Fashion was as fundamental to Sex and the City as yellow taxis and the Apple Mac. "Women come to New York for the two Ls – labels and love," the show's protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw, noted in one episode.
As the four main characters, Carrie, Miranda Hobbes, Samantha Jones and Charlotte York navigated love, friendships, careers and kids over the course of six seasons and two ill-fated films, they also broke fashion rules, started style trends and turned Manolo Blahnik into a household name.
With recent news that Sex and the City is gearing up for a reboot (production is set to start in New York City in late spring), we couldn't help but wonder what the show's leading ladies might be wearing in 2021.
Much has changed on the fashion scene since Sex and the City first appeared on our screens in 1998, but plenty has also remained the same. Here are the brands we think the fab four would be rocking today.
Played to perfection by Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie, the show’s narrator and leading lady, never shied away from a bit of fashion experimentation.
Her attitude to fashion is perhaps best summed up in the quote: "When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more."
From the nude tutu she wore in the show’s opening credits (famously bought by stylist Patricia Field in a thrift shop for $5) to her J’adore Dior T-shirt and the floral Christian Louboutin sandals that were ruined when Miranda’s water broke all over them, Carrie had myriad memorable style moments over the years.
But while she teetered around on unfathomably impractical heels and had a deep-seated love of designer labels, she also had a down-to-earth streak that made her relatable even when decked in Dior.
“I will never be the woman with the perfect hair who can wear white and not spill on it,” she once said, as women across the world nodded their heads in understanding.
She was an early proponent of the high-low fashion trend: "I need a $5 dress to go with my $500 shoes,” she said.
Shoes were Carrie's one true love. At one point in the series she calculates she has spent an eye-watering $40,000 on shoes alone. "I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.”
She had a particular penchant for Manolo Blahniks, and contributed in turning them into a cultural phenomenon. Today, we imagine she would have a bit of an unhealthy online shopping habit, with Net-a-Porter looming larger in her bookmarks.
Always at the vanguard of fashion, we imagine she would love Alessandro Michele’s new Gucci and be fully embracing the brand’s slightly offbeat granny-chic aesthetic, with a bit of Vetements thrown in for good measure.
The Paris-based collective is the definition of casual cool – a space that Carrie is more than comfortable in.
And while we can’t imagine her ever tiring of her precious Manolos, we imagine relative newcomers Amina Muaddi and Zyne would have also become firm favourites by now.
Miranda Hobbes’s understated style went largely unnoticed – overshadowed as it was by Carrie's outlandish ensembles and Samantha's souped-up sensuality.
Miranda was meant to be the everywoman, but that doesn’t mean she lacked in the style stakes.
Her boxy suits, practical dresses, Harvard hoodies and comfortable jackets are perfect for 2021, when roomy cuts, androgynous styling and streetwear are all the rage.
These days, we imagine she'd look to Gabriela Hearst and Racil for those workwear staples, and to Balenciaga for an update on her trusty puffer jacket. Stella McCartney might also find some space in Miranda's 2021 wardrobe, neatly lined up alongside some sensible Aquazzura pumps.
Classic, preppy and all-American, Charlotte’s fashion sense perfectly matched her prim persona. Full skirts, DVF wrap dresses, Chanel suits, ruffles, pretty florals and elegant headbands were her style staples.
We imagine she’d still be sticking to the classics in 2021, with a firm fondness for Dior under the current stewardship of Maria Grazia Chiuri, who has championed ultra feminine yet immensely wearable creations.
Erdem and Rodarte also offer just the right dose of sophisticated femininity. Topped with pearls and the odd piece from Tiffany & Co, naturally.
While a long-running feud between actress Kim Cattrall and Parker means that Samantha Jones is unlikely to return for the reboot, who can forget her contribution to the show’s style stakes?
A PR powerhouse and poster girl for the sprayed-on body-con dress, Samantha's wardrobe was daring, provocative, blinged-out and ahead of its time – she wore the things we all wished we could, but would never dare to. A hot pink, crystal-encrusted, ostrich-feather-lined robe is a case in point.
Unashamedly in-your-face, she was a poster girl for logomania (remember the matching Louis Vuitton visor and hoops) and donned patterns and animal print with wild abandon. Not to mention those fabulous power suits.
We think Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent offers just the right amount of high-octane glamour for a 2021 Samantha, as well as the kind of eye-catching knee-high boots she favoured on a girl’s night out in wintry New York.
Mix this in with a bit of old-school Dolce & Gabbana to up the animal-print ante, and top with Jacquemus’ giant straw hat – which garnered plenty of social media buzz in 2018 – for those forays to the Hamptons. And a Birkin, of course.