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When we think of New York style, so many eclectic descriptors come to mind. But if we had to sum it up in one word, it would be “authenticity.” New York has been a hub for fashion, art, and culture for decades. As a whole, the city has inspired residents and global onlookers to express themselves through how they dress.
Because Fashion Week has come to a halt, some people have assumed that New York’s influence on style has come and gone. But, we couldn’t disagree more. While the city won’t be buzzing with in-person runway shows anytime soon, its virtual presentations, pop-ups, and rising brands are paving the way for a new era of fashion that includes everyone.
From the wool coat, to the sports cap, to the now-iconic Telfar bag, New York has long been the birthplace of fashion essentials. But, we don’t need to continue to wax poetic about how much we love New York. To properly illustrate the inimitable pizazz of the city’s style, we’ve curated a list of the key pieces of any New York wardrobe. Keep scrolling to see them all.
The Sports Cap
Seen on everyone from The Hadids, to style bloggers, to real baseball fans, the iconic Yankees hat became popular in 1909 when the Yankees were known as the Highlanders. Fun fact: the interlocking “N-Y” insignia inscribed on the hat was originally designed by Tiffany & Co. as part of a medal given to John McDowell, an officer of the NYPD who was shot in the line of duty in 1877. We are super grateful for the Yankees making this part of their signature look so we can pull our outfits together with this cultural emblem.
A Long Coat
During a New York winter, a long coat becomes your best friend. You'll look stylish and stay warm as you weather the elements when you add this piece to your wardrobe.
Let’s face it: This city will keep you on your toes. And whether you have flat feet or high arches, New York doesn’t care and will make you very aware of that. So curating your footwear collection with sturdy and supportive shoes is a must. It’ll make strolling around the city way more bearable.
Anything that Telfar makes is iconic. But the brand’s signature bag symbolizes what it means to live, work, and create in New York. It has been dubbed the “Bushwick Birkin,” but we think it’s much more than that. It’s a symbol of all of the most alluring characteristics of New York: diversity, empowerment, and grit. Moral of the story: Telfar Clemens is one of the city’s brightest fashion designers, and we will sing the praises of his brand forever.
Gold jewelry is a key part of New York’s fashion aesthetic. From gold hoops to nameplate necklaces, you really can’t find better inspiration for how to style gold jewelry than in New York. With so many buzzy and affordable jewelry shops in Chinatown, The Bronx, and Harlem, you will easily be able to find pieces you love.
A Good Puffer
Having a good puffer coat is non-negotiable. It keeps you warm in a snowstorm and the city's frigid winters, first and foremost, but it's also pillowy, comfortable, and easy to throw on as you head out the door.
A Good Book
In this city, it’s brains before brawn. A good book is not only a conversation starter but also a great way to pass the time during your daily commute. With so many love stories about New York, it’s hard to choose our favorite—so we picked four.
In a pre-pandemic world, an oversized blazer was the perfect outfit completer for a day in the office or a night out for drinks. With so many cuts and styles to choose from, they’re a must-have in any wardrobe.
A Leather Jacket
When we look back at photos of New York in the ’70s, we can’t help but wish we could time travel. The Ramones, Debbie Harry, and anyone who attended concerts at CBGB make us never want to take off a leather jacket. While it’s hard to find the perfect leather jacket for the right price, it feels like you cracked the code on how to become a cool New Yorker once you do.
Amongst so many other things, New York is known for its incredible vintage clothing shops. Whether you’re wearing an “I Love NY” shirt or a one-of-a-kind Lou Reed shirt, knowing someone else cool wore your top before you gives it even more life. It’s hard to find a New Yorker’s wardrobe that doesn’t incorporate at least one piece of vintage.
A Crossbody Bag
As they like to say in New York, keep your friends close but your wallet closer. Everyone loses their wallet at least once in this city, so it’s important to carry a bag you can keep close to you (like a crossbody) while you navigate through the concrete jungle.
New York City has a soundtrack unlike any other place in the world. While the sounds of construction or street musicians are a part of the city’s fabric, sometimes you may want to pop on some headphones and listen to your favorite podcast or playlist while you run errands or take a walk.
A Good Pair of Jeans
A good pair of jeans is priceless, and we're pretty sure every single New Yorker has a pair. If you don't have a favorite pair, we're pretty sure you've spend a lot of time trying to track one down. We don’t need to sell you on why jeans are essential, but they're absolutely a part of the way New Yorkers view clothing: comfortable, stylish, cool, and practically a second skin.