Take advantage of the dog days of summer because cooler fall breezes are just around the corner. NYC has seen some of the hottest months on record this summer, so this pending transition to fall will be a welcome one. And while NYC is always a fashion-lover's city, fall is when all the bold hues and lovely textures come to play on the streets and the runways, with Fashion Week. For your chic weekend in the Big Apple, pack these top picks. You'll fit right in.
In the city that never sleeps, pick a daytime outfit that can easily work for later activities. An easy tunic dress is a good solution. This one in leopard print gives just the right of racy allure but without going overboard in the daylight hours ($59.90). Leave legs bare while going for a stylish black boot with a shorter heel – you'll thank us when you're walking your 20th city block. Alexander Wang, who nails the NYC downtown look every season, has fabulous styles such as this Chelsea boot ($525) with metal plate detail.
Uptown or downtown, a cross-body bag is best for stashing your essentials while keeping your hands free for swiping your Metro Card or buying tickets to the museum. Pick a rich autumnal hue like this lush Bordeaux red by Mango ($169.99). The suede material will take you right into fall. For accessories, go with city-slicker black and silver. This cage finger brace ring ($135) by New York designer Chris Habana feels modern and slightly aggressive (like NYC) while these black sunglasses with curved brow are a nouveau classic ($24).
Once the sun sets, go for maximum graphic impact. Phillip Lim gets the Pop Art spirit just right with his "Ka-Pow" cardigan sweater ($450). Toss it over a beige jumpsuit—this one by Rogan comes in roomy, flowing silk ($273)—to give your evening a new look. Leave the bright shades for your accessories. This simple zip pouch by Clare Vivier ($143) has elegant lines that contrasts nicely when done up in punchy yellow.
Looking to splurge? (You're in the right city.) Nicholas Kirkwood opened up shop in the Meatpacking District earlier this year. His heels, like these sulphur yellow silk wrapped pumps with geometric heel ($1,395), aren't made for the attention-shy. And when you're on a busy city schedule, time is best kept on a chic watch. This matte black and rose gold style by Marc by Marc Jacobs hits all the right notes ($275).
In the Sunshine
Unless the destination is a buttoned-up office, New Yorkers are all about balancing the rugged with the metropolitan, while keeping an eye out for details. For example, this basic oatmeal-colored henley is jazzed up with contrasting elbow patches ($38.50). Especially for unexpected cool days, layer over a colorful t-shirt—this one is in an orange-red that will transition well when the leaves start to change ($85). Both pieces go well alone or together when worn with the ideal base: dark denim jeans in a clean wash and straight cut ($19.90, at Uniqlo). To balance out the trim lines, look to rough out the edges like this Clark's chukka boot in taupe suede ($69.95) and this O-ring brown belt with a rough-hewn finish ($29.69).
Under the Stars
Despite what you might think, nighttime attire in New York isn't just about formal wear. Instead, subtle nods to stylish trends will win out every time. Letterman jackets are in. But before you reach for your old varsity version, the new incarnations are tailored and sleek, like this dashing Thom Browne version with dove gray leather sleeves ($1,370). Rather than layer it over a white tee, go for a printed white button-down instead. Topman, with a location in Soho at 478 Broadway, has multiple options including this dotted pattern ($60). Wear it untucked over a slim corduroy pant, which is another fall staple. We like this chili-colored pair from Target (a steal at $24.99).
Finally, some accessories: skip the glossy oxfords in favor of sleek black leather sneakers ($380, by Common Projects). Those more fashion-inclined may want to add this Guatemalan hand-woven bandanna ($46 at Context Clothing). The pattern is gorgeous, making it a savvy option for day, dabbing the brow on transitional sunny afternoons, or night, poking out of a pocket for a nice detail.
What to Do
Aside from fashion, the fall season also means buzzy restaurant openings and plenty of food events. Much-loved chef Andrew Carmellini is rumored to be opening a French American place late this fall. Until details firm up, visitors would do well to check out his other restaurants like The Dutch in Soho for American cooking and Locanda Verde in Tribeca for delicious Italian (the whipped ricotta is to die for). There are also new restaurateurs looking to put down roots, like Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe who previously ran pop-up supper clubs. Their new 45-seat spot, Comodo, features pan-Latin inspired eats like Peruvian-style ceviche and coffee-rubbed slow-roasted pork.
If your trip is timed right, the Le Fooding festival in Brooklyn (Sept. 19-23) is a must. On each of the four nights, top chefs in Manhattan and Brooklyn will work with Veuve Clicquot for a gastronomic performance of sorts.
Other fairly young newcomers worth a try: Mission Chinese, a San Francisco import, for a hipster take on Chinese fare; the NoMad, for elegant lunch and dinner service and an unforgettable new take on American cooking by chef Daniel Humm (who has racked up a few Michelin stars); and Acme, helmed by Danish chef Mads Refslund, whose chicken and eggs dish regularly wows. And if you're feeling non-committal, Nolita newbie Ken & Cook has had mixed reviews on the food front but the bar is an inviting place to grab a cocktail after a Soho shopping day.
Photo Credits: Women: Top left, CHRISHABANA; Bottom left, Alexander Wang; Top center, Oak; Bottom center, MANGO; Right, ZARA; Left, Saks Fifth Avenue; Top center, Bloomingdale's; Bottom center, NET-A-PORTER.COM; Top right, farfetch.com; Bottom right, Clare Vivier. Men: Top left, Amazon.com, Inc.; Bottom left, Kohl's Illinois, Inc.; Center, UNIQLO CO., LTD.; Top right, MRPORTER; Bottom right, DSW Inc.; Right, Target Brands, Inc.; Top center, ODIN New York; Bottom center, Contextclothing.com; Top right, Gilt Groupe, Inc.; Bottom right, TOPMAN USA.