials
Whenever you plan to visit New York City, be sure to pack these essential items below.
Bringing a larger bag is a must for NYC. You’ll end up carrying all of your essentials around with you like a water bottle, some snacks, a camera, etc. You might want to consider bringing a backpack! A stylish one, of course.
Having a large bag will be helpful so you can keep your hands free. A large tote also works, but a stylish backpack or cross-body is my go-to.
Portable Charger: Your phone will thank you for this one. Chances are you’ll be using your phone a lot for photos, looking up directions, etc. Having a portable charger will save you after your phone hits ‘low battery’.
Zip Wallet: This is one of my latest favorite travel essentials. Usually, they are sold in a set like this kind, but I take the smallest size and use it for my wallet for cards, cash, lipstick, keys, and any other small items in one place. Trust me when you are searching for a tiny metro card, or lip balm you’ll be glad all your small things are in one place.
Umbrella: I would opt to bring your own small umbrella just in case it rains, otherwise you’ll be overspending from the street vendors for an emergency umbrella that will break after 10 minutes.
Foldable Water Bottle: Lightweight and takes up less space than a regular water bottle. Sounds like a win-win.
Hand Sanitizer: Because, it’s New York.
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