Top 3 style tips for surviving a New York winter

Winter is here. Here’s how you can beat the cold in style!

By Sara Vargas, Contributing Writer

Winter is approaching, and many of us are struggling to stay warm without sacrificing our style. While the cold might feel like the enemy of assembling a chic outfit, New Yorkers know how to stay fashionable in freezing temperatures. NYU students and Washington Square Park locals shared their tips on what to wear this season.

Tip #1 — Layers

“I never found New York City temperature drops difficult. I learned to stay warm with an array of different colored layers — it romanticized winter for me.””

— Luca, a New York City dancer

There seems to be an overwhelming consensus on the necessity of layers for surviving the winter. All interviewees highlighted that living in New York requires you to be prepared for temperature changes throughout the day. Luca is a dancer who has lived in New York for four years. He stressed the importance of thin layers with a warm coat instead of heavy pieces.

Luca, a dancer, chooses to wear multiple thin layers with a coat. (Photo by Sara Vargas)

His outfit reflected his philosophy regarding the cold: a white tank top layered under a mustard corduroy button-down vest, a black coat and a black scarf. He thrifted the vest and the tanktop at one of L Train Vintage’s Brooklyn locations, his go-to spot for winter pieces. Luca’s warmest item was his black H&M coat. He scavenged the scarf from his mother’s closet and completed the look with a sleek pair of low Dr. Martens and black Uniqlo socks.

“I never found New York City temperature drops difficult,” Luca said. “I learned to stay warm with an array of different colored layers — it romanticized winter for me.”

Dayton, a Washington Square Park skateboarder, wears leggings under their pants. (Photo by Sara Vargas)

Dayton is a Washington Square Park skateboarder who hails from Idaho. His best tip to survive the cold is wearing leggings under pants. It’s a simple way to bundle up against the frost.

Tip #2 — Warm accessories

Warm accessories can instantly turn an outfit around — a colorful hat and knitted gloves are a cute and practical way to stay warm. The word around the park is that ’80s-esque accessories, such as fingerless gloves, earmuffs and leg warmers, are making a comeback! Pair leg warmers with thigh-high or low-cut boots to elevate your outfit. 

Gallatin first-year Sophie Tananbaum wears a thrifted pea-green wool coat. (Photo by Sara Vargas)

Gallatin first-year Sophie Tananbaum emphasized the need to wear a hat, a scarf and even a face mask to shield yourself from the icy wind. She wore an L.L. Bean pea green wool coat that she had thrifted. Like many New Yorkers, Tananbaum opts for thrifting to find unconventional and affordable pieces. 

“I got it at a thrift store in Asbury Park for just three dollars,” Tananbaum said. “They have great colors.”

Young New Yorkers are drawn to thrifting when searching for both basics and standout pieces, but thrifting’s rising popularity also means rapidly increasing prices. Students living in Manhattan are migrating to thrift stores in Brooklyn and Queens in search of affordability.  

Tananbaum added that despite its high prices, Urban Outfitters has a great selection of trendy winter pieces, like her fuzzy white fingerless gloves and orange turtleneck.

Tip #3 — Bold colors

The key is thrift stores, although they are getting a bit gentrified.”

— Yara from Brooklyn

Although people associate cold temperatures with dark colors, gloomy weather doesn’t have to mean drab clothing. Yara, from Brooklyn, set a goal to wear more colorful pieces to offset the weather and uplift their mood. 

Yara, from Brooklyn, wears colorful thrifted pieces in Washington Square Park. (Photo by Sara Vargas)

Yara conveys their creative spirit through playful outfits, such as their evergreen turtleneck from Uniqlo, thrifted light blue jeans, Arizona Jean Co. cowboy boots and a thrifted multicolored zip-up sweater. Yara agreed with Tananbaum that thrift stores are helpful for finding unique pieces.

“The key is thrift stores, although they are getting a bit gentrified,” Yara said. 

Tisch sophomore Dora Nano wears a vintage dress and leg warmers. (Photo by Sara Vargas)

Tisch sophomore Dora Nano admitted that she sacrifices warmth for style. Nano is from New Jersey and has lived through many northeastern winters. Her best tip is to invest in a statement coat. Nano wore a blue peacoat, a vintage dress, and a pair of caramel knee-high boots with shimmery tights and legwarmers. Nano bought her vintage dress at a thrift store, but she sometimes makes use of other sources. 

“I literally just raided my mom’s closet for most of today’s outfit,” Nano said.

In preparation for winter weather, hit up thrift stores. Check out H&M, Uniqlo and Urban Outfitters to find the perfect accessories and layers. And of course, make a mental note to raid your parents’ wardrobe for any warm vintage pieces!

Contact Sara Vargas at [email protected]