The NYC Travel Capsule: 20 Fashion Essentials to Pack for an A+ Wardrobe

When it comes to preparing for tropical or beachside trips, the packing process is on the easier side of the spectrum. All you really need are swimsuits, lightweight separates, and a few fun accessories, and you're ready to go. When it comes to packing for the city, however, it can be a bit more of a challenge, especially in a place like New York that has so many different elements to take into consideration. 

As someone who was born in New York, I've learned exactly what staple items are necessary to look put-together while preparing you for anything. I've not only taken notes from fellow fashionable New Yorkers, but I have also learned from every experience. Below, I've rounded up the 20 staples that you should prioritize while packing for a stay in the city. From long walks in your favorite park to a reservation at the new hot spot, the items in this packing list will guarantee an A+ wardrobe.

Shoes

Sneakers

Visiting NYC requires quite a bit of walking, so comfy sneakers are a must. With the rise of athleisure and sportswear in fashion, a pair of sneakers will blend seamlessly into any outfit.

Mules

Many New Yorkers don't like to wear open-toed sandals in the city, so closed shoes like mules are usually the go-to. They're on-trend and comfortable and will still make any outfit look elevated.

Flat Boots

There's nothing worse than when it randomly rains in the city and you're very much unprepared in the shoe department. Year-round, flat, chunky boots are my city savior. 

Outerwear

Trench Coat

Trench coats are the perfect option for transitional weather, and NYC weather can drastically change in a heartbeat, so it's always important to have a light coat in your suitcase, even in the summer.

Leather Jacket

Not only does a leather jacket look incredibly cool, but it's also the perfect jacket to keep on deck when you don't want to pack something heavy in the cold. You can pair it over sweats, a dress, jeans—the options are endless.

Relaxed Blazer

It's impossible to walk down the SoHo streets and not see at least three girls wearing a relaxed blazer. It's chic, comfy, and elevated. What more do you want?

Tops

Basic T-Shirt and Tank

It's always important to pack your basics for any trip, especially in New York. You can be walking through a breeze one day and then face the heat of the subway, so having underlayers is important.

Comfy Knit

Wear it on the flight, throw it over jeans, or tie it over your shoulder. Comfy knitwear is a necessity when packing. 

Button-Down

Whether you're on a beach vacation or making it to the city, a button-down must be on deck. I love layering it over a T-shirt and relaxed trousers.

Bottoms

Straight Jeans

As a jeans hoarder, I always find it hard to pick which pair to pack. I've learned that you can never go wrong with a straight-leg pair, as it works with most items compared to other denim silhouettes.

Miniskirt

Yes, miniskirts are trending, but it's still the staple the NYC fashion set has been relying on recently. Sometimes, jeans and trousers can get a little repetitive, so it's nice to change it up with some skirt action.

Relaxed Trousers

The past few years have been a relaxed-trouser renaissance, and they're not just for the office anymore. Every NYC fashion person owns a pair, so you know what to get if you want to blend in.

Cargo Pants

Cargo pants are another "trendy" item that has simply become an NYC staple. It's a great addition to have if you're looking to exude that casual-yet-cool vibe.

Dresses & Sets:

Cotton Poplin Dress

I love a good prairie-dress moment, especially how New Yorkers style theirs. They're usually paired with cowboy boots or sneakers, making it different than the more cottagecore-esque look you might see in a city like L.A.

Matching Set

Wherever you're going, a matching set is a must. You can wear it together or coordinate each piece separately. It's like packing three different outfits in one.

Slip Dress

I love a slip dress because of how versatile it is. Throw your comfy knit on top for the daytime and wear it as is for dinner. This dress has got you covered for any occasion.

Accessories

Tote Bag

Tiny bags may be cute for the 'gram, but when you're trudging around New York, a big bag to carry all your essentials is a priority. Luckily with the style being on-trend for 2022, there are a lot of options on the market.

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