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Spring Essentials Per NYC Neighborhood

It’s time to ditch the winter jackets — although it might be almost May, warmer temps have just finally set in all across Manhattan.

And with the new season and the soon-to-follow spring cleaning, it only makes sense that everyone’s wardrobes deserve a similar refresh.

You are what you wear, and you should no doubt be dressed according to your favorite Manhattan hangout area before the insufferable summer temps set in.

So we’re breaking down spring’s most important fashion essentials, to be purchased and worn according to your New York City neighborhood.

Upper East Side: Stiffly Striped

via Tumblr

Fur stoles are out with the cold, and nautical stripes are in with the temperate spring weather on the UES. Whether you’re meeting your posh blue-blooded Grandma to get a leg up on the inheritance or are simply a lady who lunches (a stiff martini on the side being optional), keep your striped ensemble looking upright, uptight and uppity. It is the Upper East Side, dahling.

This style can be interpreted a number of ways, but it’s best to wear your Breton garb nice and loose—after all, it’s the most favorable way to experience the breeze while watching the sailboats in your corner of Central Park.


Upper West Side: Intellectually Plaid

via Fake Leather

If you’re walking to classes at Columbia (or if you’re just heading in that direction to scope out the hot professors and soon-to-be graduates), you better dress the part.

According to Olivia Palermo, soft plaids are back…and they give immediate legitimacy to your Ivy League credentials.

These Gossip Girl-reminiscent plaid pants gives a little edge to your uptown neighborhood, which makes sense, since you’re on the west side of the island.


Midtown: Mixed, Not Messy

via Atlantic-Pacific

Don some knee-high gladiator sandals to scare the tourists there for Times Square. Pair them with anything and you’ll still be wearing more clothes than the Naked Cowboy.


Hell’s Kitchen: Take Cover

via Barefoot Blonde

With a name so obviously tough, you might as well dress for the role and go full out with a camouflage print.

While Hell’s Kitchen has a ton of great dining options, it’s notoriously not the most clean… as would be any neighborhood that houses Penn Station. So this print is a great way to camouflage any of that NYC grit and grime you’ll be sure to collect on your journey through the ‘hood. Or you know, disguise the fact that you were there in the first place.


Murray Hill: Shifting Attitude/ Into the Real-World

via The Blonde Salad

Want a killer look to go with your bagel? A shift dress perfectly mimics the transition from your college dorm room to er, your new Murray Hill dorm room apartment (which is still an upgrade from the frat house).

The shapelessness of a sheath dress ensures your doorman won’t get offended, while also still leaving your cute neighbor wondering what the hell you got going on underneath.


Chelsea: Artistic Prints

via Brooklyn Blonde

In this neighborhood, known as NYC’s art epicenter, consider your clothing a canvas.

You’ll want to spend spring channeling ’60s cool while roaming through Chelsea’s industry-style art spaces. Not unlike Andy Warhol’s Factory.

Chaotic and colorful prints will help you stand out among the orderly museum-quality shows at some of Chelsea’s most up and coming galleries, like David Zwirner’s spot on 19th street.


Meatpacking: Step In-Style

via Yosi Samra

With treacherous cobblestones lining the streets, heels are ill-advised in the Meatpacking District. You can still match the ranks of fashion’s finest with cute and colorful flats and loafers.

While a metallic pastel would certainly make the Yosi Samra shoes spring appropriate, a neutral snakeprint pattern on your loafers can similarly carry the shoe from transitional weather to warmer temps.


East Village: The One to Watch

via We Heart It

Home to many of New York’s most up-and-coming young professionals, you’ll want to finally follow mom and dad’s advice and invest in a shiny new watch this spring to catch up to all the excitement.

Although purchased to become yet another piece of arm candy to add to your stack of bangles, the perfectly-proportioned watch is useful for tracking your ascent into greatness.

Or you know, timing your trek to the gym to entirely avoid any awkward run-ins with the college BF (another East Village resident, of course) you appropriately dumped when you moved to the big city.


West Village: Street Chic

via Lee Oliveira

Pop into any store on Bleecker and you’ll see the appropriate wear for the West Village. The price tags are fit for royalty, so you should similarly outfit yourself in one of the most popular trends from Fashion Week street-style favorites (which conveniently harkens back to times of overwhelming French hierarchy): culottes.

These breezy sort-of-shorts will help you rifle through the macaron-exclusive patisseries and peony-peddling flower bodegas, and are only slightly less attention-grabbing than a fit-for-Marie Antoinette headdress.

Sofia Coppola (a fellow West Vill resident) would be so proud.


Soho: For the So-Cool

via All About the Style

You might have missed Coachella, but there’s still chance to dress like a flower child in this super chill neighborhood.

Something warmer will be needed inside the Angelika Film Center, so don’t be afraid to bundle up in a light bomber jacket.

Underneath you might be rocking a trendy crop top, but the bomber will keep your all-over ensemble from getting too (literally) cool.


NoLita: Patterned Block Party Play

via We Heart It

You’ll be carbo-loading at New York City’s most amazing Italian restaurants more nights than you’ll likely want to admit, so better have pants that don’t prohibit massive pasta consumption.

Light harem pants will allow you to binge without having to unbutton, while an intricate tribal pattern will distract from your expanding waistline. Summer’s a few months away, so there’s always still time to hit the gym.


TriBeCa: Swagger On

via MaxiTendance/GlamLatte

TriBeCa is home to Beyoncé, so when here, bring your fashion A-game. Although nearly see-through body suits a la the Grammy Awards might be OK for some residents, the investment bankers walking their way to FiDi might give you some weird looks.

So stick to the more subtle trends, like cat eye sunnies (Beyoncé approved) and a leather baseball cap. You’ll look like an undercover celebrity attempting to blend in, with the edge necessary to hang in Jay Z’s adopted hood.

Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It

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Katie Gonzalez

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Katie Gonzalez is a contributing writer covering fashion and feminism. Katie graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and currently lives in Haifa, Israel, splitting time between academic research and scouting fo ...
Katie Gonzalez is a contributing writer covering fashion and feminism. Katie graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and currently lives in Haifa, Israel, splitting time between academic research and scouting fo ...

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