I’m an Editor Preparing for NYFW—These 30 Essentials Are at the Top of My List

Every year when New York Fashion Week arrives, you’re bound to spot a wave of Instagram captions and tweets that display emotions ranging from extremely excited to wildly overwhelmed. On one hand, the five-day biannual meeting of the fashion minds is a creative hub, where style lovers gather to preview all of the collections that designers have been working on for the last six months. On the other, it’s a nonstop dash around the city, with locations all around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Harlem. It’s “go, go, go” from the first show to the last one. 

As someone who’s attended a number of fashion weeks and suffered the consequences of going in unprepared, I thought I’d take some time to highlight those essential items that keep me feeling cool when the pressure and stress of NYFW turn up. From the handheld steamer that’s perfect for staying crease-free in a tiny hotel room or studio apartment to the shoe inserts that will make walking from show to show in heels actually doable, the items in the list ahead are paramount to a successful and level-headed NYFW. 

Get these for the long walks and train rides between shows, when all you need to do is shut out all the noise around you and listen to a relaxing meditation or a mood-lifting playlist. 

Masks might not be mandated in NYC anymore, but they’re still essential if you want to avoid getting sick during NYFW, as people from all over the world fly into the city for shows. Luckily, there are cute mask options like this one from EvolveTogether. 

I’ve never been one to avoid a cute pair of shoes because they are too tall or too painful, much to the detriment of my feet. These made it possible for me to do so without sacrificing my ability to walk comfortably the week after NYFW.

Fashion week is a germy time, and since we’re far from in the clear when it comes to the pandemic, carrying a bottle of this incredible-smelling hand sanitizer is a must. Just prepare for everyone seated next to you to ask for some. 

When I can’t for the life of me pick out something to wear, I usually go for a simple tank top with something like a statement miniskirt or trousers. It doesn’t hurt that they’re trending on the runways right now. 

When you’re running down subway stairs in four-inch heels, a spill is bound to happen at some point. If it doesn’t, then blisters absolutely will. Stay on top of it by keeping one of these stylishly packaged first aid kits nearby. 

Taking pictures and videos all day long can wreak havoc on your battery life. Always remember to bring a charged portable charger—emphasis on the “charged” part—for when your phone inevitably runs out by midday.

Remembering to pack your portable charger is pointless if you don’t also bring a cord to actually charge things with. This one is extra long, so you can charge no matter how far away the outlet is. 

Normally, I’d say that face mists are a waste of money, but ever since I started buying this Caudalie Eau de Beauté spray, my mind has been forever changed. It not only refreshes my face, but it also literally wakes me up. 

I hate handheld steamers and prefer to use the old-school hose-style option. But when you live in a tiny studio apartment like I do, you need something that takes up a bit less space. Nori’s handheld steamer is optimal in this situation because it gets the job done without being a five-foot eye sore in the corner. 

Ever since sheer clothing started trending, I’ve had a stockpile of these Calvin Klein undies just in case. I like that they’re not bulky but also cover you up in the back. 

Put these on either at night before bed or in the morning while you caffeinate. Trust me—they’ll save you a lot of concealer.

There is nothing worse than planning out a really good outfit just to spill your cappuccino on it 30 minutes into wearing it. 

When you don’t have time to fully treat a stain, use these stain-removing towelettes. 

Sunglasses are crucial. They protect your eyes on sunny days, and they stylishly hide your tired under-eye bags. After-shows are fun and all, but four hours of sleep definitely isn’t. 

When you’re eating out every day and night, it’s normal for your stomach not to agree with you. This probiotic will help to settle it while also aiding your immunity. 

Bigger bags are trending at the moment, but none are big enough for you to tote around your entire makeup case. That’s where this all-in-one balm comes into play. For your cheeks, your lips, and your eyes, it really does do it all—no clunky makeup tote necessary. 

No, these won’t completely erase your stress. They do, however, support functions like immunity, muscle pain, stomach cramps, and focus, which are depleted when you’re under stress. 

No matter how long I think I’ll be gone, I always pack one or two protein bars in my purse. You never know when you’ll be stuck somewhere during lunch- or dinnertime with nothing in your stomach. 

Even though I try to drink water whenever I can during fashion week, I always end up dehydrated, which then leads to my skin looking dry and dull halfway through the week. These Dr. Jart+ hyaluronic acid masks always save the day, as does a very large bottle of water. 

The second my hair turns flat, I wrap it up in a ’90s updo with one of these. It’s the ultimate hair saver. 

If you ask me, you need two bags for NYFW. One has to go with everything and fit everything, like this shoulder style from Wandler, which has accompanied me the last three seasons. 

The other is a showstopper, the kind of bag that will get photographed. There are plenty of options on the market, but this Paco Rabanne chain-mail bag has always had a hold on me.

When you’re leaving your apartment at 9 a.m. and coming home at 11 p.m. with no opportunities to come home in between, you’re going to want some of this in your purse. After all, a lot can happen in 14 hours.

I’m notorious for getting deodorant on, well, everything. Because of that, I always have one of these pads on hand, even when it’s not fashion week. 

According to my co-worker Yusra, peppermint essential oil is a lifesaver when you get a headache between shows. 

These days, you can never be too sure what plugs will be available in what outlets. To be safe, always bring along an adaptor. 

NYFW requires constant sitting and standing, which is fine if your outfit isn’t made of a material that easily wrinkles. Since that’s rarely the case for me, I always keep this crease-remover spray from The Laundress nearby.  

I keep a pack of these in my apartment whenever fashion week comes along just in case I won’t have time in the morning to make coffee. They’re dangerously good. 

This eucalyptus-scented deodorant smells so good, and because it’s gel, there’s less of a chance of it getting all over your fashion-week outfits.

Coming up: I’m an NYC-Based Fashion Editor, and Here’s Everything I Wore During NYFW