What to pack to NYC’s Holiday Season

What to pack to NYC’s Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is the most exciting time to visit NYC. The sights, the sounds, even the smells of the city are somehow magical as soon as the holiday windows are unveiled. Honey roasted peanuts and those famous chestnuts roasting on an open fire waft their decadent aromas through the city air. To fully enjoy all NYC has to offer during the holidays, you will spend a lot of time outside, which means you need to pack right for the weather. This is our guide for how to stay warm, toasty, and stylish during NYC’s winter months.


Thermal Layer


Layering is key to dressing for NYC during the colder months. Outside, the temperatures can range from the mid-fifties to below zero! New York City is also known for having quite a bit of wind which can make the temperatures feel even more biting! Meanwhile, indoors can often feel positively sweltering. New York City knows how to pump a room full of heat. This means some days you may be dressing for both sub-zero degree temperatures outside and 90-degree temperatures inside. This is why the importance of layering simply cannot be stressed enough.


The first layer you put on should be some sort of “long underwear” or what some refer to as “thermals.” Many companies make thermals. A favorite of New Yorkers is UNIQLO which makes a heattech line that comes in various thicknesses.The UNIQLO heattech line is super soft and can magically let the necessary air in for when you’re indoors, but keep you super warm using your own body heat when outdoors. They make both leggings and shirts, and some of the shirts are cute enough they can even be worn on their own!


If you’re looking for a more formal base layer, last year, TikTok went crazy with a flesh-colored fleece tight with a sheer black tight over it, giving an illusion the wearer sported relatively bare legs, while they were actually super warm in fleece leggings. They look really cute under dresses and skirts.


Warm Hat


A warm hat might be the most important item of all. The majority of your body heat escapes through your head, so a hat that keeps your head warm will be a small item that keeps your entire body more comfortable. Make sure the hat you choose covers your ears. Currently, there are really inexpensive and cute fleece-lined knit hats that can be purchased on amazon. Eugenia Kim is a much more pricey brand that many socialites flock to, but you can look just as cute with a hat you purchase in an NYC gift shop.


Warm Scarves


Much of your body temperature is controlled by your head and torso. Keep those warm, and the rest of your body will follow suit. As such, a nice warm scarf will be a game changer! Many scarves are also versatile with how they can be worn, making them fabulous statement pieces that can brighten up a darker wardrobe. Try to look for a scarf that will cover your entire neck and give you warmth on your chest as well. Materials like wool and cashmere might cost a little more, but will be worth it for the warmth.




It would be a great idea to bring several pairs of gloves, as they do tend to mysteriously find a way to go missing. While inexpensive gloves bought on amazon or in a NYC drug store such as Duane Reade generally work well, bring at least one pair of waterproof or water resistant gloves. If you get lucky and see snow, you’ll want these water resistant gloves for making snowballs and snowmen! Additionally, if you’re visiting an attraction such as the Statue of Liberty, you might be holding onto rails on boat ramps, and will want water resistant gloves so your hands don’t feel soggy all day.




The most important characteristic of the shoes you bring is they must be comfortable. You will be doing a lot of walking. New Yorkers walk three times as many steps in a day as the average American! Comfort is key with footwear. Another feature is you will want to bring at least one pair of waterproof or water resistant shoes. It rains/snows about 1/3 of the days during the wintertime. As such, the odds of having to walk through puddles or slush or snow are pretty high, and your average sneakers will get wet and soggy. Search for waterproof sneakers. Many New Yorkers prefer boots, especially Timberlands. It was a social media trend last year to count the number of “Timbs” one could spot in one day. Timberlands give you warmth and will keep your feet dry. If you prefer to keep your sneakers, check out warm socks such as the SmartWool brand. Bring several pairs so you can easily change throughout your trip.




The finish piece to any look is your coat. If you live in NYC, it is definitely worth investing in a fabulous coat, but if you’re visiting for just a few days, the pricing can be daunting. Never fear, you can find inexpensive coats that will work just fine at places such as TJ Maxx. Just make sure the coat has these features.


  1. Wind Resistant: Puffer coats and wind breakers are ideal for NYC during the holiday season. The Big Apple can be extremely windy and you want the exterior of your coat to be able to fight off a blustery gale!
  2. Water Resistant: Because it rains 1/3 of the days in NYC, water resistance is very important in a coat. Whether you spend $99 or $3,000, make sure your NYC coat is water resistant.
  3. Length: Many people advise longer coats for NYC because of how much time you spend outside. If you happen to get a cold day, the longer coat will keep the majority of your body warm.
  4. Easy to get on and off: You’ll want to easily be able to get in and out of your coat as you jump from outdoors, to subway, to outdoors, to holiday restaurant. A nice easy zipper versus 500 tiny buttons should win the day.


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