Sex and the City premiered 19 years ago today, and in honour of the show now being old enough to drink legally in Ontario (slash remind some of us how, ahem, mature we are), we wanted to shout out the *less* celebrated but decidedly best outfits of the show. You won’t find a Dior newspaper dress, nameplate necklace or giant flower appliqué here—these outfits are the ones we think are most fabulously true to each character’s personality.
Some say Samantha Jones was all about sex. Wrong. Samantha loved sex, but sex isn’t about sex, sex is about power (thank you, Oscar Wilde). That’s why our pick for Samantha’s best ensemble isn’t a body-baring lingerie look or slinky dress—even though her body is bangin’—it’s this purple power suit she wears for after-work cocktails at the Plaza’s Oak Room bar where, fun fact, a younger Donald Trump makes a cameo. Yes, a purple power suit, à la The Joker. Samantha did it, honey, and she did it with such confidence that we sometimes wonder if we need to buy a purple power suit of our own. (That’s power.)
Charlotte was prim, proper and idolized Elizabeth Taylor. That’s why when you think of Charlotte’s best look, you probably think of the stunning pink Oscar de la Renta dress she wears to Brady’s birthday party after her miscarriage. She looks beautiful, but it’s just not the most quintessentially Charlotte look. Instead we think it’s the white tennis outfit she wears to smooch the MacDougalls’ gardener when Trey can’t get it up. Think about it: it’s white and WASP-y, but somehow still adorable and just a little bit sexy. That’s Charlotte in a nutshell! Plus, the fact that she wears it to kiss the gardener is indicative of why we loved Charlotte—just when we thought we had her figured out, she went and surprised us.
Some say Miranda got the short end of the stick in terms of styling throughout the show’s six seasons. We would suggest those people don’t know what dressing in New York City is really like. Some days you’re fabulous, wearing a slinky printed dress with heels to office, feeling on top of the world and ready to slay. But on other days? You just want to hide from the world in denim overalls, a sleeping bag coat and a goofy hat. That’s why this Miranda outfit is so wrong it’s right, and frankly, kind of normcore-cute! Miranda didn’t care what the world thought of her—whether it was her low-key garden wedding, cutting her workload to “only 60 hours a week,” or wearing what is practically a Bob the Builder cosplay outfit in public, she was doing things her way, and we loved her for it.
Oh, Carrie! She had, undeniably, the most desired, most imitated and most erratic style of anyone on the show. Carrie’s steeze was sometimes classic-meets-vintage (those aviators, that gorgeous fur coat!), but more often than not, it was a “strategic hot mess.” That’s why you need to forget the usual duds that people say defined Carrie’s (and Sex and the City’s) style and finally admit that the most Carrie look of all time is this absolutely crackpot outfit featuring a double-layered crop top, with FLOATING BELT, full skirt, tights, knit bag and some kind of cuckoo not-quite-a-crown head accessory. Carrie wearing an outfit this wackadoodle with such aplomb is what Sex and the City’s style was truly all about. (Shortly after wearing it, Carrie has an anxiety attack. Coincidence? We think not.)