Summer officially begins on June 21st and July and August are always hot months in NYC. And if you are coming to the city and you don’t know how to pack, I’m gonna share some tips. I would say, basically, when you chose your clothes to spend some summer days here in New York, you need to make some adjustments – after all, travel requires comfort. So forget high heels, even wedges. You should bring flats and sneakers because here you will walk a lot, trust me!
So, the first thing you need to remember when packing to NYC in summer is: leave your coats at home, you will not gonna need them! Keep in mind that summer in New York can be very humid, which will make you feel that absolutely every inch of your body is sticking. But overall, I would say that it is not like that every day. It depends on the year, of course. July and August usually have the highest averages – especially the second half of July and the first half of August. In September, the weather is a delight – it’s another ideal month for those who do not like extremes. Temperatures range from 54 to 70F in May, from 63 to 79 in June, 68 to 84F in July, 67 at 82F in August, and 60 at 75F in September. Although summer officially begins in June, the warm temperature usually starts by the end of May.
What to pack for summer in NYC
I’m gonna list all the items I usually wear over the summer in the city and I’m gonna explain a little bit about each one. Then, I’m gonna show you some outfit ideas!
- Denim shorts (or your favorite fabric!) – denim shorts is one of my favorite items for summer outfits. I love the versatility and I think it’s a very democratic piece. There is no better combination than denim shorts with a t-shirt to explore the city the whole day. You can also use it with a cotton shirt – it is classic and elegant and you will be ready to go to a rooftop bar in the sunset and have a drink. You can add more personality by wearing necklaces, tiaras, or bracelets. That’s what I like to do when I use denim shorts and a t-shirt. I particularly love high waist denim shorts and besides t-shirts, I love to wear them with cropped tops and bodysuits. If you don’t like denim, you can use linen or cotton shorts – natural fabrics are always the best choices for summer!
- Dresses – a dress is also another favorite piece for the summer, right? I love how effortless it is and you can pack maxi, midi, or short dresses for your trip to New York City and use them with sneakers, flats, or sandals. Just be careful with short dresses with light fabrics because of the wind.
- Skirts – the same way you can choose the different lengths for the dresses, you can do with skirts. Short, mid, or maxi: it doesn’t matter your preference, these items are also great pieces for your summer outfits in New York City. I particularly love the midi and maxi ones because they are very comfortable and you don’t need to worry about accidentally “showing too much” lol. You can mix and match your t-shirts and vary your outfits using either skirts or shorts. When packing, try to plan some outfits on your mind and choose items that can be used with more than one option.
- T-shirts/crop tops – t-shirts and crop tops are my favorite tops for summer and I can mix and match with my shorts and skirts, depending on the day and on my mood.
- Denim pants – depending on the time you choose to come, you may need pants – maybe for going somewhere at night or for a day at the museum (the air conditioning here is strong, lol!). For summer, I prefer light blue jeans – those with destroyed details are a great choice for the summer season.
- Shoes – as I mentioned, we walk a lot in the city! So, I recommend great sneakers (the white ones are so easy to style!) and flats! Flat sandals can also be a good choice, but only for a day that you are not gonna walk everywhere – like a museum day, for example. I say that because the city streets, sidewalks, and subway stations are not the cleanest ones… High heels are only necessary for places that require a dress code (like some restaurants, rooftops, and dance clubs) and you can usually find out about this on the venue website.
- Light jacket – a light parka, a denim jacket, or even a cardigan can be good for those days that are not so hot or during a cruise or a boat tour when it is usually windy.
- Sunglasses/hats/jewelry – don’t forget to include your favorite fashion accessories – today, I’m very neutral when choosing colors and prints and I prefer to elevate my style using sunglasses, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. You can also use hair props like hats and tiaras.
My favorite brands
Here are some brands that I love to shop from:
- Abercrombie – I really love the selection of denim shorts – there’s something for all styles and bodies, the high-waisted ones are my favorites. Pants are great too. And it’s worth checking the selection of tops and dresses, there are always cool and versatile items.
- Urban Outfitters – cool and young clothes. BDG denim fit so well!
- Rothy’s – this brand has flats made with recycled plastic. I love the prints and styles, I love how you can look good wearing them and it is effortless.
- Aritzia – Canadian brand, the clothes are so beautiful and unique!
- Everlane – an amazing brand for the best quality basics!
In the pictures above, you can see how I dress for summer in New York City. Denim shorts are my favorites and I love to match them with statement t-shirts, cropped tops, and bodysuits. Knotting a shirt on your waist is an easy way to elevate your style! And see how white sneakers are always a great idea!
Here you can see how I use dresses with flats and also white sneakers – they are definitely my favorites – and you can also wear them for some Fall/Winter outfits.
Now that you saw what I wear, you can check the board below that I created on Pinterest, with more than 50 outfit ideas for summer in New York City. Remember: follow your style, wear whatever makes you feel great – but always prioritize comfort! And remember, this is NYC! Hope the ideas I’ve saved on this board can help you to pack!
Last but not least, check my reels wearing the essentials I’ve suggested on this post and notice how you can mix and match everything!
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!