Over the years, there have been a plethora of American shows that have left a lasting impression with the eclectic wardrobe picks seen across the series. Before Gossip Girl, there was the luminous era of Sex and the City which was aired between 1998- 2004 and was replete with eye-catching fashion statements of the ‘90s and early 00s.
The show’s lead cast featuring Carrie Bradshaw(Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) traversing through their chaotic lives at the Big Apple made their characters etched in everyone’s minds as did the cataloguing of their unique styles that ranged from couture, vintage and thrift store essentials. While the celebration of female friendships was the chef’s kiss that the show’s vibe demanded, one simply can’t veer away from the glamour and voguish spread served by the lead cast that were in tandem with their character sketches on screen.
As Sex and the City completes 25 glorious years, here’s decoding the key elements of each of their styles and why they continue to remain a soaring inspiration for many.
As her character was introduced, one could only be bewildered as to how she could afford over 100 pairs of designer heels and the never ending spread in her stocked closet. Working as a columnist in a fictional newspaper called The New York Star and being able to afford the luxurious wardrobe that she did is indeed bizarre but that did not stop her from becoming a-la-mode for generations to come. Who could’ve styled lingerie for an outdoorsy look but Carrie’s character?
From metallic woven belts, mixed print ensembles, casually wearing a graphic tee over an ’80s prom dress – Carrie knew fashion and confidence indeed were key to her carrying it off with ease. The opening sequence of the series is etched in everyone’s mind as Carrie strutted out on New York streets in her white tiered tutu paired with a pale pink top. She became the poster child of the newspaper dress, much in accordance with her job in the series.
She sported plenty of monochrome pieces from a classic LBD to the white slip dress which is loosely also termed as her revenge dress which is reminiscent of her turbulent love life with Big, the love of her life in the show. Accessories like a bandana and black gloves were seen as her frequent picks. Her memorable fur coat with a red clutch is still as fresh a memory as it was yesterday.
Lots of florals, tulle, low-rise skirts, high-low silhouettes, and lace were seen in the glamorous choices made by Carrie. Much like the revenge dress, Carrie’s naked dress made headlines like no other. In an era like that, this iconic slip dress was an upfront representation of the brand-new liberated women making it to the forefront, oozing confidence without any hindrance.
One of Carrie’s many talents with fashion included her ability to style deconstructed outfits with elements that make them stand out. The episode where she slips into an oversized crisp shirt of her onscreen partner B and elevates the look with a gigantic Gucci belt was just an effortless move that is indeed commendable.
Her gutsy and fiery personality made her fans mourn her absence in the Sex and the City reboot. In her defence, her devil-may-care attitude was probably the most enticing aspect of a woman in the ‘90s that made her character such a loved one. She did not believe in beating around the bush and her bold style file did complete justice to her persona onscreen.
Splash of vivid colours in flattering silhouettes like bodycon dresses, exaggerated shoulder pads and daring prints were just what you would find in her power-dressing era. Everything she wore was a reflection of the feminine and sexual energy she possessed and did not let anyone tell her otherwise just because she was a woman. Her stunning red spaghetti dress accessorised with a leopard print handbag is one of her most iconic statements in the series.
The beauty of Samantha Jones is her easy transition from chic to corporate. One can’t get over her obsession with skin-tight and short dresses, colour-block moments, halter-neck ensembles, embellished pieces and jackets.
The colour palette was a head-turner with pop-up shades like sunny yellow, hot pink, dreamy blues, bright reds, and tangy orange – to name a few. Big belts and chunky statement jewellery furthermore added to her bold and beautiful demeanour.
She could turn up in an elegant white trench coat for an office set-up and then turn up the heat in the sparkliest ensemble for a party night to walk in wearing a chic cargo pant paired with a spaghetti crop top for a day look, that’s just Samantha Jones for you!
You know how they say fashion is a cyclic process, today as we look back at Miranda Hobbes’s styles, one can only pinpoint how most of those trends have resurfaced. With Carrie and Samantha taking over most of the limelight, Miranda though not overtly stylish, still gave us looks to hold on to. Her closet showcased hoodies, dungarees, a lot of puffer jackets and most importantly the corporate suits for which she played a lawyer.
Printed dresses and tailored blazers made more logic for her as they induced an understanding of pragmatism when it comes to dressing up a lawyer for work. Her character unknowingly started a rampant trend of chic formal wear from pencil skirts, crisp shirts with contrasting ties, suits and tux. For her off-duty looks, she did add a hint of colour like the canary yellow pantsuit layered over a mustard-hued top that made her standout.
Turtlenecks, pin-striped vests, athleisure wear – do these terms ring a bell in the recent timescape?
But Miranda could turn up the glam quotient when the situations demanded so, one of her most fan-favourite looks from the series is the velvet suit she wore to her wedding with Steve.
Her easy-breezy midi dresses for brunches and outings with her girl gang were quite relatable for someone who wasn’t out there when it came to fashion but never disappointed.
Her character played it safe for that’s what it demanded. Feminine, prim and proper is how you would categorise Charlotte York’s wardrobe throughout the series run. Like Carrie, her love for evergreen designers such as Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, and Prada was irreplaceable as was her undeniable love for the colour pink.
Elegance was the key to everything Charlotte wore as it featured clean silhouettes, chic dresses, and tweed ensembles. Classic black dresses, knitted sweaters, ombre hues, and skirts with clean pleats were just what a Charlotte York wardrobe would provide you with.
Further adding to the collegiate-inspired vibe of her looks – plenty of floral dresses, corset tops, and sheer blouses were more her type.
Charlotte’s accessories continued to radiate feminine energy as they ranged from diamond earrings and floral pieces to elegant pearls. Her choice of jewellery was always dainty be it her tweed-inspired cuffs or otherwise. It complemented her unique style effortlessly.
In all these 25 years, there have been various instances where the iconic style statements from Sex and the City have continued to serve as mood boards, runway inspiration and a display of a true-blue style era done right. As the cast and its loyal fans rejoice its epic run, here are the fashion highlights you needed from one of the most daring and liberating shows ever made for women.