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What to Wear in New York in May

Spring in NYC in May clouds and blue sky

Visiting NYC in May: what should I wear?

If you’re wondering what to wear in New York in May while visiting New York City, you’re not alone. The Big Apple attracts millions of visitors each year, and dressing appropriately for this bustling metropolis in May can be a challenge.

In this article of my NYC BLOG, we’ll go over things to think about, important clothing items, and outfit suggestions to help you pack the ideal wardrobe for your trip to New York City. This way, you’ll know exactly what to dress in May in New York and feel prepared for your vacation.

Factors to Consider when deciding what to wear in new york in may


When considering what to wear in New York in May, keep in mind that the city’s weather can be quite unpredictable. Temperatures range from the low 50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit, with occasional rain showers. Always check the weather forecast before your trip and plan accordingly, taking into account both warm weather and cold weather possibilities.

For more useful information about NYC weather and temperatures in May, be sure to check out my blog “The New York Weather in May: A Guide for Travelers” where you’ll find plenty of helpful tips and insights to make your trip more enjoyable.

Activities and Events

In May, New York City hosts numerous events and activities, from street fairs to outdoor concerts, Broadway shows, and walking tours. The city is also home to iconic attractions like Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History. Think about the types of events you plan to attend and whether they require specific attire when deciding what to wear in New York in May.

To make the most of your visit to Central Park, be sure to read my blog articles “How Long to Spend at Central Park in NYC (Tips to Plan Your Visit)”, “Best Subway to Central Park” and “Bow Bridge”, which provide valuable information and tips for exploring this iconic location.

Dress Codes and Fashion

New York City is known for its fashion-forward residents, and many restaurants, clubs, and events have dress codes. When planning your wardrobe for traveling to New York City, keep in mind the dress codes of the places you’ll be visiting and ensure you know what to wear in New York in May.

person driving a bike in NYC with spring colors and trees

Clothing Essentials

Layering for Unpredictable Weather

Given the fluctuating temperatures in May, pack clothing items that can be easily layered when deciding what to wear in New York in May. Bring lightweight sweaters, cardigans, or jackets that can be added or removed as needed. A light jacket or a rain jacket is essential for unexpected showers.

Comfortable Footwear

New York City is a walking city, and you’ll likely be spending a lot of time on your feet during daytime activities and walking tours. Make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, such as sneakers, flats, or sandals with good support when considering what to wear in New York in May.

Versatile Accessories

Accessories can help elevate your outfit and add a touch of personal style. Consider packing versatile items like scarves, belts, and statement jewelry that can be mixed and matched with different outfits when determining what to wear in New York in May.

What to wear in New York in May to explore Central Park

Outfit Ideas: my help to decide what to wear in New York in May

Casual Daytime Outfit

For day time activities, such as sightseeing, shopping, or exploring Central Park, a casual outfit consisting of jeans or comfortable pants paired with a light blouse or t-shirt is ideal.

Add a light sweater or jacket for cooler temperatures and complete the look with comfortable sneakers or flats. This outfit is perfect for those wondering what to wear in New York in May during the day.

Evening Outfit

If you plan to attend Broadway shows, dine at a fancy restaurant, or hit up the city’s nightlife, opt for a more polished look when deciding what to wear in New York in May.

A simple dress, a skirt and blouse, or tailored pants with a stylish top are all great options. Pair your outfit with heels or dressy flats and statement accessories for a chic evening look.

For delicious food tips during your New York City adventure, don’t miss my blog articles “Best Pizza Around Times Square”, “Best Burgers in NYC” and “Best Sushi All-You-Can-Eat in NYC” where you’ll find the tastiest recommendations to satisfy your cravings.

Outdoor Activities Outfit

For outdoor activities, such as attending a street fair, concert, or exploring Central Park, choose comfortable and practical clothing when considering what to wear in New York in May.

Opt for breathable fabrics and casual clothing items, like shorts, leggings, or cargo pants, paired with a t-shirt or tank top. Don’t forget a light jacket or hoodie for cooler temperatures and comfortable walking shoes.

Formal Event Outfit

If you’re attending a formal event, such as a wedding or gala, you’ll need to dress appropriately when deciding what to wear in New York in May. A cocktail dress or elegant jumpsuit for women and a suit or blazer and dress pants for men are suitable options. Complete your look with dress shoes and tasteful accessories.


When packing for your New York City trip in May, it’s crucial to consider the unpredictable weather, planned activities, and the city’s dress codes. By focusing on layering, comfortable walking shoes, and versatile accessories, you’ll be well-prepared for whatever the city has in store.

Keep our outfit ideas in mind as you plan your wardrobe, and you’ll look and feel great during your NYC adventure. With this guide, you now know what to wear in New York in May, making your trip both stylish and comfortable.

Useful questions to help you planning your NYC trip

1. Is it necessary to bring an umbrella when deciding what to wear in New York in May?

It’s a good idea to bring a compact umbrella, as May can experience occasional rain showers. You can also opt for a lightweight, waterproof jacket with a hood.

2. Are shorts appropriate for New York City in May?

Yes, shorts can be appropriate for casual daytime activities, especially on warmer days. However, for evenings and more formal events, it’s best to choose pants or a dress.

3. How formal should my clothing be for Broadway shows when considering what to wear in New York in May?

While there isn’t a strict dress code for Broadway shows, it’s customary to dress up a bit for the occasion. A nice dress or skirt and blouse for women and a collared shirt with dress pants for men are suitable options.

4. What type of outerwear should I bring for New York City in May?

A lightweight jacket, cardigan, or hoodie is ideal for May’s fluctuating temperatures. Consider packing a waterproof option in case of rain.

5. Are there any specific fashion trends I should be aware of when packing for New York City and deciding what to wear in New York in May?

New Yorkers are known for their fashion-forward style, but it’s more important to prioritize comfort and practicality when planning your wardrobe. Focus on versatile items and accessories that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits.

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