Sex and the City turned my brain into a closet of stuck outfits, which is like having a library of songs on loop in your head that never go away no matter how many times you listen to them. To this day, I’ve yet to successfully scratch the itch of Charlotte’s iconic Scottish fling gown, or wear one of Samantha’s shoulder-padded power blazers without looking like Christina Applegate in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.
Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic, extensive, chameleonic wardrobe contains the worst offenders. Few humans can wear belts across their bare torsos on a casual afternoon or giant flowers on their shoulders without feeling costumey. But, in honor of Sarah Jessica Parker’s birthday, I say screw all that. If she, SJP, was able to step into Carrie’s shoes (omg, sorry), so can we. Below, three of Bradshaw’s best outfits that are attached to my mental space like chewing gum to the underside of a desk.
The Outfit That No One Except Carrie Would Wear to a Workout
Koza sweatshirt over J.Crew turtleneck, No Ka’Oi leggings, Sies Marjan coat, Manolo Blahnik sandals and Salvatore Ferragamo belt via TheRealReal
We’ve all worn weird things to workout classes before, especially ones at the end of the day that require we show up in office clothes. But Carrie had no excuse. For her, exercise is just another venue in which to flex her shoes. What’s spandex good for, anyway, if not to be so bright it blinds you?
The Outfit That Made Carrie Freak the Hell Out Even Though She Literally Never Wears Pants Anyway
Fivestory New York caftan, Her The Label bikini bottoms, Michael Lo Sordo bra top, Charlotte Olympia shoes, Max Mara belt, Foundrae necklace, Jessica Biales rings
Remember this one? Carrie was asked to walk in a runway show where “real people” were cast alongside models. Upon learning that she was assigned a sparkly pair of underwear and not much else, she had a violent bout of imposter syndrome that made for an excellent Stanford’s-tiny-glasses cameo. He was like, “You are fabulous, but also calm down because you’re a low-key exhibitionist who once walked Aiden’s dog in a pair of short-shorts and stilettos.” And she was all, “That makes no sense chronologically, but oh yeah, I do remember that, you’re so right, I am fabulous!”
(Then she fell, but it was fine because all good models AND real people do.)
So there you/we go.
The Outfit That Set the Standard for All Birthday Outfits Going Forward
Topshop tulle skirt and cropped turtleneck, Maison Alma coat, Rebecca De Ravenel bag, Magnetic Midnight crown, Charlotte Olympia shoes
This one remains stuck in my brain more than most: a red skirt/crop-top combo plus a headband-as-crown for her 35th birthday that went up in flames because traffic was bad and no one had cell phones. It was tragic in the best way, drama that further added to the bullfighter’s essence of the outfit. In addition to igniting my love of the color red, this episode taught me to never be on time for my own birthday party, just in case.
Try your hand at these and post pictures below/let me know how it goes. If anyone gives you shit, you know what to tell them. “My outfits are lovely, Hubble.”
Special thanks to our model Kalysse Anthony, follow her on Instagram @kalysseanthony. Market assistance by Elizabeth Tamkin; photos by Seher Sikandar, check out her website here and follow her on Instagram @rehes; Sex and the City stills via HBO.