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What To Wear In NYC In Winter Guide + Packing List


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Francene Kozak



New York City is a vibrant and exciting destination that attracts visitors from around the world. But if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple during the winter months, it’s important to be prepared for the chilly temperatures and occasional snowfall. Dressing appropriately for the weather will ensure that you stay warm and comfortable as you explore the city’s iconic attractions.


In this guide, we will provide you with essential tips on what to wear in NYC during winter. From layering techniques to the must-have pieces for your winter wardrobe, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re strolling through Central Park, exploring the bustling streets of Times Square, or attending a Broadway show, dressing for the winter weather will make your experience much more enjoyable.


Don’t let the cold deter you from experiencing all that NYC has to offer. With the right clothing and accessories, you can stay cozy and stylish throughout your trip. So, let’s dive in and discover the essential items to pack for your wintertime adventures in the city that never sleeps.


Weather in NYC during Winter

Before we delve into the dos and don’ts of winter fashion in NYC, let’s first get acquainted with the weather conditions you can expect during your visit. The winter season in the Big Apple typically spans from December to February, with temperatures ranging from around 25°F (-4°C) to 40°F (4°C). However, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to drop even lower, especially during January, where frigid days and chilly winds prevail.


In addition to the low temperatures, NYC experiences occasional snowfall during the winter months. Snowstorms can vary in intensity and accumulation, so it’s essential to be prepared for the possibility of navigating snowy streets and sidewalks.


It’s important to note that while the weather can be cold, the city is also known for its unpredictable climate. It’s not unusual to have days where the temperature fluctuates, making layering and adaptable clothing crucial for staying comfortable throughout the day. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip and layer your attire accordingly.


With the cold temperatures and occasional snow showers, it’s crucial to prioritize warmth and protection when selecting your winter wardrobe. In the next sections, we’ll present the key pieces and layering strategies to ensure a cozy and stylish visit to the city that never sleeps.


Layering Essentials

Layering is the key to staying warm and comfortable in NYC’s winter weather. By layering your clothing, you can easily adjust your outfit to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the day. Here are the essential pieces for effective layering:

  1. Base Layer: Start with a thermal or moisture-wicking base layer to keep your body warm and dry. Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics that can effectively trap heat while wicking away sweat.
  2. Insulating Layer: Add an insulating layer like a fleece jacket or a down-filled vest. These pieces help to retain body heat and provide extra insulation without adding bulk.
  3. Outer Layer: Your outermost layer should be a waterproof and windproof jacket or coat. Look for one with insulation to provide maximum protection against the elements.

Layering allows you to adjust your clothing as needed, providing flexibility throughout the day. If you find yourself getting too warm, simply remove a layer, and if the temperature drops, add another layer to maintain your comfort.


Additionally, don’t forget about your lower body. Layering your bottoms with thermal leggings or tights under your pants will keep your legs warm. Opt for thick socks or woolen tights to keep your feet cozy.


By implementing these layering essentials, you can brave the winter weather in style while ensuring your comfort and warmth throughout your NYC adventure.



When it comes to outerwear in NYC during winter, the key is to invest in a high-quality jacket or coat that provides both warmth and protection against the elements. Here are the top outerwear options to consider:

  1. Parka: A parka is an excellent choice for extreme cold weather. Look for one that has a thick insulation, a waterproof shell, and a fur-lined hood for added warmth and style.
  2. Pea Coat: A classic pea coat is a stylish option that can be dressed up or down. Opt for one made from wool or a wool blend with a quilted lining for added warmth.
  3. Down Jacket: Lightweight and highly insulated, a down jacket is perfect for keeping warm without feeling weighed down. Look for one with a water-resistant shell for added protection.

Ensure your outerwear is roomy enough to accommodate multiple layers underneath. It’s also a good idea to opt for a jacket or coat with a longer length to protect your lower body from wind and snow.


Accessorize your outerwear with a cozy scarf and a pair of insulated gloves or mittens to keep your neck and hands warm. Don’t forget a hat or a beanie to keep your head protected from the cold.


Remember, your choice of outerwear can have a significant impact on your comfort and enjoyment during your visit to NYC in winter, so invest in high-quality pieces that will withstand the season’s challenges.



Choosing the right tops for layering is essential to keep warm and comfortable in NYC’s winter weather. Here are the top options to consider:

  1. Long-Sleeve T-Shirts: Lightweight, long-sleeve t-shirts made from merino wool or thermal fabrics are excellent base layers. They provide warmth without bulk and moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry.
  2. Thermal Tops: Invest in a few thermal tops or base layer tops that are specifically designed to provide maximum insulation and trap heat close to your body.
  3. Sweaters: Opt for chunky knitted sweaters or cardigans made from wool or fleece material. They add another layer of warmth and can be easily worn over a t-shirt or thermal top.
  4. Turtlenecks: Turtlenecks are not only fashionable but also functional in cold weather. They provide extra coverage and insulation for your neck and can be layered under sweaters or jackets.

When it comes to tops, layering is key. Start with a base layer, add a thermal top or sweater, and finish with a jacket or coat. This way, you can easily adjust your clothing to suit the temperature and stay comfortable throughout the day.


Opt for fabrics that are warm, breathable, and moisture-wicking to ensure maximum comfort. Additionally, consider choosing tops in neutral colors that can easily be mixed and matched with other pieces in your winter wardrobe.


By incorporating these tops into your winter outfits, you’ll be ready to tackle the cold and stay stylish during your time in NYC.



Choosing the right bottoms is crucial for keeping your lower body warm and protected in NYC’s winter weather. Here are the top options to consider:

  1. Thermal Leggings: Invest in a good pair of thermal leggings or tights to wear as a base layer under your pants or jeans. They provide an extra layer of insulation and keep your legs warm.
  2. Jeans or Pants: Opt for jeans or pants made from thicker and heavier materials to provide better insulation. Look for options with a bit of stretch for added comfort.
  3. Warm Skirts or Dresses: If you prefer wearing skirts or dresses, opt for ones made from thick and warm fabrics like wool or corduroy. Pair them with thermal tights or leggings to protect your legs from the cold.

Layering is just as important for bottoms as it is for tops. Start with thermal leggings as your base layer, add a pair of jeans or pants, and finish off with a long coat or skirt for extra protection.


Remember to choose bottoms that allow for mobility and comfort. Avoid tight-fitting pants or skirts that may restrict movement or bundle up uncomfortably with multiple layers.


Consider wearing thick socks or woolen tights to keep your feet warm. Opt for boots or closed-toe shoes that provide insulation and are suitable for walking in potentially snowy or slushy conditions.


By selecting the right bottoms and layering effectively, you can brave the winter chill while exploring the city with ease.



Choosing the right footwear is essential for navigating the streets of NYC during winter. Here are the top options to consider:

  1. Winter Boots: Invest in a pair of waterproof and insulated winter boots with good traction. Look for boots with a warm lining, such as fleece or faux fur, to keep your feet cozy and dry.
  2. Ankle Boots: Opt for ankle boots made from durable materials like leather or suede. Look for options with a thick sole and consider adding insoles for added warmth and cushioning.
  3. Sneakers: If you prefer a more casual style, opt for sneakers that are both comfortable and weatherproof. Look for sneakers with a sturdy construction and a water-resistant outer layer.

Regardless of the footwear you choose, make sure to wear thick socks made from materials like wool or thermal fabrics for extra warmth and insulation. Socks that wick away moisture can help prevent your feet from feeling damp or cold.


It’s essential to prioritize comfort and practicality when it comes to footwear. NYC’s winter streets can be slippery and slushy, so opt for shoes with good traction to navigate safely.


Remember, your footwear will be put to the test as you explore the city, so invest in quality footwear that can withstand the challenges of winter weather without compromising your style or comfort.



In addition to the core clothing pieces, accessories play a crucial role in keeping you warm and stylish during your winter visit to NYC. Here are the top accessories to consider:

  1. Scarf: A thick and cozy scarf is a must-have accessory to protect your neck from the cold winds. Opt for a scarf made from wool or cashmere for optimal warmth.
  2. Gloves or Mittens: Keep your hands warm and protected with a pair of insulated gloves or mittens. Look for options with touchscreen compatibility, allowing you to use your devices without taking them off.
  3. Hats or Beanies: Protect your head from the cold with a hat or beanie. Choose one that fully covers your ears for maximum warmth. Look for options made from wool or fleece.
  4. Earmuffs: If you prefer to keep your hair in place or find hats uncomfortable, earmuffs are a stylish alternative to keep your ears warm.
  5. Socks: Don’t neglect your feet! Invest in thick, warm socks made from materials like wool or thermal fabrics. They will keep your feet cozy and comfortable during your winter adventures.
  6. Hand Warmers: Consider packing hand warmers to provide extra warmth on exceptionally cold days. They can easily fit in your pockets or gloves and provide instant heat.

These accessories not only add layers of warmth but also help to add a touch of style to your winter ensemble. Opt for accessories in neutral colors that can easily be mixed and matched with your outfits.


By incorporating these essential accessories into your winter wardrobe, you’ll be well-prepared to face the cold temperatures and keep yourself cozy throughout your NYC escapades.


Packing List

Now that you know the essentials for dressing in NYC during the winter, let’s put together a comprehensive packing list to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and stylish trip:

  1. Base Layer Tops (thermal or moisture-wicking)
  2. Insulating Layers (fleece jackets, down-filled vests)
  3. Waterproof and Insulated Jacket or Coat
  4. Thermal Leggings or Tights
  5. Jeans or Pants (thicker and heavier materials)
  6. Warm Skirts or Dresses (made from thick fabrics)
  7. Winter Boots (waterproof and insulated)
  8. Ankle Boots or Sneakers (comfortable and weatherproof)
  9. Thick and Warm Socks
  10. Scarf (wool or cashmere)
  11. Gloves or Mittens (insulated and touchscreen compatible)
  12. Hat or Beanie (fully covers ears)
  13. Earmuffs
  14. Hand Warmers

Remember to pack enough clothing for layering and take into account the number of days you’ll be spending in NYC. Consider versatility when choosing your outfits to mix and match items efficiently.


Additionally, pack any other personal items you may need, such as toiletries, medications, and electronics. Always check the weather forecast before your trip to NYC to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the expected conditions.


By following this packing list and adapting it to your specific needs, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the winter weather in NYC while staying comfortable and stylish.


Final Tips and Recommendations

As you prepare for your winter trip to NYC, here are some final tips and recommendations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  1. Check the Weather: Stay updated on the weather forecast and be prepared for any changes in temperature or precipitation. This will help you make any necessary adjustments to your clothing and activities.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Despite the cold weather, it’s still important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and keep a reusable water bottle with you to stay hydrated while exploring the city.
  3. Plan Indoor Activities: NYC offers a wide range of indoor attractions, such as museums, art galleries, and theaters. Plan a mix of indoor and outdoor activities to stay warm and make the most of your trip.
  4. Stay Safe on Icy Surfaces: Be cautious of icy sidewalks and streets while walking around the city. Wear shoes with good traction and take slower, smaller steps to avoid slips and falls.
  5. Use Moisturizer: The cold weather can be harsh on your skin, so be sure to use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and protected from the elements.
  6. Take Breaks Indoors: If you’re feeling too cold or exhausted, don’t hesitate to take breaks indoors. Warm up in a café or restaurant and recharge before continuing your exploration.
  7. Enjoy Seasonal Delights: Embrace the winter season by indulging in hot drinks like cocoa or mulled wine. Warm up with a bowl of hearty soup or try seasonal treats like hot chestnuts.
  8. Bundle Up for Outdoor Events: If you’ll be attending outdoor events or festivals, layer up and wear your warmest attire. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or cushion for added comfort.
  9. Have Fun and Make Memories: Despite the chilly weather, NYC remains an exciting city with plenty to offer during winter. Embrace the festive atmosphere, explore holiday markets, and create unforgettable memories.

By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your winter trip to NYC. Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy everything this bustling city has to offer!