How to Dress Like a New Yorker


Ankle Boots

Living in New York without good ankle boots is like living in Hawaii without solid sandals. Pretty much every girl I know here has a pair. They look great with both Alexa Chung-y sundresses in summer and layered, model-off-duty looks in winter. They're necessary.

Striped Shirts

Weirdly, I think their popularity springs from this romantic notion that French girls wear striped tops, like they do ballet flats and berets (at least in our Francophile minds). Either way, striped tops are wildly common here. Go to brunch on the Upper West Side or the Lower East Side and you'll see just as many post-SoulCycle moms in these as you will messy eyeliner-wearing students. They're the new go-to basic.

Utilitarian Anoraks

Sporty anoraks and army jackets are especially popular here. Perhaps it's the whole "urban warrior" notion. Or maybe it's the fact that we walk everywhere, so you really, really need things like this for bad weather days.

Chunky Scarves

It's all about layering here, because, well, it has to be. You've gotta dress for the swing of temperatures that comes with leaving your apartment at 7 am when it's bristling, then walking five blocks to get lunch at 1 pm when it's no-jacket-needed weather. Layering makes deconstructing and building outfits back up so much easier, and snoods and thick scarves are the cheat sheet to that.

Weekly manicures are rituals here, way more so than in most cities. With such fancy salons (champagne with your $60 gel mani?) and talented nail artists available, it's no surprise girls go crazy with their colors, textures and designs.


Oversize Tote/Crossbody Bag

Some girls carry multiple purses or use an extra canvas tote to stash the gym clothes or lunch they're bringing to work. But most girls I know stash everythign in one really big bag, like these.
It's another offshoot of the on-the-go, no-car lifestyle. Bags have to be big.


Motorcycle Denim

Blame it on Rag & Bone and Isabel Marant, two of the more beloved labels here. They churn out collection after collection of cropped skinnies with zipper details and waxed, leather-looking jeans, and everyone's smitten. Most girls I know use these as a default have-a-drinks-date-but-don't-want-to-wear-a-skirt option. They're ubiquitous.

Digital Fashion

It's Fashion Week in New York again, which means a shortage of available taxis and a surplus of crazily dressed, street-style-photographer-courting people. It's a bit of a jarring jump, since normally this city teems with wardrobes as cool as they are practical. It's not all-black everything here like some caricature in Sweet Home Alabama would have you believe (unless you're a PR girl or event planner or Broadway stagehand, in which case, yeah).

Instead, the backbone of NYC style is something broader—a polished sort of resilience, maybe. Less over-the-knee gladiator sandals with stiletto heels, more chunky ankle boots you can actually walk home from dinner in (because you'll often need to). I guess it's pretty natural that the city that never sleeps or drives anywhere lends itself to a few fitting style hallmarks, pieces that are good for long days without a car to store a change of outfit.

Below are some of my favorites of those staples, as well as a few inexplicably New York-y things that are less of a utility than an acquired taste. Together they make up the streeotypical New York wardrobe. Click through to shop them all, and you'd fit in in New York City any day of the year—except, you know, during Fashion Week. Then you need some giant gold cherries on your head.