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How STYLECASTER Editor Leah Faye Cooper Does Summer in NYC

Leah Faye Cooper
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How STYLECASTER Editor Leah Faye Cooper Does Summer in NYC
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Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

As someone who is strongly adverse to cold weather, puffy coats, and all forms of precipitation (especially snow) summer is what keeps New York City and I on good terms. After months of feeling frozen to my core every time I step outside, walking around in breezy dresses, sunglasses, and accessories that scream “it’s finally summer!” is the ultimate respite.

My summertime bucket lists are long and varied—a mix of predictable pleasures like trips to Brooklyn Bridge Park for Ample Hills ice cream, and under-the-radar outings like an outdoor movie courtesy of Rooftop Films. My friends and I have spent many afternoons (and indulged in many tacos) on the Habana Outpost patio, and I like to take at least one solo trip to Rockaway Beach every season, preferably on a weekday when it’s not so crowded and I can spend all day laying out (slathered from head to toe in sunscreen, of course).

There are weekends on Governors Island—marked by aimless exploring and rocking in hammocks—and hours spent poring over vintage finds at the Hester Street Fair. Days in my West Village neighborhood are just as fun, with the warm weather compelling me to do more things outside, like taking dance classes at Hudson River Park.

Ahead, the local spots you’ll find me at this season, along with the looks and PANDORA Jewelry pieces I’ll be wearing, because let’s be real: half the fun of summer is dressing—and accessorizing—for it.

Hair: Jasmine Reed
Makeup: Jessica Smalls
Nails: Sheril Bailey 
Styling: Jamie Frankel 

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Outdoor Afternoons
Outdoor Afternoons

I'm completely biased, but I think I live in the best neighborhood in New York City. My apartment in the Village is a block away from Washington Square Park, which is a prime location for people watching, reading, and listening to live music. If I'm ever running late, it's probably because I stopped to listen to Colin Huggins, the local "piano man" who plays classical music on his baby grand several times a week.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

I own more denim dresses than I'd like to admit, partially because they're such a great canvas for standout accessories. My styling philosophy is the more bracelets and charms the better.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

Moments Double Woven Leather Bracelet, $50; at PANDORA Jewelry

Paradise Sunset Charm, $70; at PANDORA Jewelry

White Orchid Charm, $45; at PANDORA Jewelry

Al Fresco Dining
Al Fresco Dining

Every summer I take full advantage of the fleeting opportunity to eat outside. I love Miss Lily's in the East Village for Jamaican food, The Farm on Adderly in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn for brunch, and Harlem Food Bar uptown for casual dinners; all are delicious with great outdoor seating. The first day it's warm enough to have a slice on the sidewalk counter of Joe's Pizza may be my favorite day of the year.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

I'm not one to only wear white during the summer (that "rule" is so antiquated) but the season definitely lends itself to crisp white pieces. I like to pair mine with silver jewelry for a clean, simple look.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

Tropical Paradise Petites, $30, at PANDORA Jewelry

Mosaic Shining Elegance Clip; $45; at PANDORA Jewelry

Radiant Hearts Crystal Charm, $80; at PANDORA Jewelry

City Strolls
City Strolls

The first time I went to the High Line it was in the middle of winter, and afterwards, my toes were numb for about 36 hours. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. That quickly changed when I walked the length of the above-ground park the following summer though. There are often several art installation to check out and the views are spectacular. An added bonus is that the southern portion of the park is right by the Whitney, one of my favorite museums in the city.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

Sunglasses and sneakers are a must on days when I'm doing a lot of walking, and a light jacket too.

Photo: Jens Ingvarsson

Moments Double Woven Leather Bracelet, $50; at PANDORA Jewelry

Tropical Starfish & Sea Shell Charm, $55; at PANDORA Jewelry

Hearts of PANDORA Ring, $85; at PANDORA Jewelry

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The Ultimate Street Style Guide to Dressing Yourself When It's Hot AF

The Ultimate Street Style
Guide to Dressing Yourself When It's Hot AF
  • Outdoor Afternoons
  • Al Fresco Dining
  • City Strolls

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