We’ve just returned from eight days of work and play in the Big Apple. We had a fabulous time and have lots to share. Welcome to New York week at YLF!

Winter in NYC can be nasty. Temperatures were predominantly below freezing, ranging from 12 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 to 3 Celsius). Days were either filled with brilliant sunshine, or snow, ice and slush. Despite the bitter cold, most people were pretty stylish. I’ll admit that you’ll see it all in Manhattan on any given day. From woman dressed in sweat pants, running shoes and Uggs, to those adorned in designer brands from head to toe. But generally, there are strong Manhattan style trends and my impressions are as follows:

  • Black, black and more black: It’s not a myth. New Yorkers wear a lot of black. Black outwear, clothing, accessories and footwear reigned supreme. If it wasn’t black, it was brown, dark grey or some other neutral. Occasionally, crimson or bordeaux cropped up but that was it. There was very little Winter white or colour of any description. Street fashion in Manhattan during the Winter months is very dark.
  • Boots: Both casual and dressy, boots were hands down the most common form of footwear. Knee-high boots worn over jeans, leggings and slacks or with skirts was popular because it’s extremely practical. Ankle boots and Uggs were also big and so were adorable wellington boots on wet slushy days. Heels on footwear were generally low or flat. Occasionally, you’d see a three-inch heeled boot or pump walk by but not often. I was relieved to see that athletic sneakers were in the minority, but my mind boggled when I saw the odd lass in sockless ballet flats. In frost biting temperatures, I just don’t get it.
  • Wool Coats and Puffers: Tailored puffer coats were as popular as wool coats and the overall aesthetic was stylish and put together. Most coats were knee-length but extra long coats were abundant too. The “walking sleeping bag look”, or ankle-length puffer coat was not uncommon. Not so fab, but I’ll bet super warm.
  • Knitwear and lightweight jackets: Both men and woman wore these layers under their coats. The extra layer is warm and made for a structured and polished look once coats came off indoors.
  • Pants and skirts: Most woman wore pants, slacks and jeans, but I saw women in skirts and dresses too. Nice.
  • Accessories: Scarves, headgear and gloves were not only an absolute necessity but quite the fashion statement. Virtually everyone wore Winter accessories in all shapes and forms. Ear muffs were also popular as were sunglasses when the sun came out. I spotted several pairs of 80’s inspired legwarmers worn over leggings and jeans. It looked really sweet. Excellent idea! I was envious of the look.
  • Oversized Totes: Huge handbags are usually the norm in cities where people commute on foot or with public transport. I don’t think I saw anyone with a small bag during the day.
  • Real Fur: There was plenty of real fur on the streets. Women were either decked out in fur from head-to-toe or embraced it as a trim on coats and accessories.

This is the second time I’ve visited NYC in the dead of Winter and my fashion and style perceptions are much the same. People do not generally wear athletic gear when they go about their day and that’s a style blessing. For those of you who have visited, or lived in Manhattan, what’s your take on New York Style? Tomorrow I’ll give you a rundown of what I wore while I was there so stay tuned.

Update: Wendy just pointed us to this New York Times slideshow that does a wonderful job of capturing Manhattan street style in the slush and snow.