Fashion, Style

Was dressing exactly like Carrie Bradshaw ever the idea?

carrie bradshaw fur

I love Mondays. Mainly because of The Guardian’s Monday supplement G2 and its ‘Ask Hadley’ series. Every Monday Hadley Freeman answers sartorial questions in a witty and often unexpected way. And I rarely disagree. But when it comes to blaspheming Carrie Bradshaw, I can’t just sit and watch injustice happen.

The impertinent insolence titled ‘Does anyone want to dress like Carrie Bradshaw anymore?

I stumbled through the article and tripped over the highlighted phrase ‘The whole Sex and the City look has become a parody in itself.’

Was dressing like CB ever the idea? Or shouldn’t the question be ‘Did anyone ever want to dress like Carrie Bradshaw?’

I am not known to be particularly fashion forward or brave when it comes to fashion trends. Neither am I an early adopter, let alone a trendsetter. But I always thought of Carrie Bradshaw as a style icon. An inspiration. A source of ideas.

Of course you wouldn’t want to leave the house like this:

carrie bradshaw

But neither would that be an appropriate school-gates-look:

fashion bites

Admittedly, Vivienne Westwood was mentioned more than once in the movie. So what? Does it mean the movie was less authentic? For me this mention made the movie even more real. Imagine your wedding dress had been a present of one of the most influential British designers of all times. I personally would have gone on and on about it. I might have even blogged about it.


And what’s with all that slagging off Carrie’s dress sense in Paris? What’s not to love? The Sonia Rykiel jumper?

carrie bradshaw sonia rykiel

The red Oscar de la Renta dress?

carrie bradshaw de la renta

I would wear it. Right now. Without hesitation. And by the way, Eiffel Tower jumpers are very much du jour, mon amour.

topshop eiffel tower jumper

To me, Sex and the City never was ‘a sweet idealisation of how many young women would dress if they had the nous and a few extra funds’. It was and still is about four friends that go through a lot together; the idealisation of female best friends that happen to be extraordinarily dressed.

But then, what do I get upset about a supplement that calls this the ‘Look of the week’?

Mark Ronson look of the week


  1. How very dare they??? (I hear armies of Manolo clad feet marching towards the Guardian offices as I type!) Well… just mine then. We all know that no one except CB can pull off those looks. As you say – they are for inspiration and to be admired for what they are. Although wouldn’t if be fun for you and I to conduct a little social experiment and go out to lunch dressed exactly like her?! x

  2. p.s. Bet you knew I’d be first in line!
    p.p.s I think Mark Ronson looks like a prize t**t in that get up!

  3. OUTRAGEOUS! I know most women will defend SATC til they are blue in the face. It defined a generation for goodness sake! However on the dressing front; I love Carrie, she gets a big tick in the box but I accept that some of her looks are a little strange. But the style is there no matter what and it does boil down to the actress afterall. SJP looks great on and off screen! LB x

  4. I agree here, it’s about friendships and what happens in the lives of four close girlfriends, and what they wear often reflects their individual personalities. No it is unlikely I would wear very many, if any of the outfits, but so what, it simply means I am none of those characters I am my own self and where what reflects me and my life xx

  5. carolinesweetie says

    I think Hadley missed the whole point of SATC. Yes, at times SJP did wear somewhat suspect items of clothing. I would, like you wear amny of the outfits she wore if i had them,without a second thought.
    As for that ‘look of the week’ – Pah!

  6. I completely agree, it’s never been about exact copying but taking inspiration, being a bit more dangerous and enjoying all the fashion. Plus as you say the real heart of it being about four best friends. Silly Hadley!

  7. You know the look with the over-sized cardigan and thigh-high stockings and small gloves…. I LOVE that look. I would totally wear it. lol. I remember seeing it in the movie and being obsessed.

  8. You know what, I bet she was just asked to find a new angle on SATC (because of the new film) and that was what she came up with – ie just trying to contoversial.

    I sometimes thought Carrie looked ridiculous but as you say, that wasn’t really the point. Sometimes she looked great!

  9. That Oscar de la Renta dress is one of my favourite outfits of Carrie’s…..just wish I was thin enough to fit in one of his dresses! The outfit of the week is absolutely dire!!!

  10. Ridiculous article – Carrie was fashion as a concept not high street. She looked great in it and it brought some fab trends to our lives but I wouldn’t wear 95% of those outfits (well apart from the shoes!)

  11. I wouldn’t be seen dead in cb’s frocks but like you I wd always defend her right to wear them! I always assumed her frocks were a bit of a joke – that ballerina number from the opening credits for instance ….. Who’d wear that in real life?!

  12. There’s a bit of a male/female divide when it comes to Carrie Bradshaw I think. Men (or at least mine) never really “get” her. I think most women would secretly love her wardrobe, but let’s face it – few of us have the figure or the lifestyle to be able to pull it off. Sigh.

  13. Loved her Oscar de la Renta dress – gorgeous! Many of Carrie’s looks were like what fashions designers do at their shows – over the top to grab attention, showcase their art and have fun. Their works of art, some not so fabulous, but it’s more a statement about fashion and being daring.

  14. I just posted about something in SATC (again). I totally agree with your post. My eyes were so full of tears the first time I watched, I missed most of the clothes anyway! and Steve and Miranda on the Bridge, still gets me now!

  15. Love love love all SATC moves and tv. Carrie’s wardrobe is a great inspiration, but there have been some mishaps as well. Always find men think her style is a total disaster, and women love it. So looking forward to the new movie – hope I don’t cry as much as last time!

  16. No WAY did SATC descend into ‘a vision of Waggish hell!’ The shows always featured designer fashion to its extreme and the movie was just a culmination of this. Whether you admire or loathe Carrie’s dress sense, it alone is part of the bread and butter of that show.

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  18. I don’t even know what Hadley is talking about..‘The whole Sex and the City look has become a parody in itself.’
    What does that mean? What is Sex and the City style exactly anyway? I’ve always just thought it’s four women, with money to spend, who have their own personal style and swanky places to go. And cheers to them 🙂

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  20. melinda says

    Dunno. I often found her looking ridiculous. But the V.W. wedding dress was absolutely gorgeous…

  21. I’m 100% with you MM! Though Carrie’s outfits are mostly too ‘out there’ for what I would usually wear, I love her all the more for it. I am literally counting down the days until the second movie; I watched the first one with a gaggle of girlfriends and we all dressed up as our favourite character!

    My work colleague ended up in Mr Ronson’s hotel room the night he was wearing that outfit… 😉


  22. The mere fact that CB can carry off such amazing – albeit sometimes preposterous – looks is surely worthy of admiration, at any level and in any guise?

    I’m a fan. Have been for ages.

    LCM x

  23. Agreed! Did anyone really ever dress like CB? Perhaps a handful, somewhere – maybe NYC… The fashion is just part of the fantasy of the show I think. Must admit I’ve fantasized once or twice about being able to pull of anything as outrageous. Of course, it’s always simply remained a fantasy!

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  25. I hate when people are overly literal. Every intelligent person understands this was just a TV show. Anyone who was dumb enough to copy it slavishly would be dressing horribly anyway.

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