Secrets To Dressing Like A New Yorker When You’re Not One

It's a hell of a town...

Secrets To Dressing Like A New Yorker When You’re Not One

New York men are expert dressers – no matter the season. In the long, sweaty summer New Yorkers know how to wear just the perfect amount of linen, while winter sub-zero temperatures see them layering like it’s second nature.

How to dress like a New Yorker? In the city that never sleeps, each man boasts his own distinct look. But, from Manhattan to Queens, Brooklyn to Upstate, New York offers certain style themes that can easily be replicated by who live outside America’s capital of cool.

How To Dress Like A New Yorker

Men in New York are ambassadors of clean lines and slim cut shapes. Most men get suits tailored and even take it to the extent of made-to-measure jeans and shirts. The most important thing to New York men is their shoes, recognising a solid, leather pair can essentially dress up a casual outfit and take it to the next level. The final touch is an accessory such as a watch or ring. Then you’re ready to hit the prim Upper East Side before crossing the bridge to the eclectic (and hectic) Brooklyn.

Night-To-Day Black

New Yorkers like to wear an outfit that can ride functionally during the day but is chic enough to party at night. How? Tailored formalities with the ease of casual wear – under a mood of black. A typical look might be a classic overcoat with rounded shoulders, layered over a textural knit and button shirt; the trousers made a tad technical with a sheen-y sports fabric and zip details, providing a visual feature and as well as a function.

Tying it all together, black dresses down traditional pieces without losing the overall effect of being sophisticated – and chic.

Wall Street Wolf

Home to the world’s most influential stock exchange, Wall Street plays its own trading games with the suit in New York. Unlike the stuffiness of the grey power suit that swept the city in the Eighties, the modern broker sports fresh tones of blue – from cobalt to midnight.

Darker suits work well with subtle pinstripes before basing-out with burgundy shoes, while marine tones match swimmingly with marsala – the wine-like hue rouging up key New Yorker accessories, such as ties and neckwear.

Manhattan Mod

Taking the lead from Sixties Britain, the ‘mod’ theme rides wild in New York. It’s the perfect mix of tailoring and smart with the brashness of Dandy colours being just that little bit playful – and goes hand in hand with the eponymous Manhattan cocktail. Although New Yorkers don’t necessarily have a penchant for soul music or motor scooters, you will see them in fruit-inspired hues like mulberry, peach and orange (especially on relaxed trousers).

Keeping it chic, a clean waist coast under super structured outerwear in only the best wool, captures the retro look. Don a brimmed hat under barber-ed slick hair and you’re officially part of the mod squad.

Accessories Swag

New Yorkers love a good accessory more than a cream cheese bagel or corn dog. And they pile them on. How to accessories like a New Yorker? For casual looks, especially those lacking in colour, men drape themselves in chains – from the pocket wallet chain to around the neck – as well as multiple metallic rings, and a statement watch that is slimmer than your average Breitling. Tailoring also gets a sprucing with fedora hats, acetate vintage glasses frames and floral pocket squares that become much the statement themselves, rather than the suit.

Sophisticated Hipster

New York’s Brooklyn hipsters are the most clean-cut and luxurious in the world. Strong-lined tailoring and symmetrical silhouettes get a sophisticated twist with interesting natural fibres such as wool and satiny nylons. Layering is important to the hipster and lets him show-off his ability to pile on trend after trend after trend in the same look. An important tip on how to dress like a New Yorker, keep the tone neutral as it will allow the textures of your outfit to be the feature. Plus, it highlights the New York fashion crowd’s disdain for colour – unashamedly pushing black-on-black-on-back.

So, now you know how to dress like a New Yorker, it’s time you learnt the brands that will have you looking like you genuinely belong in The Big Apple.

Do Your Thing

What makes New York so cool is that most of its residents “do their thing.” You can be inspired by another person’s style, but you shouldn’t blindly copy it. Make it work for you. First, what you choose to wear should be a representation of you, a reflection of where you’re heading or the people you’re going to be around. 

Next, whatever you wear should be something you feel comfortable in. This is very important because true New York day-to-day outfits are functional, and must be comfortable enough to function in – apart from the occasional dressing up for an outing.

Finally, a bit of personality is always appreciated. Make it fun for yourself. Pick clothes you like, and you think will be fun to wear. Try to be creative with your choices. Until you do your thing, you’ll never really nail the New Yorker look. This is the secret sauce.