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2021 Winter Street Style in NYC: A Piece by Mia Gindis

Written & photographed by: Mia Gindis

Edited by: Solveiga Toffolo

Style, much like dialect, varies greatly among the many regions constituting New York City. The rounded “o” implied by an eclectic, studded bomber is to a Brooklynite what the rhotic essence of a solid overcoat is to an Upper East Sider. But as the temperature continues to go down while the windows on Saks Fifth Avenue light up, New Yorkers across all five boroughs are making sure their fashion speaks louder than the howling wind.

Photographed by Mia Gindis, Nov. 2021

Bedford Avenue, the commercial center of Williamsburg, is lined with thrift stores that cater to every price range, size, and whim. The residents of this quirky neighbourhood are just as all-encompassing as the fashion celebrated by their shops, ranging from artists to musicians to foodies.

Photographed by Mia Gindis, Nov. 2021

In the wintertime, graphic tees and fishnet cardigans are traded out for leather jackets and combat boots. Leather bombers, occasionally embroidered with the name of a retired band or sports team and designs, can also be spotted on the backs of Brooklyn-dwellers. Funky accessories, such as newsboy caps, and patterned, knee-high socks, typically round out this retro-glam aesthetic.

Just a couple of train stops further, one might follow a trail of puffer jackets all the way to Soho, the shopping mecca of lower Manhattan. Brands such as The North Face, Aritzia, and Canada Goose are dominating winter fashion, mostly in part to the popularity of the cropped puffers New Yorkers love pairing with a beanie or a Yankees cap.

Photographed by Mia Gindis, Nov. 2021

Even further uptown, the wool overcoat rules all. This type of outerwear, known for its incredible heat retention properties, is both fashionable and snug. The overcoat can vary in color and pattern, ranging from neutral solids to vivid reds/greens to plaid, and is most commonly worn around residential or financial districts, such as Tribeca, Wall Street, and the Upper West/East Side. It lends an air of elegance to the wearer, whether they drape it over a turtleneck or a hoodie.

Photographed by Mia Gindis, Nov. 2021

Layers are absolutely essential to the survival of a brisk, New York City winter. Overlapping garments give flat outfits texture, as well as a bit of added protection from the raw, biting northeast wind. The potential outfit combinations, like dialects, are boundless and speak volumes about the origin of a wearer’s inspiration. A sweater under a puffer is reminiscent of the laid-back style characteristic of an off-duty model, whereas a blazer topped with an overcoat reads as business casual.

However, the evolution of style, much like language, means that as soon as one trend climbs to the forefront, another is thrust into the periphery. In a city as fast-paced as New York, it doesn’t take long for certain articles of clothing to turn vestigial, slowly losing their original function in the back of a shoe-box-sized closet until they’re traded in for store credit at a Buffalo Exchange.

Skinny jeans and leggings have been succeeded by their chicer cousin, wide-leg trousers; animal print has gone completely extinct. Spotting real fur on the street would constitute a rare sighting. High-rise skirts and pants, though clinging on to relevancy, are slowly but surely being usurped by low-rise everything.

But in a place as crowded and diverse as New York City, there is no true hierarchy. Style rules are mere guidelines to the truly enlightened, the city-dwellers who have long decided to set their

own trends rather than looking to the masses.

Conformity, whether to gender roles or societal expectations, is the only truly unacceptable influence on one’s style.

Photographed by Mia Gindis, Nov. 2021

“I just hate it when things are regurgitated,” said Nico Kartel, a portrait photographer strolling down Broadway alongside fellow photographer, Brandon Wilkinson. Kartel donned a long, puffy overcoat and a brown crop-top, while Wilkinson had on a sweater covered with green and white stripes. Both claimed that the quality they look for the most in an outfit is originality, regardless of the season.

“Let’s be creative with how we dress,” said Kartel.


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