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How a San Diego Native Dresses for NYC Winter: What I Learned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at New School chapter.

Upon reading this, you may be wondering what on earth would drive you to learn tips on winter dressing from a girl who lived in San Diego her entire life. San Diego, where “winter” consists of sunny 50 degree weather, crazily bundled up natives, and Christmas parties at the beach. 

But that’s not what I intend to do for this article. 

This is more about my learning experience, a culmination of everything I’ve observed after three months of living here in New York. A different perspective, per se. And as an individual who wants to maintain a sense of style while simultaneously fending off the chilly air, here’s my insight. 

@afairysdiary via Instagram

For starters, it’s ideal to learn your personal style. Do you love the academia aesthetic? Fall hues, stylish basics, and sweater vests over white button-ups? Or maybe you’re into the old money aesthetic, where tweed and houndstooth are your best friends. Coquette? If you’re unsure which “aesthetic” you gravitate towards most, Pinterest is your most helpful tool! Browsing through outfit ideas and pinning them to different boards will give you a clearer image of your style of dressing.

@minamarlena via Instagram

Once you have this down, one important tip is layering as much as possible. I’ve found that when the temperature drops below fifty degrees, I opt for camisoles under long sleeves and tights under my pants. And if I want to wear a miniskirt, I like to put leggings under my tights to maintain warmth. Another good alternative is to purchase fleece-lined leggings. There are several options across various online stores, and Amazon has a wide selection of the pants. 

@anipnzr via Instagram

This one is a no-brainer, but you’re going to want a good winter coat, the more the merrier. My jacket selection currently consists of a puffer, a long and warm winter coat that hits below my thigh, and two faux fur jackets if I’m feeling stylish. A helpful tip that I’ve learned about purchasing this winter staple, particularly puffer coats, is that it’s okay to spend a lot on one coat. If you plan on living in NYC for a long period of time, it’s probably not ideal to constantly purchase new jackets every year. It’s better to have one reliable staple that will last a while. But if this isn’t feasible for you at the moment, it’s okay to replace budget-friendly, worn-out coats every year for the time being. 

@lovedoveclarke via Instagram

Winter accessories were a little trickier for me to figure out. But if you look around the streets of Manhattan and see what people are wearing, you’re likely going to find a wide assortment of beanies, knit scarves, and boots in varying styles.

With this in mind, it hasn’t started snowing yet, but snow boots are definitely going to be a big investment this winter. And snow makes for even lower temperatures, thus why another helpful tip would be wearing mittens under thick, leather gloves. I recently purchased a pair of black leather gloves with pink faux fur cuffs and though they certainly are stylish, I’ve found that they don’t keep my hands as warm as I would have liked. 

@camrihewie via Instagram

This is all ultimately one big learning experience, but I’m sure things will warm up over time. Here’s to staying warm (and stylish) this winter!

Kea Humilde

New School '26

Kea Humilde is a New School first year intending to major in Journalism+Design and minor in Fashion Communications. When she's not busy shopping in the city and creating content, she's rooting for the Los Angeles Chargers.