Winter weather is brutal, but summer in New York City is a time when fashion-forward residents break out casual street wear. Hot days and chilly nights call for layering and learning to be creative with clothing. In typical New York fashion, dark colors fill the streets of New York City, but the summer sun makes up for the lack of brights.


Summer Basics

Many New Yorkers sport a few summer wardrobe staples during the hot weather. For women, those pieces are:

  • Cutoff denim shorts
  • Oversized shirts.

These two pieces paired together create a typical New York City summer ensemble. Most residents choose to wear dark colors, even in the summer.

For work or dressier events, appropriate options are:

  • A pencil skirt with sleeveless button-down top
  • A sleeveless shift dress.

For men, summer staples include:

  • Jeans or khakis
  • A button-down or polo shirt
  • A lightweight cardigan.

Men are no exception to the dark color preference.

For work or dressier events, men can up their game with trousers and a tie.

Summer Footwear

Because most people in New York City walk almost everywhere, comfortable footwear is a must-have in the summer. Women choose flat styles such as sneakers or ballet flats. Sometimes you’ll see women wearing combat style boots with an edgier outfit. Men wear similar styles as women, and often go with variations on tennis shoes or loafers.

Most people in New York City go without socks in the summertime, regardless of the type of shoes they are wearing.

When it comes to work or dressier occasions, women should go with a low heel or ballet flat, depending on the dress code at the office. Open-toed shoes are nice for summer, if they’re appropriate for the occasion.

Men should do a dressy loafer with socks that match their pants.

Summer Accessories

Stylish New Yorker don’t like to be spotted without standard New York City accessories. For women, these are:

  • Sunglasses
  • An oversized handbag or cross-body bag
  • Simple jewelry or a basic gold watch.

Keep the jewelry to a minimum for days in the office as well. You can add a few more pieces if you’re attending a special event.

Men’s summer accessories include:

  • Sunglasses
  • A manly messenger bag
  • A fashionable watch
  • Various styles of hats.

Sometimes men will also wear rings or simple bracelets, and on occasion, you’ll see men adding belts to their outfits. Belts are a good way to dress up an outfit for work or a special event.

Summer Layers

During a New York City summer day, there’s usually no need for layering pieces. But the nights can be chilly, so you might need light outerwear. Consider some layering pieces when you’re going out at night.

Women can choose an oversized button-down shirt, embellished cardigan or light blazer-style jacket, even worn with cutoff shorts. For work, stick with dressier pieces, such as a blazer, in a light fabric.

Men can go with denim jackets or cargo jackets, even during the day. Work outerwear includes suit or sport jackets that are not too heavy. If your office dress code allows it, a button down cardigan is another option.