Love it or Hate it–Sex and the City 2 is topping box offices, scathing reviews and sexist reviews are hitting right and left (with just as many young women replying back, “What did you expect?”), and Carrie and the girls are wearing a wardrobe more unbelievable, fantastical, and unaffordable than ever.
Like many 20-something women, Sex and the City and that fabulous foursome have been a part of my life for a long time, and while it’s an imperfect series, it’s not one that ended without leaving a generation of women a lot of life lessons.
When it comes to fashion, I’ve always considered Carrie Bradshaw a heroine–whether her outfits left me cringing or coveting, she always did it with zest, spunk, panache, and loads of style. (In fact, Carrie Bradshaw was one of my first post topics, and the women of Sex and the City have come up often since.)
10 Things Carrie Bradshaw Taught Me About Fashion
1. Have FUN with Fashion/Don’t be afraid to try something NEW. Drindl in Central Park, anyone? Carrie’s outfits always showed her flair for fashion, and she wasn’t afraid to try something new– whether it was new to her or a new trend. Her outfits always reflected her spunky and playful personality.
2. Invest in GOOD shoes. Good doesn’t have to mean expensive and strictly Manolos–afterall, there are plenty of horror stories about designer shoes dying after walking a few NYC blocks. But invest in good shoes, ones you can wear over and over, and that you love, that will treat you & your body great.
3. Fashion CAN be affordable and GOOD fashion CAN be found ANYWHERE. Some of my favorite scenes from the tv series were seeing the gals in a shop that wasn’t high end. From discount wedding shops to vintage shops, Carrie showed, especially early on, that great fashion & style could found at all price points.
4. You don’t have to defend your love of fashion. To be honest, I don’t think I saw any of those women apologize for their love of fashion. Neither will I, and neither should you.
5. You’re never too old to play dress up. Whether it’s dressing up for a night out with the girls, or just because you’re feeling extra fabulous that day, Carrie reminds us all that we don’t need to save our best, most amazing frocks & accessories for special occasions. Every day that we get up is another opportunity to dress up– however the hell we feel like.
6. You DON’T have to to sacrifice personal style because: you hit 40 (or 52); you have kids; you’re in a professional job. One of the most inspiring things, as a young woman, was seeing how these women held firmly on to their sense of identity through relationships & break-ups, marriages & divorces, childbirth, aging, and more. You are who you are– and that shouldn’t be sacrificed because an element in your life has changed.
7. It’s okay to buy what you can afford. Remember when Standford teases Carrie, about knowing her when she was in her early 20s and wearing Candies? Carrie Bradshaw didn’t start off with a fabulous shoe collection, and while she certainly wasn’t a model for savings & financial management, she grew in to her success as a writer and grew in to her shoe closet.
8. Fashion’s not more important than security– as a woman I can have AND create both for myself. Who really wants to grow up to be the old lady who lives in her shoes? Not me. I love that SatC focused on the financial savvy (or lack of) with these women. I think it’s easy for us to fall in to traditional gender roles and not take an active role in our finances beyond our bank accounts. Maybe a better path for Carrie (and our future fabulously earning selves) would have been $500 pair of shoes, $500 invested in stocks/IRAs/etc?
9. Look to the past, and your own past, when shopping. Early SatC Carrie loved her vintage, and I imagine she was the type of woman to shop for life– buying pieces she knew she’d love in 10 years, regardless of how it was dated or not. Find the pieces that flatter your mind and your body, and keep it in your possession until it’s worn out.
10. Just because it’s in style– or out of style– doesn’t mean it’s for/not for you. One of the great things Patricia Field did in designing the show was creating women with their own sense of style. Trends can fit in to, be a part of, or expand your own sense of personal style. But always be sure to keep an open mind about fashion.