After spending a month in NYC this fall, I got a real taste of the wild range of weather that they get. I will preface this with the fact that I went pre-fall, and into fall.
Fall is one of those seasons that is just kind of tricky to dress for. A lot like spring, it’s a mix of temperatures in a single day. It also requires lots of layering options.
The mornings in September and October can be crisp and chilly, and the afternoons can quickly become warm and sunny. And add in the fact that all the walking in NYC raises your body temperature quickly, you are going to want the ability to pull layers off easily.
Here’s what I wish I really packed for a month in NYC this fall. And the things I did pack that I was grateful I had with me.
What To Pack For NYC In The Fall
Before you visit NYC for fall, definitely check the weather. You can easily see a range of temperatures from in the low 80s, to the low 40s. It’s truly possible that it could be that wide of a range.
Tips For Packing When It’s Hot
If you’re visiting NYC in the fall when it’s going to be super hot, I have one major tip for you. Embrace shorts and dresses. If you want to feel fall-ish, just lean into fall prints and colors when reaching for these pieces. But you’ll want to be comfortable and that means lightweight and flowy dresses and minimal clothing. Trust me.
A concrete jungle like New York City absorbs so much heat. Plus, the subway platforms are brutally hot too. I plan on bringing this little mini fan with me for my next NYC trip.
For those mid 50s and 60s days, you’ll lean into light jackets a lot. Think trench coats, leather jackets, bomber jackets and blazers. Style over your dresses, jeans and trousers.
My two go-tos when I’m in NYC are always a good trench coat. They work great for a light layer and also help if it’s raining. And they can be styled with jeans, shorts, dresses, you name it. And my leather jacket is just part of my personality when I’m in NYC.
Leather jackets aren’t too heavy and also make your outfits feel more edgy and cool. For super cold fall days, you can layer a scarf if you need to. You can also do a leather blazer which I just LOVE.
All The Tees
I think I always underestimate how warm fall really is. Living in the south for so long, I just assume real fall is very cold. But it really isn’t! I found myself wearing lots of tees and having options is key.
I also like to throw in a couple of tanks for two reasons. One, for those randomly warm days you need them. And two, for underneath sweaters so you can peel off layers as needed.
Leave the heavy sweaters at home for your NYC fall trip. Lightweight ones should be just fine. Thinner options will keep you from over heating while walking around all day. And you can easily layer up with a thin tank underneath and jacket over the sweater if you need the extra warmth.
I also like to always pack a good sweater that I can throw over my shoulders. These can then be worn as a third piece, and be a backup for when it gets chilly.
For fall, I instantly want to switch out my canvas Converse for a leather or suede sneaker. It makes your fall outfits feel more seasonally appropriate.
With all the walking in NYC, you’ll want to be in your most comfortable sneakers. Style your leather sneakers with jeans, dresses and even trousers.
Here are some of my favorite walking sneakers to wear all day. I wore my New Balance 9060s, New Balance 550s and Adidas Gazelle Platforms non stop. All linked below.
Flat And Low Heeled Shoes
For a nicer shoe or boot to wear for fall, try something with a lower block heel. And a flat is always a good idea. Try a ballet flat or loafer for something you can wear all day. And for a low heel you can do an ankle bootie, or mary jane.
I’d leave the open toed sandals at home unless you’re doing a nice dinner out and want to wear something nice. Otherwise, NYC is fairly casual and I would only pack a nicer heel if you know for sure you’re planning on a nicer evening.
Skirts & Dresses
This was a hard lesson learned from me with my month in NYC for September. I thought I’d want to be in jeans all day long. Wrong. I wish I had packed all the mini skirts and easy dresses. Embrace these for fall as they are really easy to layer up if you need to. And they keep you cool for those warmer days.
I love a good mini skirt paired with sneakers or loafers and a long trench. Or try midi dresses with a little sweater over the shoulder. The great part about skirts and dresses is that they can easily be dressed up or down typically allowing them to work double duty.
Trousers & Jeans
Trousers are a really trendy way to wear something other than denim. Plus, they’re so comfy. Wear with sneakers or a ballet flat. And finish your trouser look off with a cropped bomber jacket, leather jacket, or a long trench.
And jeans are a no brainer in my book. I loved having my go-to wide leg crops from Madewell and my everyday straight leg jeans. They can be worn with a tee and sneaker on warmer days, or paired with a loafer and sweater for a more polished look that’ll also keep you warm.
And if it’s going to be on the cooler side, you can even do faux leather pants. These can quickly make you hot, so I’d only pack if the forecast is on the colder side.
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