NYC winter – how can you stay warm?

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This is my first proper NYC winter. Definitely the first time I’ve been in NYC during November. reports it as a 35 degree (F) day, feeling like 27. It’s cold as ice but it’s also sunny with the bluest skies. Quite simply, it’s lethally beautiful out there. Lethal if you haven’t wrapped up appropriately.

I walked briskly from 81st and Madison to 72nd and 2nd Ave, planning to take the Q train down to Herald Square and 33rd. The brutal NYC winter wind whipped my face periodically and made tears stream down it with force, but I was still enjoying it with naïveté and a first-timer’s romantic eye. All around me were people in puffy coats, ear-muffs, hats, boots, gloves, grumpy attitudes, and red noses.

How do you dress for a NYC winter? Coming from Northern CA, we do own some coats, but definitely need to take time and purchase some heavy duty items with longevity. But can it be done on a budget? Sure! I really don’t want to and don’t need to invest in a $1K Canada Goose jacket unless I know I’ll be trekking 5 miles in 25 degree weather on a daily basis. So here’s my take on how to stay warm and stylish during a typical NYC winter.

  1. Visit Uniqlo, Zara, Mango, for decent quality winter wear. Pick up 2 of each of essentials such as thermals and warm socks at Uniqlo to keep you going through the center.
  2. Invest in earmuffs, gloves, hats at the above stores too – we often ignore the accessories which are an essential part of the ‘Stay Warm’ package.
  3. Kids outgrow their clothes so easily, so no need to invest in a Canada Goose parka for your precious one unless you’re hellbent on creating serious label envy amongst your peers (pretty sad if you are!). Again, my go to stores for kiddos would be H&M, Zara, and even Gymboree. They’ll lose that hat anyway. So might as well keep it simple :).
  4. Warm your extremities by loading on the hot drinks whenever possible. And go for it and add some whiskey to your evening coffee when you are lucky enough to be out of the cold and in the comfort of your own home.
  5. Get your snow boots before it’s too late. DSW is a good store to head to, but I would recommend The North Face store too, for good quality snow boots that will last a while, in addition to great outerwear as well.

The reason I was visiting Herald Square today was because I needed some essentials from the new Target there that opened last month (thank god I don’t have to make that long trek down to the smaller Tribeca store!). I am planning to make some creme brûlée for friends tomorrow and needed heavy cream. As I write this post, I am enjoying strong coffee laced with some of the aforementioned cream. I am also feeling pretty smug as I look out and see people going about their businesses with frozen faces and stiff bodies. Wish I could add a dash of Laphroaig Whiskey to my coffee. But I need to pick my daughter up soon, so I’ll pass. If you are staying put at home, go on and drink up for me. Whether you’re in NYC, Chicago (colder!), Moscow, or Helsinki, stay warm out there. If you’re in NYC or planning to visit, make sure you wrap up so you can truly enjoy the beauty hiding behind a brutal NYC winter day.




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