I have spent the majority of my life on the West Coast. I grew up in Arizona before moving to Los Angeles, so it’s safe to say that the West Coast mentality of living and dressing is deeply ingrained in me. I had always wanted to experience life on the other coast—NYC specifically—so a few years ago, I uprooted my life in L.A. and relocated to New York. Over the course of my two-plus years living in the Empire State, I learned some important style lessons that only being in Manhattan can teach you.
I definitely made some mistakes along the way that have since served as important style lessons. My first winter, I wore a coat that wasn’t nearly warm enough. It wasn’t until I borrowed a properly insulated coat that I realized what a big mistake I had made. I’d also brought the wrong shoes when I moved to the city. I loved the idea of wearing stylish heels (à la Carrie Bradshaw) but quickly learned that commuting on the subway and walking stretches of city blocks made them impractical for everyday use. Ahead, I’m sharing these and my other learnings from my two years living in NYC, including the fashion mistakes I’ll never make again.
SKIP: OUTERWEAR AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT
WEAR: A GREAT COAT
When I moved to NYC, I learned that your coat is what you live in during the winter. When it comes to your outfit in cold temps, it's 99% of what people will see, too, so it always works to choose a cool coat that makes a stylish statement.
Saks Potts Foxy Long Lamb Leather Fox Fur-Trim Coat ($1399)
Apparis Sophie Faux Fur Coat ($228)
SKIP: COATS THAT DON'T INSULATE
WEAR: WARM COATS
In NYC, stylish coats only go so far, though. When the temperatures really sink or the blizzards hit, having a really warm coat is essential. The good news is that puffers are very on trend, so it's a worthwhile investment. I've had this one from Aritzia for years and brought it everywhere from NYC to Paris.
Nanushka Hide Oversized Quilted Vegan Faux Leather Jacket ($625)
Mackage Kaila Jacket ($490)
SKIP: PIECES THAT WON'T WORK BOTH INDOORS AND OUTDOORS
WEAR: LOTS OF LAYERS
Layering is one of the most important lessons I learned in NYC. While it can be chilly outside during winter days, the heat is often blasting indoors, so it's key to have pieces that allow you to move through each set of temps.
Reformation Veda Bad Leather Jacket ($498)
Splendid 1x1 Turtleneck Top ($60)
Réalisation Naomi Skirt ($180)
SKIP: UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES
WEAR: ANKLE BOOTS
Since NYC is a walking city, comfortable shoes are key. I definitely logged plenty of miles on my feet each day, so impractical shoes are always a regret.
Frye Samantha Hiker Boots ($398)
Khaite Suede Ankle Boots ($890)
SKIP: HIGH HEELS
WEAR: BLOCK HEELS
If you do choose to wear heels, it's important to choose a pair you can walk in throughout the city. Opt for low block heels over tall stilettos.
BY FAR Danielle Suede Slingback Pumps ($290)
GANNI Low Heel Slingback Flats ($280)
SKIP: BULKY BAGS
WEAR: SMALL BAGS
The one thing I always avoid in NYC is a large, bulky bag. When you're navigating the subway and the busy streets of Manhattan, it's the last thing you want to lug around. Instead, I'll opt for smaller bags and crossbody styles.
What Goes Around Comes Around Chanel Mini Flap Bag ($3650)
Little Liffner Baby Boss Croc-Effect Leather Tote ($455)
The Sant Kinchaku Mini Leather Tote ($505)
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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