If you're wondering what to wear in New York this winter or fall during a trip, these are the items that will keep you warm, comfortable and well-prepared for whatever the day brings!
If you prefer to get straight to adding items to your cart, then check out my Amazon storefront, where I'm featuring must-pack items like rechargeable hand warmers, convertible gloves, weather-resistant boots and more for a cozy, comfortable trip.
Average Weather in New York City during Autumn and Winter
Depending on the month or week you visit, the weather can vary greatly. Keep a close eye on the forecast as you prepare to pack so you can add in more layers if needed or opt for lighter, transitional pieces.
Here's an overview of the average weather in New York City during fall and winter months.
September: Highs of 76 and lows of 61. 7 days rain on average.
I actually recommend this summer & spring NYC packing list for recommendations on what to bring if you're visiting in NYC this month.
October: Highs of 64 and lows of 50. 6 days of rain on average.
This is my favorite month of the year. It's beautiful and you get to enjoy the changing leaves, Halloween festivities and just a renewed sense of awe for how wonderful the city is.
November: Highs of 55 and lows of 42. 7 days of rain on average.
November is also a great month when it comes to the weather. It's not freezing yet and during the latter half of the month you get to enjoy all the holiday decorations, Christmas trees and more.
Plus, the leaves in Central Park usually linger pretty well into November so you can get some more leaf peeping in.
December: Highs of 44 and lows of 31 with 8 days of rain on average.
It's time for winter gear, however, the Christmas cheer is so present throughout the city that it's fun to bundle up for the lights, trees, and festivities.
January: Highs of 39 and lows of 26. 8 days of rain on average. It is COLD and grey. Pack all the layers and bundle up.
February: Highs of 43 and lows of 29. 7 days of rain on average. It's still pretty miserable, but hotels are cheap(er), and you can also enjoy fewer crowds and deals on Broadway shows and NYC restaurants.
March: Highs of 52 and lows of 36. 8 days of rain on average.
It's finally the light at the end of the tunnel, but then you realize it's an illusion and the light is still miles away when you get the random snowstorm in March. However, this can be a great time of year to visit with somewhat milder winter temps and fewer tourists.
What to Wear in New York Winter and Fall
If you're visiting New York City this winter or fall, here are some tips on what to pack to stay comfortable, cozy and cute!
Keep in mind the weather forecast for your visit and specific time of year as not all of these items will make sense if your visit coincides with a warmer winter week.
My #1 piece of advice when packing for NYC during fall & winter is:
Remember that you'll likely be outside walking or commuting via public transportation much more than you would at home. You'll be much more exposed to the elements - you will spend more time out in the cold and possibly even the snow or rain while sightseeing.
If you need to, you can always pop into a store for another sweater (I've done this!) or hat and gloves (I've also done this lol), but I'm sure you would rather want to spend that time (and money) sightseeing.
What to Wear in New York Winter: Outerwear Recommendations
Long Wool or Wool-Blend Coat
If it's above 55 degrees I'm personally fine just wearing my long wool coat from Madewell (love her). If you're visiting early fall, or late winter when it's almost spring, then a lighter coat may be all you need.
Abercombie also sells an awesome selection of long wool-blend dad coats and top coats and they run sales all the time if you're looking for a discount.
I typically pull this out of my closet late October and wear it as my primary jacket through mid-December. After this if I'm spending a lot of time outside (like going to see Christmas lights!) I prefer something warmer.
Long down puffer coat
Long puffer coats are ELITE for winter in New York! I am so grateful I purchased a true winter coat before moving here. They protect against the elements more than the wool-blend and have a thick layer that keeps your body warm even when it's cold and breezy during the winter months.
Clothing: Under Layers & Accessories
If you're partaking in a lot of sightseeing like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, exploring Central Park or even catching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, then you'll want to add some warm layers underneath your outfit.
HEATTECH by Uniqlo is the standard for warm base layers. If you're not familiar, their HEATTECH products are made with a knit fabric that is denser and less transparent meaning it helps with heat retention, plus it's moisture-wicking, soft, stretchy and quick-drying.
They offer a variety of leggings, pants, tops and even socks & gloves in regular, light, and extra-warm varieties.
Thermal tights or lined leggings
After living through my first NYC winter I realized the great benefit of having a pair of thermal tights or fleece-lined leggings for extra cold days.
Thermal tights are a must to pair with your cute skirt and boot winter outfits. And my fleece-lined leggings were a godsend to wear on the day we went sledding in Central Park (core memory!).
The Cozy Fashion Accessories
Don't forget to pack your thick socks, a hat, scarf and gloves. This one is obvious, but, I still wanted to include given the importance!
For thick socks, I am a big fan of Bombas, which are super durable and like a hug for your feet. HUE also has these trendy, slouchy style socks.
I personally prefer a fingerless glove for easy texting, and then a simple scarf and maybe a colorful hat.
Crossbody Bag or Mini Backpack
I love the shoulder bag style, but find it hard to wear those during the winter over my coat. So, when I'm planning to be bundled up, I opt for a crossbody bag.
I love this sling bag style that is surprisingly spacious and comes in a cute corduroy fabric.
This nylon crescent bag is a cheaper version of the famous Uniqlo crescent bag - both are awesome and have plenty of space for your phone, extra charger and more.
If you prefer a backpack, you can find some cute anti-theft options on Amazon as well.
What Shoes to Wear in NYC during Winter
You'll be walking lots of miles during your visit to NYC so most importantly, make sure your shoes are broken in and comfortable. I recommend two types of shoes for a visit during winter and fall.
Lug-sole water-resistant boots or waterproof boots
I have a pair of Caslon water-resistant Chelsea boots that I've been wearing for three winters now and they keep my feet toasty and dry and I can wear them all-day long without any discomfort.
The water resistant part is important since you'll possibly be dealing with snow or melted snow puddles. The lug-sole helps for extra grip against slippery subway stairs and protection against the cold, cold concrete.
If you are a sneaker girlie, then you'll want to opt for your sneakers that have thicker sole or platform. Like mentioned above it's really about putting your space (or shoe, I guess) between your feet and the concrete.
A thinner sneaker, like the super cute Adidas Samba, can work in the early fall or early spring, but that thinner sole isn't going to have much heat retention for your toes against the cold AF NYC concrete.
What to Wear in New York Winter for extra warmth
My life-changing cold weather hack is to use rechargeable hand warmers. I am obsessed with these things! Even if I'm not holding them in my hand I keep them turned on in my coat or pants pocket for extra toasty vibes.
I love that they are rechargeable and some styles can also act as a backup charge for your phone.
If you prefer a cheaper option, the HotHands hand warmers can also work here too. We brought these with us to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade and I even put some in my shoes to stay super warm.
Other Cold Weather Items
- A lint roller to keep all your cute sweaters fuzz-free
- Aquaphor for dry skin and lips is a must for New York winters.
- A mini-umbrella because we always have a rainy Autumn
- A portable mini humidifier - this is super extra, but if you're really affected by dry air when sleeping in hotel rooms this would be a game changer
- Moleskin adhesive - a great preventative against blisters if you're still breaking in boots and an item I'll always suggest for an NYC packing list.
Other Helpful Items to Pack for NYC
- Tide To Go stain remover pens in case you're a messy eater like me
- LMNT Electrolyte packets to stay hydrated after a day of sightseeing and post-dinner drinks
- Stall Mates Wipes - flushable wipes that can come in extra handy for public restrooms
- Claw hair clips - an easy way to style your hair after having it stuffed under a beanie all day
- Sunscreen stick - even in cold weather, it's important to apply SPF. I love a stick option for reapplying through the day!
- Portable charger - Anker is my go-to brand to ensure my phone doesn't die when I'm using Google Maps and taking pictures all day long.
What do people wear in New York during the winter?
People dress for the elements so they're wearing long puffer coats and waterproof boots. And we love wearing black.
Where to stay in New York City?
The Ace Hotel NoMad is centrally located and a short walk to Midtown sightseeing and all the convenience of the Union Square area. The hotel is reasonably priced with the most comfortable beds.
Moxy NYC Chelsea and East Village
Moxy is part of the Marriott chain so you can score some points by staying here. I personally prefer the Moxy in the East Village neighborhood for dining and nightlife, but the Chelsea location would also be convenient for sightseeing.
Fun activities to do in New York City during the fall and winter:
A pizza crawl, checking off multiple museums across the city, venturing out to the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights display, catching a broadway show, taking in all the Christmas lights, trees and decor throughout the city, getting all the fall foliage photos in Central Park, watching the New York City marathoners, visiting Christmasy bars, go for an indulgent spa day and visit a cute NYC lunch spot.
I hope this winter packing list for your New York City travels comes in handy!
Casey is the founder of Casey La Vie & has been running this travel and lifestyle blog since 2016. She’s on a mission to balance her career as a social media manager with exploring her home of New York City and seeing more of the world.