What to Wear in New York for Spring to Summer

What to Wear in New York for Spring to Summer

My love for New York City runs deep, and honestly, I don’t really think there’s a bad time to visit. Each season offers unique experiences and charm, so planning a trip to Manhattan is really individualized.

With that being said, the weather in NYC can be somewhat iffy, especially during the transition from one season to another. The winters are obviously snowy and cold and the summers can get very hot and humid. The in-between period that spring offers (crisp mornings coupled with warm afternoons) make the March to early summer timeframe such a sweet spot in the city.

Even when considering how much warmer temps get during the spring, the elements can actually change quite drastically within just one day. The unexpected shift in temperatures paired with how frequently it rains can make it hard to know what to wear in New York.

To help you put together a fool-proof packing list, I’m sharing a roundup of outfits that you should wear in New York during the spring and summer.

What to Wear in New York for Spring to Summer

Knit Dresses

Because of their warm yet not-too-hot material, knit dresses make for one of the most practical outfit options for this time of year in NYC. I love that they look chic and can be worn with a variety of shoes, so you have multiple ways you can style them (depending on what’s on your itinerary.)

Oh, and if wearing a short dress isn’t in the cards, you could always go for something midi length. Keep things neutral with a black dress or add a pop of color with something more vibrant. Another bonus to knit dresses is that they can seamlessly transition from day to night wear (just swap your sneakers or loafers for some pumps.)

NYC spring and summer outfit - short sweater dress
NYC spring and summer outfit - ribbed knit midi dress
NYC spring and summer outfit - blue knit dress

Matching Sets

When in doubt, you can’t really go wrong with a matching set. These are ideal for spring weather because they are undeniably comfy, come in short and pant options, and they’re practical for all-day wear.

Whether you’re heading out for a stroll in Central Park or you’re grabbing your morning cup of coffee, one of the matching sets below (including some affordable Amazon finds) would all make good choices. Slip into some comfortable shoes, layer on a jacket, and you’ll be set.

p.s. These are ideal outfits to wear while you’re traveling.

NYC spring and summer outfit - sweatshirt and short set
NYC spring and summer outfit - matching lounge set from amazon
NYC spring and summer outfit - matching sweater set

Trench Coat

When your winter coats and leather jacket start to feel too heavy for the weather, opt for a trench coat instead. Not only are trench coats cute, but they’re comfortable and make for the perfect layering piece—especially if it’s raining. They also make you feel put together even though they’re cozy, which gives them bonus points in my book.

For your bottoms, wear leather leggings, jeans, or even a midi dress. Then add a crossbody bag to stash your essentials (Tip: go with a large bag if you plan on being out all day and need somewhere to store your water bottle.)

NYC spring and summer outfit - trench coat for the rain
NYC spring and summer outfit - trench coat with leather leggings

White Dresses

If you’re totally stumped on what to wear in NYC during the warmer seasons, consider packing white dresses. After a long and dark winter, I personally love to bring out more bright (aka white) pieces. Plus, packing white dresses guarantees they’ll pair with other items in your suitcase—whether that’s a trench coat, denim jacket, white sneakers, heels, etc.

Also, like I mentioned above, it’s smart to go for a midi length dress during the spring to summer period since they give you a bit more coverage. If the midi style isn’t your thing, you could also just opt for a dress with long sleeves.

NYC spring and summer outfit - white eyelet dress

Mini Skirt

Although they didn’t necessarily go out of style, I feel like I’ve been seeing more and more mini skirts these days (Abercrombie always has such a cute selection.) I love the idea of toting along a couple of short skirts for a trip to New York. They’re sexy, comfortable, and they can be worn for just about anything.

On top, depending on the weather, you could go with a tank, off-the-shoulder top, bodysuit, or a sweater. You could also pair a white denim skirt with a long cardigan or a blue denim jacket for extra warmth.

NYC spring and summer outfit - mini skirt with sweater

Dress With Boots

I actually reach for this outfit idea a lot during the fall months, but it works just as well in the spring to summer period. Knee-high boots offer the ideal alternative to sneakers, loafers, or sandals, and they have the added benefit of providing your legs with some warmth.

Any dress would work with this look, but I really love shirt dresses because they give off a casual yet polished vibe. Plus, they look just as chic to wear in a museum as they do in a bar.

If you plan on visiting New York during the height of the summer, I’d recommend leaving the boots at home and going with sandals or sneakers instead.

NYC spring and summer outfit - dress with boots

Jeans With a Bodysuit

This probably goes without saying but jeans are a must-pack for New York—yes, even in the summer. When temps get high, you could easily wear your favorite pair of denim with a tube top or strapless bodysuit (a cute look for a night out.)

And if it’s on the chillier side? Pack a knit sweater, half-zip, or crewneck so you have several options.

NYC spring and summer outfit - jeans with a bodysuit

Trousers With a Tee

My current hyper fixation outfit? Trousers with a plain white t-shirt or a tight tank top. Honestly, trousers are very much in right now, and yes, I mean for out-of-office wear. They’re a great way to switch up your typical denim look and I have found that they’re more breathable and lightweight than jeans.

Wear this outfit to a fancy brunch on the Upper East Side or to check out the exhibits at the Met. The result will always be classy and timeless, which is perfect for a girls weekend in New York.

Oh, and don’t forget to pack sunglasses!

NYC spring and summer outfit - trousers with white t-shirt

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