If you're planning on taking a first-time trip to New York this winter, it is likely you'll be unsure exactly what to wear. How cold will it be? What's the best clothing to take for this trip without over-packing? What can you wear that's fashionable? How much should you pack?
Firstly, DON'T worry too much about what's fashionable and what isn't. When you get there, you won't care about how you look as everyone will be dressed as oddly as you, and you'll all be much more focused on keeping warm and questioning why you didn't bring those extra unattractive long-sleeved shirts.
The list of my five must-haves to take are as follows:
It is cold in New York in the winter, maybe even colder than where you are originally from, so taking plenty of cardigans and jumpers is a must. It is strongly advised to focus purely on the comfort and warmth of what you're wearing, meaning that also taking a decent amount of shirts is needed to build the important layers. I'm sure you have many pairs of jeans, but they aren't going to keep you very warm. If you must take them, use corduroy jeans as they are warmer than normal ones, or take woolen items such as a pair of good tracksuit bottoms. A few pairs of leggings may also be useful, providing they are thick and warm. Women, if you want to wear skirts or dresses, it is recommended that you take a few pairs of very thick tights to keep yourself warm as well as ensuring you have many layers underneath and on top of your outfit.
Many people may turn their nose up at this suggestion, but taking long underwear such as long johns is a very useful technique for keeping warm. As well as having a high comfort factor, these will keep your luggage light as well as offering warmth under all clothing. When it comes to socks, make sure you have plenty of those with you, preferably thick, warm ones as you'll probably need to wear two or three pairs at a time to stop you feeling cold.
With coats, it is probably best to take at least two, maybe even three to prepare for both mild and severe cold weather. If you're going to take a short one, make sure it's very warm, and that you also take a long one to keep your lower body protected when the cold wind begins. It may be more to pack, but you'll be thankful for it during the snowstorms.
A raincoat is also a must take, so if you don't have one of those, make sure at least one of your coats is waterproof. You could take an umbrella with you also, but avoid taking those ‘fit in your handbag' ones, as they aren't going to be overly useful if a strong wind occurs. Make sure you take a proper sized, strong umbrella to shield you from any wind, rain, snow and hail that may occur.
Generally, a New York winter includes snow or at least harsh winds, so be sure to take a pair of snow boots and maybe wellingtons as well as those all-important warm shoes. Make sure all these shoes are also comfortable to wear, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking. Do NOT make the mistake of packing heels or any other open toe shoes as they add no warmth or support in cold conditions, and you will soon regret this choice. Try to avoid the use of leather shoes as in the snow and storm they are likely to be ruined. To sum it up, warm, closed toe shoes are good. Open toe flimsy shoes are not.
While on the subject of shoes, it might be a good idea to take along some plasters, as with the walking you'll find yourself doing when venturing around the city, you may find yourself gaining one or two unpleasant blisters.
Even in cold weather sunglasses are a good idea, especially if you expect it to snow. The sun can be very bright, especially when it reflects off the snow. Snow and aggressive winds can cause the eyes to become sore as they are sensitive, so take a pair of these along just in case. They don't take up much room in your luggage and chances are you'll be happy to have them if any of these problems arise. The option of snow-goggles can be useful, depending on whether you can stand wearing them for long periods of time and whether you know that the weather will be THAT bad. Generally, sunglasses should be enough protection for a little wind and snow here and there. If you think the winter season will turn out excessively cold and frosty, it might be an idea to include them in your luggage.
Gloves/mittens, scarves and hats. Obviously, these may seem like something anyone would take on a winter holiday, and that mentioning them is unnecessary, but if you come from a place where the climates are warm during every season, these simple things are likely to slip your mind. Make sure you take a few thick scarves with you and one or two pairs of gloves or mittens. Obviously, finger-less gloves are easier to use when performing day-to-day activities outside, but it would be wise to take a normal, thick pair of gloves or mittens as well/instead of, as you never know how cold it will get. Woolen hats and/or earmuffs are good for keeping your head and ears warm and protected from harsh winds.
Most of this may seem like over-packing to the average person, but if you haven't experienced New York's cold weather before, then it's likely you won't understand how necessary these items are until you get there and experience it. Following these tips should ensure you are both warm and comfortable during your winter stay, no matter how severe or mild it is.
Guest post written by Julie Fernandez, a passionate blogger from London. As she is fascinated about travel, she loves to write articles on it.