How To Style Basics Like A New York Woman


For New York locals, Fashion Week isn't much more than perhaps a few crowded sidewalks if you happen to be anywhere on the west side of Manhattan. The city has always been brimming with style and energy — so what's a few extra trendsetters? However, when New Yorkers put a little extra TLC into their outfit planning or flex their creative muscles for the occasion, the resulting styling inspiration is something that stretches way beyond the runways of Spring Studios. New Yorkers may all dress differently, but arguably all the best ensembles have one element in common. New York's chicest women know how to style basics in cool, unexpected ways.

In observing at some of New York’s most inspired dressers, classic wardrobe staples are an every day necessity. Sure, bold accent pieces and avant-garde designs certainly know how to grab attention, but it’s the most straightforward — so-called boring even — pieces that get transformed and worn in unique ways to achieve elevated, polished outfits. To get a better sense of how some of New York Fashion Week’s attendees thoughtfully select and style their classic items, scroll on for seven key staples worn by NYC's chicest. Just know, these examples ready to be copied whether you're headed to a fashion show, or just out for groceries.

The Mom Jeans


Let's agree that the term "mom jeans" may have once been ripe for Saturday Night Live parody, but not anymore. Instead these relaxed-fit jeans have become a go-to silhouette for those not too keen on super-skinny denim nor anything in JNCO proportions. They're comfortable, effortless, and, though they're great for errands, they also look incredibly glamorous with a dramatic faux fur coat and a sleek coordinated knit.

Wedgie Icon Jeans



The Camel Trench


As an iconic piece of outerwear, a camel coat can be found in most women's wardrobe. Though it pairs well with anything from leggings to work dresses, for an elevated approach try using the piece to tie together and contrast other outfit layers, as seen here on Bustle's Senior Market Editor Gabrielle Prescod with a turtleneck, dress, and over-the-knee boots. A bright pop of color via a chic mini handbag also adds something special to a primarily neutral ensemble.

Shell Trench Coat


Marc Jacobs

The Tailored Set


The beauty of a great tailored suit is that little styling is required to pull it off. But in taking a cue from New Yorkers, pair yours with a chunkier shoe choice (also ideal for 10,000-step days) and add color contrast with accessories. Instead of opting for a super-fitted classic style, look for a suit with unique details like an oversized silhouette or fun print.

Cameron Black & White Plaid Suit



The Denim Jacket


Jean jackets are another iconic staple that translates, no matter how you define your personal style. However, the most clever New Yorkers know its usage extends way beyond mild weather and can be worn button-up and layered under statement outerwear whenever it's too chilly to be worn as your solo topper.

Classic Denim Jacket



The Pencil Skirt


A simple black pencil skirt can act as the base layer of a plethora of creative looks. The unexpected combination of knee-high, patent boots and leather puffer jacket, is an ideal place to start.

Faux Leather Skirt


Stella McCartney

The Oxford Shirt


At first thought, a button-down oxford might not be the most thrilling item you own, but this oversized, half-tucked version feels cool and elegant. The key is to pair the top with other of-the-moment trends including gingham prints, puffer coats, chunky trainers, and a woven bag.

The Relaxed Poplin Shirt



The Plaid Blazer


Considering their ballooning popularity over the last couple years, plaid blazers have become as much a classic wardrobe staple as black trousers or white tees. While the piece looks refined on its own, take the look further by adding playful accessories to balance out the slick tailoring. Embellished headbands, ladylike handbags, and frilly socks are a good place to start.

Double-Breasted Blazer


Isabel Marant Étoile