The NYFW Starter Pack Tips You Need to Try

Welcome to the Empire State of Mind, where dreams are made in the city. With Labor Day weekend coming in to a close, you can feel the aura of the stomping feet, honking horns and the smell of freshly made coffee.

While your copy of every September issue you’ve ever owned says that you need to be in the mood for fall, truth is that it’s still fairly warm for NYC. In that case, you can pull out your oversized bell sleeved tops, ruffled skirts and other forms of summer clothes to mix and match with your sheer turtlenecks out in the streets. Most importantly, it’s never too late to play around with your closet before the snow comes.

As an NYFW veteran, I’ve had to say that my experiences made a difference in my life. Growing up, I idolized the glamour, glitz and creativity that sprung from the runways. Whether a celebrity, model or editor was dressed to the nines, I never forgot my moments of seeing them face-to-face (FYI, I’ll spill more on that later).

If this is your first time at NYFW, brace yourselves for the inevitable and always remember that everyone wants to look their best. Regardless of comfort, don’t even *think* about pulling out your college sweatpants!

While it’s easy to run out of ideas on what to wear, let me show you how you can rock NYFW.


  1. The 2-in-1 dress

Image_HBGPhotography - 469

Don’t tell yourself that I didn’t warn you yet.

Every blogger, editor and celeb out there is bound to be hopping around from show to show in cabs, sponsored Uber rides and privately chauffeured SUVs. Based on this fact, it’s so easy to deduct as to *why* they have all this time to get dolled up by changing inside the car.

Unlike everyone in the upper echelons in the fashion industry, beginners like you and I have to rely on subways, buses and for the nightmares of all nightmares, on foot, just to get around town. While Skylight at Clarkson Square is the main location, bear in mind that there are also other locations such as Milk Studios, where fashion shows are also held at.

Transportation is hell and truth be told, I SWEATED like a dang pig when I had to commute from the Upper East Side to the Meatpacking just to catch some shows at Milk Studios.

What I highly regret was NOT coming up with innovative hacks to make a statement-worthy outfit. Instead of rocking a top, try wearing a dress! Alone, it’s good enough to show off your summer glow. But when you wear a dress with pants, you can simply let everyone else to be fooled that you bought a brand new top!

Image_HBGPhotography - 381

2. Carry a lightweight statement bag

Image_HBGPhotography - 217

Big backpacks and elbow-toting bags are so over. Thanks to Instagram stories, you can catch a show in seconds flat without having to carry a pad of paper! But if you are a blogger (like me) and you need to write, try sneaking in your pad of paper into a small statement bag.

Whether it be a fanny pack or a cross body, hands-free bags are totally worth the style risk to look smart and stylish as you run around town! Make the street style photogs think that you are a superstar.

3. Wear stain-proof fabric

Image_HBGPhotography - 48

Bummed that you can’t squeeze in a full meal from show to show? I’ve been there and done that.

When I need to run around during NYFW, the one thing that I swear by is a snack or a takeaway meal to keep me full – apart from a cup of coffee or matcha. However, if you are a clumsy eater like I am, spills are inevitable.

To avoid this, you have two options: A) Doc Martens or B) a black cotton dress. In this case, Doc Martens are good enough to protect your toes from runny liquids, pouring raindrops and dog poop. Plus, they’re also oil proof, which leaves you feeling like you’re able to walk on water without being stuck in a puddle!

As for cotton dresses, I cannot tell you enough on how much I swear by my black vintage Betsey Johnson dress. Although it’s made of cotton, the dress is stretchy and super duper easy to camouflage food stains. If any food color other than black lands on the dress, it’s so easy for me to remove it as easy as 1-2-3!

You ain’t got nothing to worry about anything.

4. Wear a catsuit as your layering foundation

image origial _ HBGPhotography - 184

Last September, my friend and I went to a Maybelline party. Although we were there to attend a fashion show that day, we were accidentally led to the makeup giant’s soiree. While we were dressed to our best, the attendees wore crazier outfits that none of us could ever imagine. Crazy tends to be seen as somewhat negative outside of NYFW, but that’s the norm.

Among everyone over there, a lady wore a lace catsuit with basketball shorts and an oversized tee. When I saw her catsuit up close, I realized that it was from Nasty Gal x Courtney Love. From there, I learned that every fail-proof outfit must always have a layering piece.

If you must try out some layering, just hit up Yandy or Amazon to find a lace catsuit. Just imagine the endless outfit combos you can come up with! *wink*

5. Go for hairstyles and makeup looks you don’t usually do

image origial _ HBGPhotography - 392

I cannot tell you how much I swear by this tip. When I went to my first NYFW last year, I made the mistake of NOT playing up with my hair, makeup and outfits all because I wanted to have a functional outfit in the early September heat. From there on, I learned that you need to treat the street like it’s your personal catwalk.

If you aren’t a big risk taker, try wearing a pearly metallic lip gloss like I did here. It’s a bold look, but you can take it to the next level with metallic eye shadow. Make sure that the metallic look you’re rocking is related to the same tone. But if you must break the rules, stick to a dark metallic on the lip with a contrasting metallic shade on the eyes.

As long as you wear the weirdest looks you can come up with, chances are that someone will take a photo of you whether you’re on the street or at a party. 🙂

But if you are not the type to do your makeup, hit up the Glam App! Founded by actress/blogger/influencer Cara Santana and celebrity makeup artist Joey Maalouf, it’ll send in the hottest makeup artists and manicurists to your hotel room ASAP. Plus, it’s the perfect quick fix without making a dent on your wallet.  *wink*

6. Never ignore the power of jewelry


Overlooked and completely understated, jewelry is the key aspect to keeping an outfit together. In a way, it’s a statement without making a verbal statement. Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist, you just can’t escape the house without any baubles on! You can stack on as many rings as I did or wear delicate stud earrings. If you don’t have anything to accessorize, I swear by Verameat or American Two Shot as my go-to places for last minute necessities.


All photos by Hallie Geller and Sam Fazz 

Published by

Michelle Varinata

Lapis - (n.) a layer Shrek once said that "onions have layers" as he was peeling one. Like an onion, I have layers. Born in Jakarta and raised in Singapore, I grew up being surrounded in a multicultural environment. Then, I moved to the States, where I lived in NYC and L.A. The creativity, hustle, bustle and vibe of those cities inspired me to become a blogger, journalist and influencer. Writing by day and living it up by night, I slay in the streets one OOTD at a time. Full-face makeup included, too. ;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s