Matt and I have officially lived (part-time) in NYC for a full year. 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 second 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.
16 Cold Weather Essentials for Winter
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
These high-waist space dyed leggings are so soft and perfect for winter. 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.)
If you don’t want to wear leggings under your pants on cold days, you can always layer fleece-lined tights under them, too. 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 favorite 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.
These crew socks aren’t necessarily the thickest, but they come in a value pack and I wear them constantly.
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.
A Good Puffer Coat
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!
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; they’re the ideal utility coat for walking around the city or to and from the gym.
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.
Rain boots are great for rainy, wet winter mornings. I love these tall black glossy rain boots because even though they’re completely rubber, they look like normal boots. I’m also a big fan of these low mixed media waterproof boots; I throw them on when I’m taking out the dog or walking to the gym.
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.
Sam Edelman Laguna Boots
My Sam Edelman Laguna boots are hands down my most-worn shoes on non-snowy days. I’m on my second winter with these lug-sole leather boots and they still hold up.
Cold Weather Accessories
I have a handful of winter hats, but this cashmere beanie has been on my head more than any of my 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!