I have attended New York Fashion Week a handful of times. Every time I go, I seem to get better at packing for it. The key to successfully pack for New York Fashion Week starts way before you even grab your suitcase; planning is absolutely essential. Today I’m sharing my process on how I plan and pack for New York Fashion Week season after season.
What is New York Fashion Week?
New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is a semi-annual event held in February and September each year. Spanning over a weeklong period, it is when fashion designers present their collection to buyers, media outlets and industry insiders. Many cities around the world also hold fashion weeks. The other big ones include Paris, Milan, and London.
Usually, most designers show a season ahead. For example, for September NYFW, designers show their spring collection for the following year. However, it’s become a little more common for some brands, such as Rebecca Minkoff, to show the same collection that’s currently in stores.
Fashion weeks may seem frivolous, but they are important for the industry. These shows typically dictate trends, which trickle down into department stores and into faster fashion retailers. If you’ve ever wondered how a trend happens, it starts at the runways. (Also, if this is sounding a bit like this monologue from The Devil Wears Prada, it’s because it’s true.)
Every industry has their major events and conventions throughout the year. Fashion weeks are the equivalent of that for the fashion industry, full of networking and project opportunities.
Here’s why NYFW is important for bloggers:
- You’re you’re able to learn about upcoming trends alongside the industry
- It’s an opportunity to finally meet people in person from companies with whom you’ve only emailed
- Showroom appointments allow for networking and potential new job opportunities
- You can meet other bloggers; these are your co-workers and you should always get to know others in your field
- Because this event is highly photographed, there’s a possibility for press and growing your channels (which also leads to new job opportunities)
Fashion weeks are filled with high fashion, street fashion, and yes, ugly fashion. NYFW is chaotic but fun, and those who attend dress their best and aim to see and be seen.
If there’s ever a time to pack something outrageous that you wouldn’t wear to buy groceries, it’s now; dressing for Fashion Week should be fun!
I start planning my outfits for NYFW about a little over a month in advance so that I have time to order items, make exchanges if needed, get things tailored, and to minimize last minute stressing.
How I Plan Outfits for New York Fashion Week
Research Seasonal Trends
Since this is a fashion event, I always consider incorporating current trends into what I pack for Fashion Week.
I research seasonal trends and colors and make a list of what is most wearable for me. It’s okay not to love every trend.
I typically search “X fashion trends” for whatever season and year it is, then look at a few different websites to make my own list of trends I to consider for Fashion Week. (For example, fall fashion trends 2021.)
I also like to use Pinterest for inspiration. Even a quick street style search on there ignites some ideas!
Shop Your Closet First
Although I do give myself permission to splurge on some fun pieces for NYFW, I always shop my closet before making purchase. Fashion is cyclical, so check to see if this season’s “it color” is already hanging in your closet.
Try on Everything, Accessories Included
Most people want to bring their A-game to Fashion Week. The worst thing that can happen is that you put on an outfit before a show and you hate it and don’t feel good in it.
Unless you live in New York, you won’t have access to your full closet every morning. Therefore, it’s important to try on every single outfit you plan to wear and pack for Fashion Week ahead of time. This includes shoes and accessories.
I try to plan for a daytime look and nighttime look for each day. Often times invites come super last minute (like the day before). So, I always like to have a nighttime/party option in case a fun event pops up.
Streamline Your Items
During my try-on sessions, I do my best to streamline a handful of pieces into other looks to help save on suitcase space when I go to pack for New York Fashion Week.
Yes, you can wear something more than once at New York Fashion Week. If you have a great belt that really works for multiple outfits, wear it. If you have a standout handbag that you absolutely love, wear it again and again!
Don’t Underestimate Tailoring
Tailoring something just the slightest can really change how something looks on you. Sometimes it’s the difference between baggy and purposely oversized. I’m a big fan of the tailor, even for everyday pieces.
If I find a piece I absolutely love that might have a tiny fit issue (long sleeves or hem, a little boxy, etc) AND the cost of tailoring won’t be astronomical, it’s worth it to get it.
Make a List, Check it Twice
The type-A Virgo in me loves a list, but making one for NYFW outfits is a game-changer for a few reasons:
- It helps me keep track of what I’ve already packed
- It helps me account for only what I need, to avoid overpacking
- NYFW is chaotic – I use my list to reference my planned outfits to get out the door each day and in between events at lighting speed
I keep my list on my phone to quickly reference whenever I need it.
More Tips on How to Pack for Fashion Week
- Invest in a large suitcase – you do not want to be wheeling multiple suitcases through the streets of NYC
- Use packing cubes – I like these packing cubes because they’re slim and don’t take away suitcase space
- Start with packing your shoes – shoes are awkward and take up the most space; pack them first then work around them
- Take valuables in your carry-on – This is a cardinal packing rule for me: pack nice shoes, bags, and anything else of importance in your carry-on