How To Dress For NYC (Downtown)

I only ventured above 14th Street in NYC once on our recent trip, to visit the Fashion Institute of Technology exhibit with my dear friend Ally of Shybiker. I am a Downtown Woman who loves to hang in the Villages: West, East, and Greenwich. The dress code in those neighborhoods is decidedly casual, and I am not sure I saw one man in a tie (oh yeah, when we went down to Wall Street to catch a ferry; the Banker Uniform is in full dominion down there, for both genders).

There’s no uniform for the Villages, but you’ll see a lot of these elements – on me and on other NYC-loving women:

  • Jeans – again, no flares this year but plenty of distressed, rolled-at-the-cuff, boyfriend styles, with graphic tees or button-down shirts on top. Someone pointed out last year that perhaps flares are not popular in NYC because we have to climb the subway stairs every day.

    NYC jeans

    Medium wash boyfriend jeans like these are everywhere.

  • Really, truly interesting hairstyles! From waist-long curls to side-shaves, to dreads, to colorful highlights (think blue) throughout. I am kind of in love with this almost-shaved look, and I’m contemplating a short-short cut, to let my silver come in fresh. Too bold??


  • In contrast to last Spring – a shortage of light floral prints, short full skirts, rompers and bright colors. Girlish dressing has definitely diminished, even among the girls. I did observe lots of cool embroidery, especially on jeans and denim jackets in particular – a refined Boho look without the ruffles and fringe.
NYC jacket

I saw lots of variations on this cool jacket.

  • Lots of sneakers, flat sandals and other comfortable walking shoes. I only saw crazy heels on Saturday night, when the young women come out to party.
NYC sneakers

I’m keeping the faith in my walking sneakers.

  • A refreshing lack of cold-shoulder blouses, which seem to dominate the Florida landscape. Maybe this trend has passed its peak, because a whole lot of cold-shoulder tops are on deep sale.
NYC blouse

I love a trend as much as any woman, but my eyes are weary of the cold shoulder. I love this “closed shoulder” blouse : >

Are you sporting any of these big-city looks? Is your closet moving away from girly to less-delicate pieces?

Stay fabulous,

Here’s some pieces that suit my NYC vibe:

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  1. I enjoy you because of your own efforts on this web site. Kate really likes working on investigations and it’s obvious why. Most of us learn all about the dynamic manner you convey functional solutions via your web site and even improve response from visitors about this area and our own girl is undoubtedly becoming educated a whole lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You have been doing a really great job.

  2. I was someplace over the weekend where there were a lot of cold-shoulder tops and every time I saw one I was taken aback. It looked like their arms were missing! Who wants to look like they had an unfortunate encounter with a shark?

  3. You have such lovely fine features. I bet you’d look great with the super short pixie cut.

  4. Well it’s a good thing I’ve hung onto that one cold shoulder dress that I’ve yet to wear. I wouldn’t want to wear it when it’s still on trend! Ha ha!

    So happy you had a good time and the weather was decent.


  5. I think the “cold-shoulder” tops just look weird. I would love to find a pair of jeans like the ones in the photo that fit me, but no luck so far. I’m all for wearing comfy walking shoes that look cool.

  6. Since we are all aware of the impact of a New York state of mind on style it’s fun and informative to get your “take” on things Patti. A few pictures of you would have been nice but I understand that your creative focus was on “observing” and most certainly NYC is a mecca for that!

  7. Patti, when I went to visit my brother in Jersey City and went to NYC for fashion week, I wanted very much to visit the Villages, but had no energy left afterward. I think I would love the more artsy vibe as opposed to other areas of the city. I think you should go for the haircut. Perhaps do it in several sessions as it is a big change! πŸ™‚
    Enjoyed the post.
    have a great week!
    jess xx

  8. Oh, happy joy — the way I have dressed and worn my hair pretty much since the 1970s has come back into style again, again!

    Not that I am ever likely to visit NYC.

    Cold shoulder tops and sleeveless turtle-necked sweaters completely mystify me.

  9. Cute post. I’m in Florida, but have no love for the cold shoulder trend – I think it looks weird! I think you’d look great in a short haircut – keeping mine short during my grow-out period (from dyed to my natural white) really kept me sane πŸ™‚

  10. You probably didn’t see florals and cold shoulders as we have usually had Spring here. When summer arrives next week, I’m sure they will all come out.

  11. Downtown is like a completely different city from the UWS and UES. There’s an edge to the fashion in both places, but uptown the edge is about $$$ and downtown it’s about art and individualism.
    I’m glad to see the cold shoulders go. The ones with tight sleeves and cutouts on top are particularly unappealing.

  12. In terms of hairstyle, I’m sporting a nearly-shaved look. It’s not by choice – my hair is growing out from chemo. However, I’m glad to know my style is in vogue! lol. It’s got a lot of grey, and I get tons of compliments from women. I don’t think men are attracted to this look.

  13. Oh, I wanted to add… when I think of NYC, I think bright, colorful, bold women that I see on Advanced Style! I think I’ll be so disappointed if I don’t see masses of them on New York streets! πŸ™‚

  14. I wore a shirt almost like the one you show in this post today, only in variegated stripes linen! πŸ™‚ I will admit that I only see trends on bloggers and in shops, otherwise Seattle isn’t very trend-oriented city…or I am not as observant as you are! (Which is believable!)To me it seems, it’s mostly casual, and to be honest I don’t notice lots of big changes here… jeans are always very popular, but so are dresses and skirts in the last couple of years, they really came back! It was fascinating to read your observations made in one of the world fashion capitals! <3

  15. Maybe the cold shoulder trend is more about where you live? I don’t see a ton of them out here in Colorado, so I still love them and think they are fresh & fun!!
    And what an interesting thought about the flares and the subways…that might be the same with maxi dresses too. I always have to be so careful when I’m going up and down the stairs in mine!!
    And I cut my hair pretty short!! I’m hoping the greys will look like highlights—haha!!

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