With all its diversity, varied industries, and wildly creative undercurrents, New York and its signature style can't be condensed into one cookie-cutter category. After all, we've already discussed how the city's sartorial expressions can be dissected into multiple micro-neighborhoods. But there is one capsule collection of must-have items that does populate the closets of any self-respecting New York girl, from arty-posh Chelsea to hipster-cool Brooklyn—because a classic leather moto jacket goes just as well with a sculptural Commes des Garçons dress as it does with a boho Apiece Apart eyelet top and beat-up mom jeans. Plus, real New Yorkers walk and take the subway (or "the train," as we say) everywhere, so a good pair flats is absolutely crucial.
Check out five easy-chic ways you can co-opt New York Girl style—and, yes, there's a lot of black. Come on, it's New York.
1. A Black Leather Moto Jacket
The moto jacket has earned its spot on the list of all-time classic pieces that will never, ever go out of style. A New York girl's leather jacket collection might also be a bit symbolic of her journey in the city—starting with that worn-in high-street version from her early days (living with three roommates in a one bedroom converted into a 4BR) to the shiny new designer one she just bought with her annual bonus. (I just counted five in my closet. It's a problem.)
The Arrivals, $645; thearrivals.com
2. A minimalist white button-down shirt
Every New York girl has gone on the hunt for that perfect white button-down shirt—one with the perfect boxy shape to wear untucked with flares or haphazardly (but intentionally) half-tucked into a pair of high-waist mom jeans. When you happen upon the holy grail, you might want to buy a few—New Yorkers also love their coffee, which is hard to clean out of a white cotton shirt after a spill.
Cos, $89; cosstores.com
3. Non-Mom-ish Mom Jeans
We've finally moved on from our emo, shoegazer skinny jeans phase and have embraced high-waist, loose-fit, and tapered denim, a.k.a. mom jeans. The '90s-reminiscent silhouette pairs perfectly with crop tops, tucked-in printed blouses, and even long slouchy sweaters. In short, they're just as versatile as our skinnies, but way less binding.
Topshop, $70; topshop.com
4. An On-the-Go Cross-Body Bag
New Yorkers are busy. We're always on the move and have minimal time to waste on things like fumbling around with unwieldy bags. Also, have you ever tried to squeeze into a rush hour train carrying a big ol' backpack or oversize tote? Yeah, hence why a compact cross-body is key. Find one that holds exactly what you need for the day—phone, wallet, your Metrocard, lip balm, hand sanitizer, etc.—in a hands-free style to keep you nimble and looking good.
Mansur Gavriel, $495; modaoperandi.com
5. Not-so-Preppy Flat Loafers
As mentioned above, even with the advent of Uber, a pair of stylish, but functional flats is a must for all New York girls. Before, we were all about the rugged moto boot, which then gave way to the streetwear-cool white sneaker (which is so hard to keep pristine, considering the NYC streets). These days, we've moved onto the traditionally preppy flat loafer. Blame Alessandro Michele at Gucci for reinvigorating the classic prep school flat, but we're wearing it with everything from ruffle-y dresses to our raw-hem, cropped mom jeans to even a more formal cocktail dress (see: Victoria Beckham's fall 2016 show for proof). It's just that versatile.
Everlane, $170; everlane.com