New York Dress Code


We all know from Sex and the City that everyone in New York wears nothing but designer tutus and four-hundred-dollar heels, right?  While that may not be exactly true, Manhattan is still one of the most fashion-conscious islands out there, and you’ll want to look your best.

For the ladies

Don’t feel you need to change your whole style — just bring a somewhat more urban-savvy version of your usual wardrobe.  If you want to strut your designer stuff on Fifth Avenue or in Soho, knock yourself out — this is the place to do it.  Otherwise, even just small adjustments, like dark jeans instead of light, heels instead of sneakers (as long as they’re comfortable), a fine-gauge sweater instead of a sweatshirt, can class up your look.  Think somewhere between Banana Republic and Armani Exchange.  Unless you’re going for the hipster look in the East Village. New York Dress Code

For the guys

Guys, you’ll want to clean up your look a bit, too — don’t wear your baggiest jeans, and go with some stylish shoes.  Think more “fitted black v-neck” and less “XL University of Kansas Jayhawks t-shirt.”  If you’re a younger guy who’s planning to browse through record stores in lower Manhattan, you could put a dark grey hoodie on; if you’re headed uptown, a v-neck sweater would be a better choice.  To generalize a bit, the Manhattan look tends to be a little more fitted and a little more Euro.

Rules of Thumb

  • Before heading out the door, ask yourself, “Is anything I’m wearing from an L.L. Bean catalog?” If it is, change it out.  No disrespect, but that’s not what we’re going for today.
  • The photo below is a “What Not To Wear” photo!  Notice how the tourists in the center are wearing light-colored, baggy clothing, and sneakers, like they might be going hiking?  This you want to avoid.
  • Fanny packs.  Visors.  Windbreakers.  H-e-ll to the no.  Surely you don’t need to be told.
  • You’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so make sure your shoes are stylish but comfortable.
  • It’s cliché for a reason: when in doubt, go for black (or slate grey).  It’s probably a safe bet.