Never mind the freezing New York City temps. New York Fashion Week is around the corner (officially Feb. 7-14 for the Fall-Winter 2013 collections) and it's time to pull out your winter's best. To dress like a fashion editor, focus on pieces in classic categories. Here's a quick shopping primer on what to bring to the Big Apple. (And then, shh, what to bring to London Fashion Week (Feb 15-19), Milan (Feb 20-26), and Paris (Feb 26-March 6) if you're going whole hog.)
With icy breezes blowing off the Hudson River, Lincoln Center, the home of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week isn't exactly toasty. Pants are a smart weather solution, be it coated skinny jeans (a cost-smart solution to trendy leather pants) in an unconventional color, like burgundy shown here ($169.99), to a wide-leg trouser, where a color-block in green and black adds drama ($146 by 10 Crosby Derek Lam), besides also being slimming.
A savvy way to add versatility to your usual jeans and tee wardrobe is to don a sharp jacket—also a good solution for looking pulled together on long flights. Tuxedo cuts never go out of style, like this white and black version by Nanette Lepore ($398) that will carry you into spring. Or if you want to touch on one of the hotter runway trends, floral prints are the pattern du jour (see: the Spring 2013 couture collections). This tapestry motorcycle jacket has plenty of flower power without busting the wallet ($89.95 by Free People).
Study any fashion insider's closet and you're bound to see all sorts of versions of button down blouses. A denim chambray is downtown cool and comfy ($69.50 by Madewell) while this dressy silk lace print can easily go from day to night ($255 by DKNY).
Fashion is an industry of extremes, so choose your accessories wisely. Spring for a minimalist day satchel jazzed up in a rich green hue ($141 by IIIbeca). And then swap it the next day for a maximalist clutch with neon detailing ($218 by BCBG Max Azria).
If you're planning on taking taxis all day (or all night), these high-heeled gray suede boots are a head-turner thanks to the inset snakeskin ($149 by Jean-Michel Cazabat). But contrary to what you might see on street style blogs, runway show-goers tend to mix up their footwear between sky-heel stilettos and comfy low-booties like this cut-out style by Jeffrey Campbell ($195).
When it comes to budget-planning, outerwear is the toughest category. To boost your closet basics—usually, black and dark blues—try an unconventional color like this nude-blush wool coat ($307 by Reiss) with lovely sculptural lines. Or go for higher impact by testing out fashion favorite leopard print ($129.99 by Zara), which will look especially sharp with a pair of dangerously pointy heels.
Finish off your look with something unique. These first knuckle rings are surprisingly feminine when in delicate metallic bands or this arrow motif ($42). Likewise, ribbon and tortoiseshell give an ordinary silver link bracelet extra oomph ($48 by Ann Taylor).
Where to Stay
The NoMad area continues to heat up with the hip Ace Hotel holding court to fashionistas and cool-kid entrepreneurs alike. Down the road, the quieter NoMad hotel is a great power lunch spot for a luxurious bite and swank people-watching. On April 2, the Refinery hotel is opening nearby with 197 rooms and a whopping 3,500 sq. ft. rooftop bar right in time for milder temperatures. The former hat factory boasts an industrial vibe plus a throwback, Prohibition-inspired bar innocuously named Winnie's Tea Lounge.
If Midtown is more your speed (with easier access to the museums and Madison Avenue shopping), wait a few months for the Viceroy, which is opening an outpost at West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues come September. With 241 guestrooms and many with Central Park views, the hotel's Roman and Williams façade actually has something of a downtown spirit to it.
Last but not least, think outside Manhattan and across the bridge for a new experience. The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg has become a Brooklyn hot spot with a lively rooftop bar to match.
Photo Credits: The Pant: Left: Gap Inc.; Right: Saks Fifth Avenue. The Jacket: Left: CUSP.COM; Right: FreePeople.com, LLC. The Blouse: Left: Net-A-Porter; Right: Madewell Inc. The Bag: Left: IIIBeCa; Right: BCBG MAX AZRIA GROUP, INC. The Boots: Amazon.com; Right: Cody Rasmussen/ShopAcrimony.com. The Coat: Left: Reiss limited; Right: ZARA. The Jewelry: Left: Catbird NYC; Right: ANN INC.