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Despite airing over fifteen years ago (shocking, I know), Sex and the City is an evergreen source of fashion inspiration. Almost every episode has launched me on an internet spiral to find the perfect pair of late-90s Manolo Blahniks or a slinky Dior newspaper dress. While there are plenty of looks throughout the show’s six seasons and two movies that elicit a laugh, jaw-drop, or at the very least a perplexed head tilt (see @everyoutfitonsatc for further proof), none fail to have one element I’d like to copy. Patricia Field, SATC’s visionary costume designer, did not come to play, and her ensembles have stood the test of time. I’ve lost countless hours searching for exact outfit replicas on Vestiare Collective or The Real Real. But did I really lose anything? In this day and age, when everything is but a Google search away, what can’t the internet offer? What are computers for if not simplifying the shopping experience? (Forgive the rhetoricals, I’m channeling my best “Carrie-being-a-journalist.”) Take your shopping skills to Bradshaw heights and read on to replicate the best looks from the show.
The Title Sequence
Carrie’s tutu in the title sequence is arguably the show’s most iconic piece -- sheerly (no pun intended) because we see it each episode. Carrie never shies away from exaggerated silhouettes -- often to a fault, e.g. when she belts Big’s overshirt and makes it a dress, or iconically falls down a runway in a trenchcoat and rhinestone underwear. All these years later, her penchant for dramatic statement pieces triumphs. The Puff Dress from Selkie is the perfect contemporary iteration of Carrie’s tutu.
What would be the modern-day equivalent of Carrie’s Manolos? Easy answer (in my mind, at least): Brother Vellies. One look at the Brother Vellies collection affirms all of what Carrie loves about her shoes -- they’re joyful, sexy, and of the finest quality. It’s worth mentioning that the founder Aurora James is a fashion icon of New York City herself, and created Brother Vellies with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive. I could see Carrie flitting around Manhattan in these fabulously feathered Paloma Sandals, or taking the Stell Mule out for a Sunday morning brunch with the girls.
Last (but absolutely not least): the accessories. With color, a sense of humor, and a dedication to maximalism, Susan Alexandra bags and jewelry are instant classics for the modern Bradshaw. What we really imagine Carrie toting -- ironically or not -- is the “I Heart NY” Bag. It’s just close enough to being camp-y, while still a handcrafted and original homage to Carrie’s love for her city. For a more understated day, or one on which she might run into one of her exes (more on them later), Miss Bradshaw might choose the Choux Gorgine Bag -- elegance with overtones of extravagance.
Miranda Hobbes was, in many ways, ahead of her time. A total #girlboss who could rock a suit as well as a sweatsuit, it’s no surprise that much of Miranda’s wardrobe anticipated the renaissance of normcore, vintage denim, and all things oversized.
By awesome coincidence, this impeccable look makes a great uniform for Fall transitional dressing. Today’s equivalent of the cool denim dungarees (or, at least, what I think Miranda would gravitate towards) is the Big Bud Press jumpsuit. Made in Los Angeles, Big Bud Press jumpsuits are unisex, size inclusive, and made of durable 100% cotton twill. There’s no need to layer an additional undershirt--it’s already long-sleeved, making the ensemble a little sleeker.
To finish this monochromatic fit, we’ll need the perfect oversized puffer and a baseball cap. While you can find either at your local thrift store, get more character-specific with this snarky denim baseball cap from Intentionally Blank to signal your professional acumen and allude to the denim overalls of the original look. Don’t you already feel more like Miranda Hobbes, corporate lawyer and unmarried woman?
A great down jacket never goes out of style. Snag Aritzia’s Super Puff jacket -- or opt for a less expensive alternative from Uniqlo -- in a navy colorway and one or two sizes up from what you’d usually wear for the perfect oversized fit. Slip on these eco-conscious and comfy white canvas Cariumas and you’ll be styled to run into a forgettable ex and his new girlfriend (revisit Season 2, Episode 1 for a refresher).
With Child And Shopping Bags
For most of the series, Charlotte York is not pregnant. But there’s something about this look from the SATC movie that is so quintessentially Charlotte. Not only is she sporting the chicest maternity wear and too many shopping bags, but she’s also stealing the focus from Big (who, meanwhile, wears yet another yawn of a suit -- more on that later).
This outfit is a capsule of Charlotte’s style: classic, feminine, preppy, and equal parts suitable for the expectant mother and sophisticated Park Avenue princess. A polka-dot shift dress is arguably a staple in every woman’s closet. If you’re feeling like Charlotte in the “having an affair with the MacDougal family gardener” era, slip on the dramatic Perla Dress from Rat and Boa. To channel a more demure, York-Goldenblatt-era Charlotte, go for this sheer polka-dot Millie dress from SIR the label.
The mauve trench adds a signature pop of color to the look. For a similar piece, I love this soft JOHN Coat from Rouje, the ultimate French cool-girl brand we know Charlotte would adore.
Last (but most certainly not least): the shoes. With elegant details and luxury craftsmanship, Dear Frances’ entire collection would be right at home in Charlotte’s closet. These delicate but bold cream and red twist mules do just the trick. Pull your hair back and add a pair of pearl earrings -- we love these from Studs -- to complete the look.
For An LA Getaway
This may not be the most instantly recognizable of Samantha’s outfits, but it’s a personal favorite. It speaks to her sartorial skill: maximalist yet sharp, ahead of her time and still perfectly ensconced in the early aughts. It’s featured in Season 3 when the girls escape to Los Angeles, and the outfits are beyond (we highly recommend a rewatch).
While Samantha’s unfiltered persona may be hard to match, you can steal her amazing shimmer blue set with this coordinated top and pants from Paloma Wool. I think Sam Jones would also be a huge fan of Staud, known for their playful colors, patterns, and materials which complement polished silhouettes. Throw on the Staud Simone Mule in a bright blue satin colorway and the Tommy beaded shoulder bag (also blue, animal print for bonus points). You’re dressed the part -- now sit back, order a cocktail, and wait for the limitless confidence to kick in.
Points For Trying
Aidan: a linen-wearing, denim-donning, furniture-crafting king. I do not particularly care what the men on this show are wearing, but I will give Aidan some credit for having a little more fun (I don’t know if I’d call it “taste”) with his threads than Carrie’s other boyfriends.
I think Aidan would give up his ambiguous career as a furniture craftsman/bar owner to become a full-time Bode spokesperson. The embroidered shirts, the linen, the custom pieces -- it all fits right in with his cabin upstate. While it’s not the same color, this Hari patchwork shirt nails the “on a walk with Carrie” look that Aidan does so well.
Trade it out for a sheer cotton shirt (also from Bode) if you’re on a double date with Steve and Miranda. Accessorize to taste with Turquoise jewelry (more is more) from your local flea market.
Points For The Puppy
Steve is more of a Tombolo man. He did ironic Brooklyn hipster before it was ironic, and deserves a fun printed shirt or terry cloth zip for each day of the week. Add a pair of Warby Parker wire glasses and you’ll find yourself moving to Brooklyn to accommodate your growing family with Miranda Hobbes in no time.
Okay, If We Have To Mention Him
Mr. Big’s style is the least interesting out of, dare I say, any character in this series. Still, it would be blasphemy to leave our resident narcissist and big-spender out of the fun. Big’s style is no-fuss, sleek, and fine, chic -- he’s got the most consistent uniform of the cast.
This is what I’ve termed “Big-Leisure.” I’d throw him in a Rowing Blazers yellow polo shirt and a pair of Asket trousers made of Italian cotton-weave satin (that fabric description is right up Big’s alley). Bring your own clunky cellular phone for dialing Carrie’s landline late at night.
Fortunately, there are six seasons worth of outfits to send you (or me) down that online shopping spiral we know and love. We highly recommend a rewatch. You might discover something more ahead of its time than any of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, or Samantha’s styles.