I Just Got Back From a Hot, Rainy NYC Trip—These Are the Packing Mistakes I Made


(Image credit: @allypayer)

I'll preface this by saying that I used to live in New York and have traveled there countless times since. For these reasons, I considered myself to be a pretty good packer for NYC visits. But after the trip I just returned from, I'm questioning my skills a bit. Correction: I'm considering it to be a packing learning lesson.

I realized as soon as I stepped out of LaGuardia that it's been several years since I visited New York in the summer. I always seem to find myself there when it's freezing, so I just stay bundled up in coats and boots the entire time. This time around, it was mid-July, and the humidity was high. On top of that, there were bouts of rain each day that I was there, and it always seemed to be when I was walking around outside. Unfortunately, not all of the outfits (and shoes) I planned were ideal, and I vowed to learn from my packing mistakes. But to be fair, dressing for summer in NYC is historically difficult. It gets very hot, you'll inevitably be doing tons of walking, and I personally like being a bit more covered up in a big, busy city than elsewhere. 

All that said, here are the mistakes I'm vowing to avoid for future summer trips to New York.

Mistake: Not Packing Waterproof Shoes

After getting caught in a rainstorm wearing Alaïa ballet flats, I was kicking myself for not packing something a little more practical. It's tricky in the summer when you don't really want to wear rain boots and beachy shoes don't seem right, but I'm determined to find the perfect pair for the city.

Shop Water-Resistant Shoes

Mistake: Not Packing Easy Dresses

I ended up packing a lot of overly complicated outfits when I wish I'd just packed lightweight dresses that I could throw on and go (and that take up minimal suitcase space).

Shop Easy Dresses

Mistake: Not Considering Fabric

You don't always realize that you packed items made of polyester and heavy knits until you're faced with 95-degree heat. In the future, I'll be sure to double check the contents of the fabrics that I pack for summer, aiming for linen, silk, and 100% cotton.

Shop Breathable Fabrics

Mistake: Backless Heels

While hurrying through Times Square ahead of a Broadway show, I wished I'd worn a pair of shoes that was a bit more substantial and that I didn't have to worry about flying off in the middle of a crosswalk.

Shop "Sturdy" Heels

Mistake: Jeans

I know why I packed jeans (they're what I typically wear when I travel), but I don't know why I didn't consider alternatives. Linen and cotton trousers or tailored shorts would've been a far better option.

Shop Lightweight Trousers and Shorts

Mistake: Only Packing Small Bags

While carrying my mini umbrella around everywhere I went and having to run into coffee shops in search of napkins to dry my shoes and bags off, I yearned for a slightly larger bag that an umbrella, a water bottle, and a small towel would fit into.

Shop Sizable Bags

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.