People not used to NYC’s sub zero chill in the worst of winter can spend a miserable time both inside and outside. Here’s how to dress to avoid the chill and the overheating.
The trick is to know you will have to cope with freezing cold weather outside and then warm air conditioning as soon as you step inside. So you need to quickly master the skill of dressing up for one and then quickly dress down for the other.
Outside NYC cold weather dressing requires you to have a warm coat, hat, scarf, gloves and waterproof shoes. Don’t forget your legs. Both men and women usually opt for trousers in winter but some women go for thick stockings in lieu. And underneath all that you need insulation, which at the very least will include some kind of very form fitting clothing which will cover your skin and help keep body warmth inside.
But as soon as you are inside you have to peel off your outside super warm clothing and stash it somewhere while you dine, shop or visit friends. So all that outside clothing needs to be belted, zipped and buttoned in a way which makes getting out of it quick and easy.
Higher end restaurants, museums and theaters will have cloak rooms but unless you know exactly where you’re going you will need to stash your outer wear either on the seat beside you, under your chair or hanging off the back of your chair so make sure your clothing is the sort which happily survives some rough handling. A bag that lets you stuff hats, scarf and gloves into is a useful way to avoid losing these necessary items as you do your outside/inside/outside shuffle.
Every New Yorker knows the answer to the problem of deep winter clothing is layering and in the 2 Bill Cunningham videos which accompany this post you will see some great examples of layering from both men and women. Native New Yorker fashion aficionardos always strive for a striking look no matter what the weather is doing.
Given the challenges of slush, ice and snow (there is a foot of snow coming your way this weekend New Yorkers) if you are going somewhere like a swish theater outing and you want to glam it up with stunning clothing and shoes then give in to the inevitable and order an Uber to get you there and then home again. I have seen women tottering around in high heels in deep snow and it is both horrific and deeply uncomfortable. Likewise men with just slipons covering their feet, a very cold way to do your outside walk.