16 Cold Weather Essentials for Winter | What to Wear in NYC

Matt and I have officially lived (part-time) in NYC for three years now. It’s hard to pick which season is my favorite because they’re all pretty great, and each one has its own unique city offering. However, I definitely know which season required me to purchase new things I didn’t *quite* ever need in Los Angeles, and that’s winter. Now that this is my third winter in NYC as a resident, I feel like I finally have a pretty good grasp on my winter wardrobe. Whether you’re new to a city with a “real” winter, planning winter travel to NYC, or just looking for a refresh on what you already own, here are some of my cold weather essentials I wear on repeat.

Except for getting dressed for dinner or a show, my cold weather essentials in NYC favor comfort and coziness over fashion the second the temperature drops significantly.

woman smiling while enjoying the snow
woman wearing long black coat and boots in the snow
woman kicking snow

16 Cold Weather Essentials for Winter

Base Layers

For me, base layers are the key to keep you warm from head to toe. They provide extra warmth without a ton of added bulk, and you can layer them as needed under other pieces of clothing like tops and pants.

High-Waist Leggings

These high-waist space dyed leggings are so soft and perfect for winter. I now have three different colors of these leggings.

The material is warm and cozy, and SO comfortable. I like to wear these alone with an oversized sweatshirt for a sporty look, but you can also wear these under pants as a base layer or double up on them for snow days. I’m not really a long underwear gal, so I wear these soft leggings instead.

When running around the city, they’re also way more functional than traditional snow pants. (I have never worn snow pants in the city, even in a blizzard.)

Fleece-Lined Tights

If you don’t want to wear leggings under your pants on cold days, you can always layer fleece-lined tights under them. These are also cold weather saviors if you have an event that requires a dress in the dead of winter.

Basic Long Sleeve Tees

An absolute must-have cold weather is a basic long sleeve t-shirt. I like these ribbed long sleeve tees because they fit close to your body and are perfect for layering.

I wear them as extra layers under sweaters, sweatshirts, and even dresses. The Pima cotton makes them nice and soft, too. 


If you want something a little more robust than a plain crewneck shirt, opt for a turtleneck as your base layer to help keep your neck warm. These are the turtleneck versions of my the ribbed tees above, and I layer them the same way.

I also swear by this black turtleneck bodysuit. I hugs your body without suffocating for cutting into you, and keeps you warm.

Warm Socks

I recently discovered these cashmere-blend socks. They’re a little bit of a splurge, but they’re really soft and keep your feet warm without getting them sweaty.

Wool socks are also great for super cold days. Wool is a natural insulator but also temperature regulating to keep your feet warm without overheating them.

Best Long Sleeve Layering Tees
woman wearing a long coat for Cold Weather Essentials for Winter


A Good Puffer Coat

Make sure you have a quality puffer coat. If you’re going to splurge on any of these cold weather essentials, let it be a puffer coat.

I wear one almost every single day in winter; they’re the ideal utility coat for walking around the city.

A warm puffer coat is an absolute MUST when it comes to cold weather essentials. Aritzia has a huge selection of puffers, in tons of colors and lengths for men and women. (Matt has one from there and occasionally I borrow it.)

Bernardo also has a ton of great puffer styles, and many of them are packable to save space in a suitcase or closet. They are one of my favorite outerwear brands and I highly recommend them! I own at least 5 coats from them and got this shiny puffer last year. It is SO cozy.

A Long Wool Coat

For dinner or whenever you’re getting a little dressed up, ditch the puffer coat for a long wool coat. My favorite wool coats are from Aritzia.

I recently purchased the slouch coat style and it works for day and night, which I love. It runs big though, so I would go down a size. I have the XS!

Winter Boots

Rain Boots

Rain boots are great for rainy, wet winter mornings. They’re not particularly the most stylish boots ever, but they do serve a very useful purpose.

I love these tall black glossy rain boots because even though they’re completely rubber, they look more like normal boots than other styles.

I’m also a big fan of low, rubber ankle boots like these that I can quickly throw on to take the dog out or to walk to the gym.

Snow Boots

I have worn Sorel for as long as I can remember, so they have always been my snow boot of choice. They make some great boots that look a bit more stylish than traditional snow boots, but with the same waterproof and warm features.

I love the Whitney style. They are a shorter ankle boot but still protect your feet from the snow.

Sam Edelman Laguna Boots

My Sam Edelman Laguna boots are hands down my most-worn shoes on non-snowy days. I’m on my third winter with these lug-sole leather boots and they still hold up. I own them in two different colors.

woman showing Sam Edelman Laguna Boots for Cold Weather Essentials for Winter

Cold Weather Accessories

Wool Beanie

I have a handful of winter hats, but this wool beanie has been on my head more than any others since I bought it. It’s warm and soft. The end.

Hand and Feet Warmers

HotHands makes disposable hand and feet warmers, and they are a GAME CHANGER when you’re walking around the city on a freezing day. Just open the package and shake to activate, then place in your shoes, pockets, or gloves for extra warmth for up to eight hours.  

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect leather tech gloves, so if you have a pair you love for winter, please let me know in the comments below! Here’s to staying nice and warm this winter!

Shop My Favorite Cold Weather Essentials

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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  1. 1.11.23
    Jessica Camerata said:

    I can’t believe it took me so many years to learn to do a thin cotton long sleeve under a sweater. Life changing. You make miserable winter days look so cute though!

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day