For most, the passing of Labor Day Weekend signifies the end of a sweet summer and the dawn of fall, but for us at Vogue, the penultimate weekend means only one thing: the commencement of New York Fashion Week. The week-long extravaganza begins this Friday and consists of busy days spent running uptown and downtown to attend shows and nights out at bustling after parties and events. While exciting, this time of year can also be quite overwhelming, which is where solid wardrobe essentials, hero beauty products, and more come in to save the day. To survive the chaos, the items that Vogue editors consider a part of their New York Fashion Week Survival Guide may be privy to fashion week but can be used in any stressful situation you may find yourself in, from oil whisking blotting papers and a cooling face mist to comfortable, yet chic pairs of sneakers for when your step is guaranteed to surpass 10 thousand.
Getting dressed for work is one thing, but dressing for fashion week is a whole other beast, which makes having a solid-stress-free wardrobe of closet basics a must. Consider cozy knitwear to keep you warm under any unruly AC and all-in-one-outfit dresses to wear during the day and easily into the night. Because there are those trendy, statement pieces like a miniskirt from The Frankie Shop, make sure it’s one that can be reworn with other staples in your repertoire. Outfit repeating is not a fashionable offense in our eyes. Catch-all tote bags are always on our New York Fashion Week Survival Guide checklist. Bottega Veneta’s Arco tote conveniently holds space for your laptop for any office runs in between shows. Coveted Adidas x Wales Bonner sneakers have made their way back on Net-A-Porter–find our editors donning the beloved shoe at many a show and event this week. On-the-go beauty products like a cream blush from Tower 28 and Fenty setting powder will have you feeling refreshed even if you’re reapplying on the subway or from a cab.
Conquer the madness of the week with our Vogue editor-approved New York Fashion Week survival guide and expect to find a few tips and tricks along the way you too can use when things err on the side of chaos.
Laura Jackson, Commerce Writer
Every fashion week, I always have that one piece that I cannot wait to wear again and again–sometimes outfit repeating is necessary during a time like this. This season, that piece is The Frankie Shop’s cargo-inspired miniskirt. I imagine pairing it with an oversized button-up on one day and again with a blazer or statement piece of knitwear. A stylish, yet comfortable shoe is always a must when you’re running around town, and I love these platform lug-sole loafers from Proenza Schouler. A catch-all tote bag is also essential during the week to carry all of your portable chargers, headphones, and beauty products for touch-ups along the way. Speaking of touch-ups, I love this cream blush from Tower Beauty. Swipe it on, and you’re instantly refreshed!
Mai Morsch, Editor
A stylish tote is a must when running during Fashion Week. I have my eye on this gorgeous dark brown one by Dragon Diffusion! In my bag is always a big Nalgene water bottle and my prized Yves Durif hairbrush. I’ve also learned to pack a change of shoes – these Jack Erwin satin slides are comfortable and can easily transition from day to night.
Lisa Aiken, Executive Fashion Director, Vogue.com
These blotting papers from Tatcha are the best that I’ve found for touching up in between shows and appointments. Ray Ban’s classic wayfarers go with any outfit, and I love Bottega Veneta’s Arco tote bag to easily fit my laptop for office runs throughout the day.
Irene Kim, Production and Editorial Coordinator
In my fashion week survival guide exists a classic striped sweater from La Ligne to keep me warm while the AC is blasting while at the office and a pair of comfortable shoes at my desk to switch out between the office and going to a show. My two essential shoe options include a By Far loafer and always an Adidas Gazelle sneaker in navy.
Naomi Elizée, Editor
My go-to shoe for fashion week is always a sneaker! Currently been after the coveted Wales Bonner x Adidas collab, which has been sold out in my size for months, but Net-a-Porter just added this pair! I don’t go anywhere without my fave spray from Caudalie. Honestly, I’m not sure of the benefits, but all I know it leaves me feeling refreshed when I need it the most.
Joy Montgomery, Senior Commerce Writer
I like to feel polished at fashion week (I’ll never be someone who can pull off that cool girl sneaker look), but comfort is also key. Thankfully these patent boots from Miista tick both boxes. Early mornings and late nights mean that sunglasses are essential if you don’t want to look too ‘night of the living dead’ in street style shots. My favorite Stella McCartney pair have stood the test of time. I find that perfume is an easy shortcut for transitioning from day to night, and I always have a travel-sized version of Byredo’s Mumbai Noise stashed in my handbag.
Lilah Ramzi, Commerce and Parties Editor
For me, NYFW means, yes, shows but also lots and lots of events. I have about 5-6 invitations—after-parties, collection launch cocktails—each night and I don’t always have time to change in between. And so getting dressed in the mornings means also getting dressed for the evening’s festivities—my looks have to do double-duty. I’ll sport crisp, elegant black dresses and accessorize with some baroque pearls. I can’t stop wearing this necklace by Bruna and I just might wear it throughout all of NYFW.
Ciarra Lorren Zatorski, Associate Fashion Editor
If there is anything that I’ve learned from fashion week, it’s that fashion week is certainly no time to unplug! In fact, it is quite the contrary. To stay connected, I always keep a portable charger (or even two) in my handbag of choice to have at the ready! I also always carry a set of headphones to keep the spirits high in between shows. From subway rides to blocks of walking, music is an absolute must. For this season, I have my eyes on Apple’s Airpod Max wireless set.
Alexis Bennett, Commerce Writer
I love a one and done situation. There’s no easier way to look great with minimal effort, which is all I can give with a jam-packed schedule. So you’ll see me frolicking through the New York City streets in a host of dresses. Here are some of my favorites that I can’t wait to wear.
Kiana Murden, Beauty Commerce Writer
My fashion week survival guide is all about convenience. As someone who always needs to be prepared, I consistently keep a few things in a handy tote bag (a must!) for touch-ups and working on the go. I tend to get pretty oily throughout the day, so I love having Fenty Beauty’s setting and blotting powder on hand to combat shine. Next, because I’ve become quite sensitive to fragrance, I don’t leave the house without a mini bottle from a discovery set in a refreshing scent for a midday mood boost.
Charlotte Diamond, Associate Fashion Editor
A reusable water bottle is an absolute must for me during Fashion Week. Running from show to show back to the office and to another show is no small feat, especially in the warmer months. It’s important to stay hydrated and be conscious of unnecessary waste during such a hectic time. I also always carry a travel-size hand sanitizer spray in my purse, as Covid made it crystal clear how many dirty surfaces we were all touching! Finally, sunglasses because it’s inevitable that you’ll be waiting in line for a show in the middle of the day with the sun beating down on you.
Christian Allaire, Fashion and Style Writer
Every September during NYFW, it never fails: There’s always a heatwave. This season, I’m preparing with easy-breezy pieces that I’ve been wearing all summer long, including printed camp-collar shirts and jean shorts. For shoes, I always opt for comfort, to run from one show to the next: I’ve been wearing the Margiela Reeboks lately. And for a bag, I need something chic yet roomy to carry all my essentials. Gucci’s Jackie bag has been my recent go-to.