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Sachi Thomsen / Staff Illustrator

From springlike dawns to summerlike afternoons to chilly evenings, fall in NYC is difficult to predict. Fluctuating temperatures are simply facts of life here , and it’s definitely a hassle to find the perfect clothing combo every autumnal morning. For those of you who don’t have the time to swap outfits to match the weather throughout the day, Spectrum’s got you covered with our top tips on how to dress for the fall in NYC!

Layer, layer, layer

When you leave your dorm room in the morning, make sure you’re not only wearing a stocky sweatshirt or a breezy blouse based on the snapshot of weather you see outside your window. As you’ve probably noticed, temperatures can drop at a Columbia *snap,* and it’s probably not the best idea to be stuck either sweating or shivering for the rest of the day.

Instead, wear layers. If it seems like the day is getting progressively warmer, layer a loose sweater over a button-down, so you can layer down later. If you think it’ll get colder throughout the day, layer a cardigan over a tank top or a casual knit over a thinner long-sleeved shirt. Or, if you really want to wear that heavy turtleneck, bring a lighter top with you—just in case you regret it later.

Snug socks

Little do most people know, you don’t only have the choice of layering your tops—also try layering your socks and bottoms! If you need to wear stockings or tights on a chilly day, pair them with knee-high socks to protect your calves from the cold. Experiment with your own sense of style, and maybe even pair some patterned knit socks with classic blue jeans and boots.

Fundamental footwear

Speaking of boots… treat your feet right and go get some! Boots are an essential part of the colder seasons and protect you from the natural elements, whether it be rain or even snow in the later fall months. Whether you use them for leaf-crunching, puddle-jumping, or just plain walking, know that they will always be fully functional and fashionable.

Must-have headwear

If you don’t have a scarf already, grab one and never let it go. Not only can scarves add a bit of flair to an ordinary outfit, they are also incredibly comfortable and keep the places you need to keep warm warm. Hooded poncho sweaters can do the trick and help to make your clothing ensemble more à la mode.

Get yourself a beanie. In addition to keeping your head warm, a beanie will certainly draw attention and accessorize any outfit. There are so many different kinds that do the same trick, so do your research on the different styles at different price points to make it your own.

High-tech outerwear

With new advances in material science and fabric technology, current jackets can be both light as a feather and super effective in protecting you from the elements. Invest in a windbreaker and a raincoat; companies all around the city (such as Uniqlo) offer jackets for you to dress to impress while feeling safe and secure. While you’re at it, keep your fingers warm too with some high-tech touchscreen gloves.

Whether you’re from the area or from the other side of the world, NYC weather takes some getting used to. Especially in a city that’s one of the fashion capitals of the world and a leader in practicality, you don’t need to forgo style for comfort or vice versa. Hopefully, Spectrum’s tips help you to achieve success in mastering the art of functionable fashion while ultimately stay warm and confident throughout the semester!

Barnard Columbia New York City Fall
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