I Have No Fucking Clue What to Wear in New York City

Same, Anna.
Same, Anna.
Photo: Getty

Did you know that when you are hired into the prestigious, sacred halls of Jezebel, you sign a massive contract in your own blood that requires you, among other things, to physically transport yourself to New York City. There, the cabal of witches who run this site will finish the necessary sacraments and goat sacrifices needed to finalize my eternal damnation here.

In a week I will be in New York City, also known as: the Big Apple, the Concrete Jungle, the Haunted Island of the Rat King. Except I have a problem. And it’s kind of a big one! I have never been to New York City, and have also never encountered temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a condition known as “living in California.” Even as an adult I’ve never travelled alone. Worse, I’ve only been on a plane a handful of times—from the Bay Area to Los Angeles, which is so comically short an airline distance it makes me cry blood at having spent $150 for the experience.

This is the ideal.
This is the ideal.
Photo: Getty

So, what the fuck am I going to wear? How on Earth am I expected to pack seven days and nights worth of clothing, into a carryon and a suitcase, when I have never boarded with more than an overstuffed bag stashed beneath my seat? I’d shame my parents for ill-equipping me to be a working journalist who travels—but we grew up without any money. Traveling was a luxury. This isn’t their fault!

Again, what the fuck am I going to wear? What should the ratio between “underpaid fashion intern front row at the Eckhaus Latta show” and “dirtbag skater ex-boyfriend you dumped because he fucked with his Sk8-his on” be? Ideally, my ensemble would be somewhere between “Shia Leboeuf at his worst” and “Kristen Stewart at her best.” I’m worried that to achieve anything more than one to two outfits, I’ll have to wear all three winter coats and four different shoes on the plane, a look that is both impractical, and extremely ridiculous looking. Also, New Yorkers keep telling me how cold it will be—cold enough to freeze you like those mammoths they keep finding in glaciers—so what exactly constitutes a “winter coat” at all? What if my jackets aren’t thick enough, and they turn me into an ice sculpture in Times Square!

Anyway, I have no fucking clue what I’m going to wear. If you were, hypothetically, visiting New York City, how would you pack? Which clothes would you prioritize, and which would you leave home? Help me, please, I’m begging you!

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Black leggings, all day. You can even sleep in them. Lower-heeled ankle boots (grey or black), preferably waterproof. Blondi makes cute ones that aren’t too pricey and are also pretty comfortable without looking geriatric. A couple of knit tunics in neutral colors. Pair of jeans or cords. Turtleneck sweater. A long grey or black sweater cardigan, two scarves to mix things up. Mid-calf overcoat in a fabric that can handle some amount of wet. Boden makes amazing coats that really last and are cute.

Don’t pack too much because NYC has some amazing thrift and vintage shops!