I’m so thrilled to introduce my friend Hailey, a NYC fashionista, who contributed this post. She runs the fashion blog Feeling Good As Hail, and is going to give you the ultimate fashion advice on what to wear in NYC in the Summer I hope you enjoy her post as much as I have—-she’s gotten me so excited for summer fashion!


Alexa, play “Summer In The City” by The Lovin’ Spoon!

New York City shines in different ways for every season, but summertime is special. 

The city is hustlin’ and bustlin’, city-goers flock to the parks and beaches, and tourists spend time gawking at skyscrapers while sight-seeing. 

With the high energy of the city comes heat—a lot of it!

This is why it’s important to know what to wear in NYC in the summer.

I’m here to give you all the best tips and tricks about summer fashion in the Big Apple. I’ve lived here for over 5 years, so to say I’m a bit of an expert about NYC summer style would be an understatement. 

Below I have a few general rules of thumb you should keep in mind, plus some cute styles you can try.

With that, keep reading to see all the details on how to master what to wear in NYC in the summer. 

General Rules Of Thumb

​​Before I jump into my suggestions for what to wear in NYC in the summer, I want to touch on two general “rules of thumb” about what to consider when planning your NYC summer outfits.

Wear Breathable Materials

what to wear in summer in nyc girl in midi skirt and black tshirt white sneakers nyc 2

New York City pavement can turn a warm day into a sweltering, highly uncomfortable one.

Knowing this, it’s crucial to wear breathable materials that contain moisture-wicking properties and proper airflow so you don’t, ya know, sweat your butt off.

Cotton is one of the best breathable fabrics out there. Wearing cotton is perfect for hot, humid days as it’s not only breathable but it also absorbs moisture, allowing for proper ventilation and a cooler body temperature.

BLENCOT Lace Trim Tank Top
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However, keep in mind that cotton shows sweat stains easily so I recommend avoiding colors, like gray, that make sweat more apparent.

Polyester is another great breathable fabric. This is typically what they produce activewear and athleisure apparel from as it’s lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking.

Linen is another breathable summer fabric that has similar properties as the other previously mentioned fabrics, meaning it’s lightweight and breathable.

Linen is one of my favorite summer fabrics to wear as it helps me stay cooler, longer than any other fabric.

Amazon Essentials V-Neck Classic T-Shirt
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There are a bunch of other fabrics you can wear to stay cool in New York during the summer, but these three are my favorite and they’re popular enough that you likely already own summer items made from these materials!

If you’re unsure what an item is made from, simply check the care tag on the inside of the product, which will provide you with a breakdown of materials.

Comfort is Key

what to wear in nyc in summer brooklyn bridge girl in dress Brooklyn bridge IG 3

The Big Apple is a walking city, so comfort is of the utmost importance when planning what to wear in NYC in the summer.

I recommend a comfortable pair of sneakers (which I’ll touch on shortly) as well as considering apparel that is within your everyday level of comfort.

I avoid clothing that I may be adjusting all day, like tight dresses that ride up.

Your comfort is the absolute most important aspect when planning your NYC summer outfit, so make sure you prioritize your comfort above all else.

New York City Summer Styles To Try

Let’s move into some awesome styles to try when in NYC for the summer. The below outfits are all unique in their own ways, serving different “summer vibes” you can try. Let’s jump into it!

Danish Skin Care Mini Kit
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Oversized T-Shirt & Bike Shorts

NYC Summer Styles To Try 2

This is a summer style I wear more often than not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a cute dress or skirt!

But sporting a slightly edgy, yet comfortable outfit is ultimately what elevates my confidence to the highest degree.

When I’m on my way to the grocery store or headed to the park for some much-needed sunshine, I’ll throw on a pair of biker shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers to round out the look.

Amazon Essentials V-Neck Classic T-Shirt
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The Seamless Bike Short
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If I’m feeling a little spicy, I’ll add a belt like the one seen above to add some shape to the look.

When it comes to accessories, you will always see me wearing a dainty gold necklace with my t-shirts and a canvas tote bag, which helps complete the comfy look.

And of course, don’t forget your sunglasses! I bought my Fendi pair from The RealReal.

Michael Kors Sunglasses
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Ray-Ban Sunglasses
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Midi Dresses

NYC Summer Styles To Try - midi dress-2

I’m so excited to talk about my love affair with midi dresses.

For quite a few years I dabbled between wearing mini and maxi dresses, but neither felt quite right. 

Most mini dresses don’t provide me with enough coverage to feel comfortable.

Maxi dresses make me look shorter than I already am. I wanted to love them, but I couldn’t find one style that worked for me.

When midi dresses became increasingly popular, I began stocking my wardrobe full of them.

SUMMERY Copenhagen Thea Long Dress
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SUMMERY Copenhagen Provence Fie Tank Dress
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Midi dresses are amazing because they’re universally flattering and you can morph their look to essentially any desired style, whether you’re looking to dress up, down, or somewhere in between. 

Plus, midi dresses are the perfect way to add some personality to your wardrobe with a simplistic print, pattern, or even a fun color if you’re willing to venture outside of neutral tones.

This is the perfect easy outfit for NYC summer weather. Pair it with some chunky sneakers for a casual, comfortable look.

Or if you’re feeling a little fancy, pair them with some ankle boots. Yes, you can definitely wear boots during the summer! Simply remember to wear a lightweight sock so you don’t overheat.

SUMMERY Copenhagen Julia Dress Dogtooth
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Mini Skirt

NYC Summer Styles To Try - MiniSkirt-2

Although I’m not a huge mini dress fan, I absolutely love a cute mini skirt. Especially a denim one! 

A mini skirt is the best addition to any NYC summer outfit because they’re comfortable and easy to style. I highly recommend purchasing a denim mini skirt because they go with essentially anything.

Gap Denim Mini Skirt with Washwell
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My one recommendation when wearing a mini skirt in NYC is to wear a pair of shorts underneath them. This will make you feel more secure when walking around the city and up subway stairs. I’ll throw on a pair of biker shorts, like the ones I mentioned above, under my mini skirt and I’m good to go.

As you can see, I clearly love white sneakers! These Vans paired together with folded tall socks turned this otherwise “girly” outfit into a streetwear chic look. The brown bag also adds a warm, textured tone to the look, tying it all together.

Modern Femme Denim Mini Skirt
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Denim Shorts

NYC Summer Styles To Try

Denim shorts are a must-have for any NYC summer wardrobe. I especially love this pair from Levi’s, which is my go-to source for any of my denim needs.

Denim shorts are a classic summer item that everyone needs in their closet. They pair perfectly with essentially any top, from a tied-up button-down or an oversized t-shirt. 

Levi Luxor Street Light Wash
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I love pairing my denim shorts with a cutout crop top, like the one seen above. This helps me stay cool during the hot summer.

For the above look, I went for a western feel with the addition of thrifted cowboy boots. I also paired this look with my favorite leather bag from Staud which added some texture to this look.

Blondo Women's Vegas Waterproof Ankle Bootie
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Comfortable Sneakers

NYC Summer Styles To Try sneakers 2

Last but certainly not least, we have sneakers which are arguably the most important piece of any NYC summer outfit.

Remember, when you’re in NYC you’re constantly walking on the hard concrete streets and sidewalks! This can be a serious doozy on your feet and back without the proper shoes.

My favorite comfortable sneaker brands are Vans (seen above), Nike, and Adidas. These are clearly very popular brands, so you’re sure to find a style that suits you. 

Canvas Old Skool Vans
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Oliver Cabell Low 1
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Also, if you’re looking for added comfort, I recommend purchasing a pair of shoe insoles to help with arch support. I suffered from debilitating back pain when I first moved to New York from all the walking. Now, I wear insoles in every pair of shoes I own.

Dr. Scholl’s TRI-COMFORT Insoles
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If you’re feeling fancy and want to wear a pair of heels to dinner, no one is holding you back! But for this, I recommend buying a pair of fold-up flats to put in your bag should your feet become sore.

Foldable Travel Roll Up Ballet Flats
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NYC Summer Accessories

Sunglasses

what to wear in nyc sunglasses

New York’s tall buildings definitely won’t stop the sun from hitting your eyes! I highly recommend investing in a pair of sunglasses that protect your eyes against UVA/UVB rays.

Ray-Ban Sunglasses
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A stylish pair will not only protect your eyes, but will add a stylish element to your summer outfit.

Sometimes when I feel my outfit is incomplete, I will add a pair of sunglasses to round out the look. Out of all the styles of sunglasses, I recommend aviators as they’re the most versatile and pair with any look.

Warby Parker Raider Aviator
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Michael Kors Sunglasses
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Crossbody Bag or Tote Bag

what to wear in nyc in summer crossbody bag 3

​​If you’re looking for a specific bag to carry in NYC during the summer, I suggest either a crossbody bag or a canvas tote bag.

Maverick & Co. Eloise Bucket Bag
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A crossbody bag is a little more functional in the sense that it can zip or button your belongings securely and you can place it in front of your body where you can see it. NYC is not as scary as people make it out to be, but you definitely want to be aware of your belongings, especially if you’re just visiting NYC.

Maverick & Co. Artemis Convertible Crossbody
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If you’re looking to carry a few more items other than small essentials like your wallet, chapstick, and sunscreen, then I recommend using a canvas tote bag.

Tote bags are incredibly easy to carry all of your essentials as well as bigger items, like water bottles. If you want to secure your items, then I suggest a tote with a zipper or button closure.

Maverick & Co. Wilde Square Tote
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Water Bottle

summer nyc water bottle 2

This is an absolute MUST during NYC summers. My water bottle is basically a security blanket because if I’m in the NYC heat and need some water, I won’t rest until I get some. 

A little dramatic? Yes, but hydration is so important, especially during the summertime.

If you look in my bag you will always find my Hydroflask which is my holy grail water bottle. It keeps my water cold even in the scorching sun, which is why it’s my favorite, as I’m a sucker for some freezing cold water. 

I can’t recommend it enough! They’re also reusable, which means you won’t be creating excess waste with plastic water bottles.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle
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Sunscreen

summer in nyc sunscreen 2

This isn’t necessarily an accessory, but it’s an absolute must if you’re walking around in the sweltering summer heat. 

Sunscreen is necessary, no matter where you are living or visiting. I highly recommend purchasing a 30+ SPF sunscreen, both for your face and the rest of your body, to protect your skin from the harsh sun. 

CeraVe SPF 30 Sunscreen
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I suggest CereVe AM Facial Moisturizer for your face and Eucerin Daily Hydration with SPF 30+ for the rest of your body. Don’t forget your ears, neck, and tops of feet if they’re exposed!

You should apply sunscreen to your face and body multiple times a day, no matter if you’re indoors or outdoors. I always remember that if my indoor plants are exposed to the sun, so am I!

This means everyone needs proper sun protection both indoors and outdoors.

Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Cream with SPF 30
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NYC Outfits For Guys

To wrap up this article on what to wear in NYC in the summer, I want to discuss some New York outfits for guys.

There are three key aspects of dressing for New York weather guys should remember which allow for easy, yet put-together styles. 

Ray-Ban Sunglasses
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T-Shirts

what to wear in nyc mens tshirt

The first suggestion is to focus on wearing t-shirts, which might sound super obvious, but it really is the best way to stay cool during the summer. 

In terms of the neckline, you can choose a v-neck or crew neckline. You could even do a polo if you need to dress up a bit.

Regarding colors, I recommend neutral or earthy tones like beige or sage green. Or, if you want to be a little bold, I recommend wearing a fun graphic tee which is personally my favorite.

Luca Faloni Elba Linen Jersey Polo
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It’s also important to purchase t-shirts that fit appropriately. This means they shouldn’t be too short or too long, which will all depend on your body type, so make sure you ask someone’s opinion before purchasing or wearing a questionable t-shirt.

Aurélien Taupe Egyptian Cotton T-Shirt
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I also recommend that your t-shirt isn’t too tight, since it could cause you to overheat. 

T-shirts that are too loose will make you look disheveled, so finding the perfect balance between form-fitting and loose is important. In general, you should be able to pinch your shirt in front of your abdomen and pull it 1-2 inches off your body. Anything less or more than that is ill-fitting.

Short Shorts

what to wear in nyc in summer mens shorts

This might be a little controversial, but it needs to be said. Short shorts are in and anything longer is out. And no, I’m not talking booty shorts or skin-tight athletic shorts. I’m simply talking about shorts with a 5-7″ inseam (although this inseam may vary depending on your height and body type).

Men’s “short shorts” have become extremely popular over the past few years, garnering a ton of media attention from both supporters and “haters”. I’m a huge supporter of this style, which is why I’m here to tell you that you should invest in some short shorts as well.

LUCA FALONI Navy Blue Cotton Shorts
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Short shorts come in various styles, including athletic shorts and chino shorts. Both styles pair perfectly with a fitted t-shirt as I mentioned above. You can also purchase them in various colors to pair with your t-shirt.

For example, a beige t-shirt with a forest green pair of shorts would look *chef kiss*.

If you’ve been used to wearing long shorts your entire life (like basketball shorts) and the thought of wearing short shorts makes you skeptical, I highly encourage you to take a leap of faith and find some 5-7″ shorts to try.

I promise that when you try them on, you will see your style transform from drab to elevated with the simple addition of well-tailored shorts.

Lululemon Bowline Short 5" Stretch Ripstop
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Comfortable Sneakers

what to wear in nyc in summer mens shoes 2

My previous suggestion for comfortable sneakers remains relevant for guys as well. Sneakers are my main suggestion as they’d work well with the aforementioned products and they’re the comfiest footwear to sport in the city. 

Aurélien Navy Nubuck Resort Sneaker
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Aurélien White Nappa Leather Voyager Sneaker
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Let’s Wrap It Up

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A post shared by Hailey | NYC 🌙 (@feelinggoodashail)

I hope you all enjoyed this article on what to wear in NYC in the summer! As an New York resident, these are my favorite looks to sport during the warm weather season. They’re all stylish, versatile, and comfortable!

Whether you’re living in New York City and you’re looking for some wardrobe guidance or you’re simply visiting for a few days, remember that the only thing that matters is if you are comfortable and confident in your outfit.

Thank you for taking the time to read! And thank you to my friend, Ally, for featuring me again on her amazing website.

With love or whatever,

Hailey

My Favorite Thing This Month
LUCA FALONI Leather Weekender Bag
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