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What to Wear in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Winter: A Detailed Guide

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Got a winter trip planned to Pittsburgh, PA? Pittsburgh can be fun to visit in the winter, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is cold and dry, with temperatures averaging around 38°F (that's 3°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

First and foremost, you'll need to dress warmly, as the temperatures can drop below freezing. A coat, scarf, and hat are going to be essential. Layering is also key, so consider wearing a sweater or vest under your coat. Boots with some grip are a good choice of footwear, as they'll keep your feet warm and dry whatever the conditions.

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Pittsburgh in winter—whether you're visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, exploring the National Aviary, checking out the Duquesne Incline, or strolling through the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

What to wear for a winter trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

What should women wear in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in winter?

Pittsburgh in winter is generally cold, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: jeans, cardigans, warm coat, long-sleeved shirts, and hat and scarf. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Pittsburgh has to offer.


You just cannot go wrong with a good pair of jeans. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for—not to mention they always look great. Whatever you're doing in Pittsburgh, jeans will always come in handy. Of course, not all jeans are created equal. Be sure to choose a pair that's comfortable and flattering. If you'll be doing a lot of walking, look for a light-weight denim that won't weigh you down. And if you're hoping to dress up for a nice dinner out, a dark wash denim will always do the trick.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:


A cardigan is the perfect piece of clothing to pack for a trip to Pittsburgh in winter. They are lightweight, versatile, and easy to care for. Cardigans can be dressed up or down, and they work well in both warm and cool weather. When choosing a cardigan for travel, natural fibers such as cotton or wool are great (though synthetic equivalents can work well too). You mostly just want to look for fabric that breathes well so it will keep you comfortable in all types of weather.

These are some of my favorites:

Warm coat

A good coat will keep you warm in inclement weather and can also be a stylish addition to your travel wardrobe. When choosing a coat, look for one that is made from insulating materials such as wool or down (or synthetic equivalents). A hood is also a helpful feature, as it will protect your head and face from the elements. If you plan on doing any outdoor activities, such as hiking or skiing, make sure to choose a coat that is waterproof and windproof.

Why not treat yourself before you go:

Long-sleeved shirts

Long-sleeved shirts are an essential part of any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, and they offer sun protection on bright days. When choosing a long-sleeved shirt for Pittsburgh, it's important to look for one that is comfortable and breathable. A lightweight cotton shirt is a good option, as it will keep you cool in warm weather and can be layered under a sweater or jacket when the temperature drops. It's also a good idea to choose a shirt in a neutral color that can be easily paired with other items in your suitcase.

If you're stuck for ideas, here are some of my favorites:

Hat and scarf

A trip to Pittsburgh in winter can be a wonderful experience, but it's important to be prepared for the chilly weather. A hat and scarf are essential accessories to keep you warm. A good hat will protect your head and ears from the cold, while a scarf can help to insulate your neck and trap heat. A statement beanie or colorful scarf will also really make your outfit pop.

Need some inspiration? Start here:

What should men wear in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in winter?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: thermal baselayers, heavy coat, jeans or khakis, walking boots, and sweaters. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Pittsburgh in comfort and style.

Thermal baselayers

As Pittsburgh in winter has a colder climate, you'll want to make sure you pack some thermal baselayers. Thermal baselayers are designed to keep you warm by trapping your body heat, and they can be worn under your regular clothes. They're especially useful for activities like skiing or hiking, where you're likely to work up a sweat. When choosing thermal baselayers, look for ones made of a moisture-wicking material like Merino wool. You'll also want to choose baselayers that fit snugly but not too tightly. With a little planning, thermal baselayers can help you enjoy your Pittsburgh trip despite the cold weather.

Any of these should work:

Heavy coat

You're definitely going to want to have a coat with you in Pittsburgh, for those icy cold snaps. When choosing a coat, look for one that is both waterproof and windproof. A hood is also a nice feature to have, as it will help protect your head and face from the elements. And make sure to pack your coat in an easily accessible place so you can grab it quickly if the weather takes a turn for the worse when you arrive.

These would be perfect:

Jeans or khakis

Jeans or khakis are surprisingly versatile when traveling. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and they're perfect for cool evenings or air-conditioned restaurants and shops. When choosing jeans or khakis, look for comfortable styles with a bit of stretch. Darker washes tend to be more versatile, but feel free to pack a pair in a light denim or white if you know you'll have the opportunity to wear them.

Here are some options I'd recommend:

Walking boots

Walking boots are a must-have item for Pittsburgh, especially if your trip involves hiking or spending time outdoors. They provide support and stability on uneven terrain, and they also protect your feet from rocks, roots, and other hazards. When choosing walking boots, it's important to pick a pair that fits well and provides enough support for your ankles. It's also a good idea to get them ahead of time and break them in before you go on your trip, so you can avoid blisters when you're there.

This is the kind of thing I mean:


Sweaters are super versatile and can be dressed up or down, making them ideal for both day and evening wear in Pittsburgh. They also take up less space than other types of warm clothing, so you can pack more sweaters into your suitcase without sacrificing style. When choosing sweaters for travel, look for ones that are made of wrinkle-resistant fabric, such as Merino wool or cashmere. These materials will help to keep you warm without adding bulk.

Any of these should work:


Is winter a good time to go to Pittsburgh, PA?

Winter is considered the low season in Pittsburgh, as temperatures can get very cold. However, if you don't mind bundling up (or mostly just want to stick to indoor activities), winter can be a great time to enjoy Pittsburgh without the crowds.

How do people typically dress in Pittsburgh, PA in winter?

People in Pittsburgh dress in a variety of different ways depending on their personal style, the occasion, and the weather. However, many winter outfits you will see in Pittsburgh typically include coats, scarves, and boots.

What should you NOT wear in Pittsburgh, PA in winter?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Pittsburgh. It's fine to dress casually when out and about, although it's still important to be respectful of cultural norms—especially when visiting sites of historical or religious significance. Some places may have their own dress code, so be sure to follow any local guidelines.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will help make your winter visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Pittsburgh has to offer!