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How Personal Style Drives The Way We Relate To The Women of Sex And The City

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 years ago | The Edit

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Throughout the course of Sex and the City’s six seasons, we have fallen in love with the fashion as much as we have fallen in love with the characters themselves. Painting a vivid portrait of life as a modern, sexually empowered woman, the show’s four main characters — best friends Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbes, Samantha Jones and Charlotte York — were all highly distinct from one another. And this was a theme explored not just through dialogue or plot progression, but also through their individuality in terms of style. Which costume designer Patricia Field perfected with a mix of vintage and designer pieces. When you really look at its core, though, this series was and still remains a celebration of personal style.

Of course, the fact that Sex and the City was a quintessentially heterosexual show was problematic in its own way — and thankfully there are now a number of progressive TV shows that step beyond this limited frame of reference. But even still, SATC’s frank way of dealing with female sexuality was undeniably groundbreaking for its time. And, in this sense, the HBO show was symbolic of female enfranchisement above all. Yes, there were certain stereotypical tropes thrown into the mix (this is television after all), but the fact that Miranda was a single mother and also a highly successful partner at a law firm, for example; or that Samantha refused to be ‘owned’ by a man, were no accidents. Rather, they sent the very deliberate message that no woman should feel the need to conform to society’s expectations of her.

It is perhaps for this reason that we are still so drawn to Sex and the City as a pop cultural reference to this day — as well as a stylistic one. “The clothes are like another character in the show. They help make it real,” actress Cynthia Nixon (aka Miranda) has explained before. Expressing the notion that, in this show, fashion is largely instrumental in communicating progressive ideas surrounding female empowerment. With that in mind, then, we decided to revisit the style of Sex and the City and the ways in which it has helped to develop the characterisation of each independent woman making up the show’s four core characters.

1) Samantha Jones

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Hands down, Samantha Jones was the character most comfortable with her sexuality, brazenly discussing it over eggs and experimenting with a wide array of different sexual partners. “I’m a try-sexual,” goes one of her most famous lines, “I’ll try anything once.” But Samantha was also a successful PR executive, who made and paid her own way. As such, her wardrobe was that of both a sexy (and sexually empowered) woman and a classy business lady all at the same time. She favoured figure-hugging silhouettes and bold colour palettes, but also with a touch of refined elegance. A red silk dress and bold, gold hoops? Of course she went there.

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2) Miranda Hobbes

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Miranda Hobbes’ sense of style is probably the most underrated of all the Sex and the City women, but was actually one of the most impressive. As a highly successful lawyer (and single mum), for example, Miranda totally nailed the art of power dressing — whether that was through pantsuits, bold colour blocking or an impeccably tailored little black dress, all of which demonstrated that she totally meant business. She also really understood the value that good accessories can add to your outfit; which helps us whenever we’re getting dressed in a pinch. In this sense, then Miranda is definitely our go-to when it comes to corporate wear that’s also impossibly chic.

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3) Charlotte York

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Charlotte York’s style is the epitome of timeless femininity, just like her character. But don’t be fooled by that veneer of innocence — beneath the surface also lies a sexual being, who loves a vibrator just as much as the next gal. In her role as an Art Gallery Curator and all-around Upper East Side lady, she was always impeccably dressed, opting for preppy tailoring and timeless tones. But there was also a hint of sex appeal to her aesthetic as well, whether by way of a plunging neckline or a touch of sheer. So we think this Bon Wrap Dress would have been right up her alley.

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4) Carrie Bradshaw

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Last but certainly not least, Carrie Bradshaw’s personal style has perhaps been the most talked about over the years. This is partly because she was essentially the show’s principal character, but also because her sense of style is by far the most difficult to define. There was an undeniable eccentricity about many of her looks (which mirrored her own kookiness as a character), but classicism was also at the core of her aesthetic. In this way, Carrie’s style seemed to be the most nuanced — not unlike her character itself. The reason I have chosen this particular outfit, then, is because it captures the way she was so effortlessly able to strike a balance between interesting, vintage-inspired pieces and timeless elegance.

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