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'Sex and the City' Style

Fashion Trendsetters

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The clothes are like another character in the show. They help make it real.-- Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) to People Magazine.

Think Carrie would look glam sipping Cosmopolitans wearing mere-mortal styles like jeans and clogs?

Costume designer Patricia Field doesn't think so.

Her deft styling hand has turned the characters of HBO's "Sex and the City" into small-screen fashion icons and has sparked trends ranging from high-end designer bags to fabric flowers (and she brought Manolo to the masses, which is no small feat).

Each of the four characters has had a distinct style carefully developed for her:

  • Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is fearlessly fashionable: her style ranges from uptown chic to whimsy to sex kitten. Stilettos are a staple, and Field mixes designer with flea market finds for Carrie's unique look.
  • Samantha (Kim Cattrall) wears sexy styles that exude confidence. She is a Woman (with a capital "W") and the message comes across loud and clear through strong styles and bold color.
  • Charlotte (Kristin Davis) has a sweet, preppy style that is always accompanied by the proper bag and shoes. Bows, cute prints and feminine styles play up the kind nature of her character.
  • Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) looks like a very well-dressed career gal with chic corporate suits and androgynous styles.

The show has been enormously influential on fashion. Here, a look at some of the trends the show has trumpeted over the years:

  • Stilettos
  • Must-have designer bags
  • Great coats
  • The bob
  • Flower pins
  • Initial necklaces
  • Designer wedding chic

Get the look

Face facts: you are never going to look as fabulous as Carrie and Company do every minute of their lives.

Even Carrie's seemingly thrown-together ensembles are the creation of a very talented costuming team, which selects up to 50 outfits for each show.

You can, however, add some of the glamorous girlie looks to your wardrobe with these tips:

Mix high and low

What this means is simply learning to mix flea market finds with designer or wear high-end fashions in unexpected ways.

For example, the SATC characters wear designer duds out of context (Miranda once wore Jean Paul Gaultier for pajamas) or in a new way (Carrie wore a Chanel top backward with a kerchief). Try this yourself by pairing a simple white tank with a luxe jacket; wear stilettos with jeans; mix a modern top with a vintage skirt.

It's all in the shoes

Toss the Birkenstocks and opt for sky-high mules, sandals and pumps (the more expensive, the better). Comfort is not the key here: long legs are the point. If you have the legs for it, go bare-legged. Otherwise, try super-sheer pantyhose. And of course, a perfect pedicure is required.

Dress on trend or slightly ahead

Can't bear to part with your hippie chic duds? Well, the "Sex and the City" gals wouldn't be caught dead in something so blatantly last year. Subscribe to every fashion magazine and read the Fashion website religiously.

Be prepared to drop a bundle

Price out a typical designer outfit and it can easily run in the thousands. That's probably why the producers made Carrie's apartment such a dump (all that rent money being blown on $500-a-pop Manolos).

"Sex and the City" favorite designer labels

  • Manolo Blahnik
  • Richard Tyler
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Fendi
  • Dior
  • Blumarine
  • Chanel
  • Chloe
  • Prada
  • Roberto Cavalli

Get the look online:

Get the look for less

Wear larger than a size 12?

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