I like to pretend that the second Sex and the City film didn’t happen. If I were to behave any differently, I probably wouldn’t be able to look at the TV series in the same way ever again. As it happens, in my world Carrie and co. hung up their heels way before anyone ever let them go on an ‘all expenses paid’ trip to Abu Dhabi. Mind you, in my world, Brexit didn’t happen. I digress.
The point is, I may not have been old enough to enjoy Sex and the City as it happened (maybe a bit much for a child of 1990, even if that child happened to be a pre-pubescent drama queen when SATC was enjoying its heyday) but I sure have made up for it since. And as I recently embarked on what might be my fourth- fifth? maybe even sixth?- journey through the box set, it suddenly dawned on me that we need Carrie Bradshaw now more than ever. Strictly sartorially speaking, you must understand.
Recently, Leandra Medine of the excellent (IMO) blog Man Repeller wrote a piece in which she asked a question (very Carrie, no?): “Is personal style thoughtful anymore?” Naturally, one of her main references was Miss.Bradshaw: “Her style, so mangled and fascinating and thrilling to look at and yet simultaneously so alienating (it would never work the same way on you or me), wasn’t just style. It was thoughtful“
And she’s right. Leandra, I mean. Well, so was Carrie. Because when she (or rather Patricia Field, the stylist who worked with SJP on the show) decided to put that belt around Carrie’s bare waist, or when she paired knee-high golf socks with peep-toe courts, or even when she seemingly bought the most enormous orchid from her nearest florist and just stuck it on her left shoulder, she was taking risks, daring to create something. She was thinking. And in this world full of ‘athleisure’ and Lipkits and what feels like five million pictures on Instagram of girls wearing the same off-the-shoulder blouse, I really think we could all do with an hour or so in the company of Carrie’s wardrobe.
I’ve just made my way through season three of the show, which arguably brought us some of the most sensational outfits of the entire series. Some of my personal favourites? The Dior rings. Honestly, why more people don’t reference the Dior rings on a daily basis is completely beyond me. I even felt compelled to take the below picture as I was watching the episode (in the bath: very Samantha, but that’s for another article) and post it to Instagram. Because despite my fervent longing for a world before Snapchat and Kylie Jenner, I am but a millennial at heart.
I also wanted to contribute something other than an off-the-shoulder blouse, y’know?
Anyway, judging by the reaction the picture got, a lot of other people were as giddy at the sight of the Dior rings as I was. Proving that Carrie’s appeal isn’t only endless, it’s timeless. Moving on, I would also like to bring up the LA trip. Not because I want to talk about the cameo roles of Matthew McConaughey (genius) or Vince Vaughn (creepy) but because I really, really need to talk about Carrie’s top in the episode with the fake Fendis. It was blue with a white floral print, tiered lace sleeves and pink ribbons. I will always be searching for that top. If you see it, do give me a call.
Was Carrie the first woman to tie a scarf around her upper arm? Maybe not, but coupled with the simplicity of a strapless top and a gold pendant, there was something just so powerful about it. I mean, I could list hundreds of examples here: the man’s shirt Carrie wears on her way back from Big’s when they’ve fallen into the boating pond in Central Park (it’s oversized enough to be worn as a dress but still seemingly perfectly tailored so as to be flattering. How? How?? Where can one find such a shirt?), the dress she was wearing on her way to the boating pond (designed by Richard Tyler) or even the layers and layers of pearls she wears with a pink vest top (consider that for a second), which she manages to pull off without looking completely insane.
But the point, if I have left you in any doubt, is that still, 12 years on, Carrie manages to inspire and delight with her style. No mean feat, when you consider some of the other sartorial decisions being made in the early noughties.
The other point is this: look, if you want to wear tie-dye leggings with a bandana, then you should. Take that, Instagram.
In fact, what are you doing tonight? I suggest you go home and watch Sex and the City. If you start from season four, it will be like we’re watching it together. No? We could Snapchat?