SPOILER ALERT – This story contains major plot spoilers for the first two episodes of And Just Like That…
OPINION: Fashion has always been a main character in Sex and the City. And while much has been made of the show’s iconic foursome becoming a trio for the just released reboot And Just Like That…, the fabulous, slightly ridiculous fashion has fortunately stuck around.
Back in the day, I was obsessed with the series and the way that it used clothing to create characters and further a storyline. Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe was unrealistic (for a freelance writer) and completely bonkers, but she delighted in the thrill of clothes and self-expression.
Costume designer Patricia Field was the genius behind these original looks, a downtown icon who had a knack for mixing high-low before it was common. Carrie would often wear high-fashion styled in with vintage (something that sadly seems to have fallen away in this new series which relies heavily on brands), and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that it, and Field’s influence, changed fashion. Just ask the founders of the Instagram account @everyoutfitonsatc.
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Rather than return for this new series, Field chose to work on the second season of Emily in Paris (also a show that uses fashion as a key character, sometimes to comic levels; I wrote about the fashion of Emily in Paris season one on Ensemble here). Instead, Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago – who both worked with Field on the original series and films – stepped into the fold to shape the costumes and style of And Just Like That.
I’ll save you a recap of the first two episodes (you can read one here, though I will say that I disagree wholeheartedly with how they positioned Samantha Jones’ absence, and she would never have dropped Carrie just because of money; and I feel as though the “woke” references throughout the script are trying to be clever, but come across as unbearably cringe). Instead, let’s focus on the fashion! My most notable style moments…
The first looks
Episode one, scene one: these are important ensembles that set the tone for the series.
The trio meet for brunch in looks that explicitly sum up their characters, and visually hint at the changes: Charlotte York-Goldenblatt is still a Park Avenue princess in her prim button up and midi skirt combo, while Miranda Hobbes has transitioned from the corporate power dressing of the past to a more relaxed Bohemian style in a bold, printed Dries van Noten dress and matching earrings by LA brand I. Ronni Kappos.
Carrie’s in a peak Carrie outfit that has layers, texture, colour, accessories galore – a Dries van Noten jacket, a quirky vintage headpiece, two bags and a linen jumpsuit with oversized leg flaps. It’s a lot, and you’d expect nothing less from her.
The person in the huge hat at brunch
“Wow. I’ve gotta get him.” Carrie’s started an Instagram where she films “strangers with interesting style” (without permission which I find that a little creepy), and at brunch she spots a perfect subject wearing a slogan tee under a sheer top, a skirt with a sequinned jumper tied around the waist, argyle socks and a huge hat (like, huge: it obscures their face).
I feel like the costume designers are trying to say something here about gender fluid dressing, so to quote one of the students in Miranda’s class later in the episode: “Someone’s quick with the pronouns…”
Also, actually setting up this account on Instagram or TikTok is a perfect marketing opportunity lost.
Miranda’s grey hair
“I just think the grey ages you,” Charlotte dares to say to Miranda at brunch. She’s wrong, and a mean friend. I know they’ve made Miranda grey rather than a “spicy red” as a way to poke fun at change and ageism and women’s place within society once they are no longer considered youthful. But as Carrie says later on after Miranda asks for her opinion, her grey hair is “fabulous”.
Carrie’s sparkly gloves…
“Mostly for elevator buttons and handrails. A little something I started during the pandemic and it seems to be hanging in there.”
Silly, but I loved these. These small, unexpected styling touches are what made Carrie such a fashion plate, and I’m glad to see it still here. They’re also a fun, visual way to reference the pandemic without putting the cast in face masks (I imagine Carrie would have had quite the wardrobe of designer masks).
…and her corsage
A fun throwback to one of Carrie’s extremely influential fashion phases in season three of SATC, where she wore oversized floral corsages with pretty much everything. This trickled down to the masses, with versions available in stores like Glassons – I had one, and adored it. This one pictured above is by Chanel, and perfect.
The billowy silk nightdress
Carrie used to skip around her old apartment in men’s undies and tank tops, but she’s a grown up now who opts for fancy silk max button-up night gowns with oversized balloon sleeves.
Lisa Todd Wexley’s accessories
I’m not quite sure what is going on with LTW’s styling, which so far reads as Carrie Bradshaw levels of bonkers but without the dishevelled charm.
The documentarian clearly loves a gigantic accessory, from the beaded necklaces at the piano recital to the adornments on her dress in episode two, and the orange chain necklace by Monies in her introductory scene. And of course the bracelet by a “20-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi I came across on Instagram”.
Costume designers love to dress “creatives” in funky jewellery, a way to project their eye for detail, I guess. Aside from the accessory overload, LTW is chic, opting for fashion insider brands like Pleats Please by Issey Miyake and The Row.
Lily’s Chanel backpack and boots
I’m assuming this is her school bag as she’s sitting on the couch in her uniform, with her Chanel boots on the table. This is one stylish, privileged genius child.
The York Goldenblatt’s matching Oscar de la Renta florals
Charlotte holding the logo-emblazoned Oscar de la Renta garment bag in the opening shot and scene felt quite jarring (blatant product placement?), but again this is a purposeful choice.
Oscar de la Renta is very uptown New York, the perfect party dresses for Charlotte’s adorable Park Avenue Princesses. Charlotte’s floral dress is actually by Lela Rose.
Carrie’s blue Manolo Blahnik ‘Hangisi’ satin pumps
These heels have taken on icon status within certain SATC circles, with their star role in the first film where Big uses them to propose in Carrie’s purpose built closet after ruining her life for the 34th time.
Here, they are majorly symbolic: Carrie wears them again when she heads out to Lily’s piano recital (with a fabulous oversized jacket and teal culottes), leaving Big alone at home where he has his fatal heart attack. By the end of the episode, as Carrie holds Big underneath the shower as he dies, they’re destroyed. Symbolism!
Carrie hugging and sinking into and smelling Big’s blazers in their gigantic shared wardrobe is a heartbreaking moment, and a reminder of the power that clothes can have when it comes to memory and nostalgia.
Carrie in pink
Following Big’s sudden death, Carrie heads to a funeral home in a simple pastel pink coat and a white pleated dress. Only she would look this polished in mourning.
The only sign that she’s not all there? The black tote bag that she’s paired with the look.
The funeral ensemble
The stereotype of Carrie’s wardrobe is that it’s over the top, high-fashion, but she absolutely knows how to nail a classic, minimalist New York look (think of when she tells Big “your girl is lovely Hubble” in the finale of season two). She’d often talk about Big and their relationship as “classic” and timeless, and her outfit for his funeral aligns with that narrative to perfection.
Stanford’s comment about pulling together a look was also a hint of the smart, black humour of the original series: “I’m so proud of her. With all she’s going through, pulling it together and giving us a look today, because people will be expecting it.”
Cathy Ang’s Judith Leiber purse at the premiere
A bonus round inclusion. Another deep dive fashion reference that SATC hardcores will appreciate. Judith Leiber is a brand known for its ostentatious crystal-encrusted bags, in the form of quirky and unexpected shapes (a poodle, a burger, a wad of cash, rose, a pig, and many more) – with two key moments in the SATC and Carrie/Big canon.
In the first film, Charlotte’s young daughter Lily puts Carrie’s phone into her cupcake shaped Judith Leiber purse – leading Carrie to miss Big’s freaked out call before he stands her up at the altar.
In season two of the original series, Big gifts Carrie a swan shaped bag from the designer, which she hates and interprets as a sign that he actually has no idea who she is. Years later at the premiere for the new series, actor Cathy Ang, who plays grown up Lily, referenced that style history by carrying her own Judith Leiber bag in the shape of a panda.
And Just Like That is now available to stream on Neon and SkyGo. New episodes debut each Friday. It will begin screening weekly on SoHo from Monday, December 20.