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Nine of Carrie Bradshaw's Most Memorable Outfits (and how to make them your own)

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 2:01PM by allisonmdans 0 Comments -

We all know that Carrie Bradshaw is one of the most iconic female characters of recent television history, both by virtue of the modern, boundary-pushing issues her character struggled with each episode and of course, her incomparable wardrobe, styled by the extraordinary Patricia Field. I doubt there's a single viewer of SATC that hasn't been inspired by Ms. Bradshaw in some way or another. Whether mixing prints, baring a midriff, or wearing two different colored shoes, Carrie made us feel like it was more important to have fun with fashion than to follow the rules. And to honor her impact on myself and so many others, I wanted to share some of my most beloved of her ensembles, as well as show how you might recreate them or simply translate their themes in your own unique way. And so, without further ado...

The Arrival in Paris

This is truly one of my favorite looks of the entire series. It is just SO perfect for Paris and so timelessly chic (it's Sonia Rykiel, after all). One of the great benefits to breaking all the rules and never following trends is that your outfits rarely look dated. Mix and match trends and eras in one ensemble and you're immune to ever looking  behind the times.

 

The important things about this ensemble are the black-and-white color scheme, the mixing of different striped patterns, the sparkling coat, and the oh-so-chic chapeau. Here's how I would recreate it.


RED Valentino Bow Trim Stripe Tee

 $295.00 by RED Valentino at Nordstrom


Comme des Garçons Shirt / Striped Poplin Skirt

$320.00 by Comme des Garcons at La Garçonne


Paris Trench Coat by Jones and Jones**

$180.00 by I.N. Studio at Topshop


Badgley Mischka Lucie

$215.00 by Badgley Mischka at Zappos Couture


Eugenia Kim Lauren Vintage Sisal Fedora

$297.00 by Eugenia Kim at shopbop.com

 

These pieces are not identical, but they are similar to the original, and they are all pieces I think Carrie would wear. To try this look with pieces from your own closet, I'd recommend mixing prints of the same style (flowers, stripes, etc) in different sizes, but complementary color families, or vice versa. Pair it with luxe accessories and you're Paris chic!

 

 

Childhood Whimsy+Grownup Chic

Another of Carrie's trademarks is to wear incredibly youthful, sometimes ironically innocent pieces (like gingham, cutoffs, pigtails) in a very sexy, grown-up way. One great example of this is her pairing of a vintage Mickey Mouse tee with a white, tuxedo jacket, and black leather pants.

Here's how I would recreate it

 


Junk Food Mickey Mouse Club Triblend Basic Tee

$27.00 by Junk Food at Revolve Clothing

 


BCBGMAXAZRIA Tuxedo Blazer

$218.00 by BCBG MAX AZRIA at Bloomingdale's


Leather & Stretch Twill Pant

$585.00$292.50 at Nicole Miller


Women's Mossimo® Peep-Toe Cuffed Booties - Taupe

$32.99 by Mossimo at Target

Once again, these are all Carrie-inspired pieces. If you want to try this look with pieces from your own closet, I'd recommend a boyfriend blazer with a shrunken graphic tee paired with your skinniest jeans and some sexy stilettos or booties. The key here is mixing the childish with the sophisticated. And, of course, to have fun!

 

Meet Carrie

This is our very first introduction to Carrie. Sweeter than some of her looks, but still very identifiable as a Carrie Classic. This is one of the looks the four best friends revisit in the first movie when Carrie is packing up her whole apartment. It not only carries nostalgia for them, but now for an entire generation of single girls.

Here's how I would recreate it:

 


Mystree Lace 2fer Tank

$55.00 at Piperlime


Club Monaco Olga Tulle Skirt

$139.00$69.50 by Club Monaco at shopbop.com


Valentino Strappy Sandal

$995.00 by Valentino at Footcandy

To channel this urban ballerina look from pieces in your own wardrobe, try some ballet flats with a full skirt, feminine belt (maybe even a ribbon used as a sash), and a pastel-colored tank top. Easy, pretty, classic.

 

Luck Be A Lady

I have to say, Carrie's Vegas ensemble from Season 5 is really one of my favorites, largely because the top is just so incredible. It's this luscious gunmetal material with a brocade on the neck and sleeves. Amazing. The rest of the outfit is really understated: black pants and strappy heels.

The only photo I could find of the top was about the size of my pinky nail, so I found this video instead. If you get about two minutes into the clip, there's a great shot of Carrie's outfit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZv-NXP8Dik

Here's how I would (try to) recreate it:

 


VPL / Insertion Bra

$95.00 by VPL at La Garçonne


Drome 'Metal Powder' Leather Top DROME

$745.00 at Nordstrom


Fine Stretch Wool Wide Leg Pleated Trousers

$198.00 at Max Studio

 


Miss KG Minnie Bow Front Platform Heeled Court Shoe

$152.41 by Miss KG at Asos

With this one in particular, the imitation is less literal, but I hope I captured the spirit of the outfit. If you want to channel this look on your own, all you need is a statement top paired with understated pants and complementary shoes. In this version, I echoed the peach in the bra top in the shoe. The point is to draw attention to one part of the outfit and to let the rest of the pieces harmonize and emphasize this piece.

 

The Last Big Date

The outfit Carrie wears to go on her last night on the town before Big moves to Napa is one of the most lovingly selected outfits of the series. And sadly, after Carrie finds her perfect shoes (those stunning pink ruffled Louboutins), Miranda's water breaks all over them! Before their watery end, the shoes (and dress and coat) make the perfectly romantic, Old New York statement Carrie had set her heart on.

Here's how I'd recreate it:


Vera Wang Lavender Label black sequin organza slip dress

$387.00$257.99 by Vera Wang at Bluefly

Badgley Mischka Randee

$215.00 by Badgley Mischka at Zappos Couture


Dolce & Gabbana PATTERN COAT

$1,349.00 by Dolce & Gabbana at mytheresa

 

To channel this look with pieces from your own closet, try an understated dress in a solid shade, pair with an open trench coat and statement-making stilettos. Voila! You're ready for your very own Big night on the town.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany's (2.0)

This is another great example of Carrie unabashedly playing dress-up. She's harnessing Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's with the updo and the pearls, but she takes it past the point of demure elegance by piling on more strands than any woman would while trying to stay within the bounds of good taste. She further underlines the lighthearted vibe of this look by mixing her engagement necklace and an antique-looking gem piece in with the pearls, and really stresses the little-girl-in-heels sensation by wearing a hot pink graphic tank (with her trademark visible black bra) as the backdrop. I think what really keeps this look from being ridiculous is the clean, sophisticated makeup she wears. If she had taken things a step further and gone for a smokey eye or a red lip, she would have risked looking clownish. But once again, Carrie shows us how to push boundaries without making a mess of things.

Here's how I would recreate it:


R.J.GRAZIANO Cream Pearl Multi Row Necklace

$85.00 by RJ Graziano at StyleBop


Robyn Rhodes Harper Necklace in Teal Jade : Robyn Rhodes Women

$53.00 at CoutureCandy


Multirow Thin Chain Necklace

$28.00 at Topshop


Fluorescent Pink Bleached Heart Tank Top

$45.00 at Topshop


Sanctuary Runway Skinny Crop Pant

$55.00$39.99 by Sanctuary at Piperlime


L.A.M.B. khaki leather 'Cahoot' platform pumps

$206.00 by L.A.M.B. at Bluefly

 

To try your own Breakfast at Tiffany's 2.0 look, just throw on some costume jewelry with a statement-making updo. Contrast the uptown, evening motif you've got going on from the neck up with a super-casual, daytime outfit, like a graphic tee, cropped jeans or trousers, and a simple, sexy heel. Remember to keep your makeup minimal and if you start feeling six years old again, embrace it! This look is about infusing the act of dressing with the youthful exuberance we lose with age.

The Blooming Book Launch

For Carrie's meeting with her book editor followed by her first "date" with Berger in Season 5, she wears this amazing mixed-print Marni minidress (how's that for a tongue-twister?) with a striped, embellished coat. The combination of the textures and prints really just makes for a deliciously light and frothy confection of a work/party/day look.

Here's how I'd recreate it:


See By Chloe pink floral sateen lace top dress

$378.00$288.99 by See by Chloe at Bluefly


Oscar de la Renta Striped Long Coat

$2,790.00 by Oscar De La Renta at Bergdorf Goodman


Fendi nude suede and satin strappy platform sandals

$620.00 by Fendi at Bluefly

 

Downtown Ballgown (J'adore Dior)

The Dior tee+romantic lavender full skirt is another one of Carrie's most special and distinctive looks to me. When I saw this outfit in the trailers for the first movie, I think my jaw dropped. There is really no way to describe the perfection achieved by the pairing of this ironically chic Dior top with such a fantastically impractical ballerina skirt. Heaven.

Here's how I'd recreate it:


Wildfox War is Over Sequin Campfire Tee in 2 colors

Knot the tee over the dress, or wear the dress alone!


MARC BY MARC JACOBS Colorblocked Silk Dress

$598.00 by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Nordstrom


N.Y.L.A. Women's Velvey Strappy Platform Sandal

$114.95$63.22 by NYLA at Endless.com


Smythe Equestrian Blazer

$650.00 by Smythe at shopbop.com

 

The magic of this outfit is in the pairing of the most basic, casual piece in a girl's wardrobe on top (albeit a Dior version), and the most formal piece on the bottom. To recreate it on your own, take a vintage (or just old) tee with some sort of unique quality (a logo, graphic, etc) and pair it with a super-girly, flouncy skirt in a complementary color. If you have an old cocktail or prom dress with a full skirt lying around, you could EASILY repurpose that to create this look. Pair it with some edgy heels and you're ready to take Abu Dhabi (or the city of your choice) by storm! The jacket is totally optional, but if you have one that feels appropriate (strong shoulders recommended), throw it on for an added dose of sass.

 

Newly Engaged Gal

The vintage studded belt that's basically the 5th main character in the first SATC film is one of my favorite pieces of the entire franchise. Patricia Field has said it was a vintage find, but plenty of retailers have produced knockoffs due to the incredible demand for the belt. One of my favorite appearances of the belt is its pairing with this lovely pink linen cutout dress Carrie wears in the scene where she tells Samantha about her engagement. With a single strand of pearls and black booties, it's another example of the Carrie/Patricia mix-mastering mashups that have stood the test of time.

Here's how I'd recreate it:


Highpoint Dress

$218.00 at Trina Turk


Diesel Plaited Stud Detail Belt

$80.69 by Diesel at Asos


Opera-length pearl necklace

$495.00 at J.Crew


Dolce & Gabbana black mesh and floral lace peep toe booties

$660.00$625.99 by Dolce & Gabbana at Bluefly

 

To channel this look with your own pieces, start with a basic sheath in a notice-me color as your neutral base. Then, alternate your accessories between girly and hardcore. Black booties and a studded belt work with pearls and a ladylike bag. Play with different combinations to find what you like best, just try to keep a balance between the two styles. That's the key to making this look work.

I could do this for days, but I have to stop somewhere, so I'll leave the rest of the interpreting to you. What are your favorite Carrie (or Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte) looks from the series or the films? How do you channel their chicness in your own wardrobe?



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