I feel bad that those two movies have ruined Sex And The City for a lot of people, and confirmed to the naysayers that yes, this was a vapid, superficial show, completely out of touch with real life. I mean, it pretty much was those things - I can't deny it had a lot of flaws - but there was also a time when it was funny and smart, and discussed/portrayed things that we'd not seen on the small screen before. Samantha, I'm looking at you here.
And, jeez, it was a great-looking show.
Today I'm only going to focus on the second season, as I think that was when the show - and Carrie - were at their best. It was before Aidan, before the cheating on Aidan, and before hair straighteners and tongs. (OK, she discovers them halfway through this season, but still). This was curly Carrie with the blues, Carrie who has just been dumped by Big - sorry, JOHN - and was miserable in her beloved wintery New York.
Guys, look how sad she was.
(She thought she'd seen Big, but it was just another Wall Street guy with brown hair in a suit. PHEW).
So here are the best of Carrie's outfits/hairstyles and makeup choices for the entire second season that aired in 1999. I took TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY screengrabs for this post, so pack a lunch guys. It's gonna be a long one.
Fur. When the season starts it's winter so Carrie and her pals are wearing lots of it. Here is Charlotte in her matching pink coat and jumper telling her lovelorn best friend she has to put on some strappy sandals and get out into the world.
ALRIGHT FINE, CHARLOTTE. STOP NAGGING ME. GO FIND THAT GUY FROM TWIN PEAKS ALREADY.
Did they call each other first to discuss whether or not they were all gonna wear their furs?
The best place to cheer up a friend who has just been dumped is a baseball game.
There are so many shots in the show of Carrie looking wistfully into the distance as we hear the voice over of what she's thinking. I wonder if the director had a shorthand with Sarah Jessica Parker for these moments. How did she stay in character? Did she recite her lines over and over in her head, or was she thinking about what she was gonna eat for dinner? Or if when she stood up her bare legs would be stuck to the plastic seat and it would hurt?
Here are her best wistful looks from this season.
"Oh god, these aren't my sunglasses".
"I'm out of tampons again"
"Why do my fingers STILL taste of garlic?"
"Urrgh my bum itches but if I move it'll ruin the shot"
"No one knows this wine is actually Ribena except me, hee hee"
"I wonder if anyone will believe it's possible to get curly hair this straight using only a tiny travel hairdryer"
Anyway, back to the furs.
I love how Carrie teams her furs (hurs) with bare legs, strappy sandals and summery dresses, like this blue one she wears on her first rebound date.
I'm also a big fan of this fur-trimmed jacket she wears with loads of beads, a plait in her hair, and a downcast expression.
As you can see, she likes having one shoulder bare. Classic Carrie chilled-out styling.
Her casual writing-at-home clothes are awesome. I care a lot about this aspect of her wardrobe as I work from home and spend most of my time in clothing whose main benefit is that I won't need to change out of it when I go back to bed for my essential afternoon nap. Carrie makes way more effort than I do. She often wears printed kimonos or dressing gowns, silky slips and shorts, and cotton T-shirts and jumpers adorned with weird slogans like...
So I present to you now, Carrie "At Home".
Yes, yes, yes. Pure Rainbow Brite.
CARRIE IS A ROLLING STONES FAN. This is pretty much the only reference to music in the entire show. And it's just a logo on a T-shirt. I find that a bit nuts. Oh no wait, Big makes two references to songs - 'Moon River' and 'New York State Of Mind', Charlotte dances to Carol Douglas, and there's also that time Carrie's Russian artist boyfriend says Billy Joel is rubbish and Steve and Harry get really upset.
So, Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Carol Douglas and Andy Williams. Cool. I wonder what Carrie does with all that extra space on her iPod.
Love those lacy shorts.
OK, guys get prepared, this outfit below is amazing. A Sesame Street Cookie Monster vest, matching tracksuit trousers and slides.
Cigarettes and satin. That should have been the name of her book.
Is that another band T-shirt? What does it say? Jon Schzigehr? Who is Jon Schzigehr? Or is it Jon Scheyer, the ex-basketball player who led his high school team to an Illinois state basketball championship amongst other sporting achievements? Wow, Carrie likes basketball. She must also be able to see into the future as Jon was only 12 when this episode was made.
I love what she's doing with her hair here, clipping back the fringe. I've tried that with mine but Jeremy said it looked strange. He's always crushing my hair dreams.
Also love this kimono she's wearing when she pushes her post off the bed with her foot because she doesn't want to touch it with her hands. It's a long story.
This dressing gown has sequins!
Another great hair thing she does is this one below. Pretty sure Daenerys Targaryen was inspired by these twisty braids.
And her hair here is PERFECT.
As you can see Carrie is a fan of shawls and ponchos. I want this poncho below so bad, crazy bad, I'm desperate for it, but I'm not really sure why, I feel like I would find ponchos very inconvienent to wear. Maybe it's just that I like the word poncho.
I know, I know. Miranda in that hat, hoodie and poloneck. I don't feel ready to talk about it yet.
Carrie dresses in themes rather than outfits. So the ponchos and capes tie into her boho/peasant theme. As does this milkmaid look.
This beautiful embroidered top and plaits.
And this cape and pigtails.
Then there is her vintage dresses and big messy hair theme. I call it Mummy's Dress Up Box.
"Carrie and Samantha are walking past a park eating pretzels".
"Carrie and Samantha are walking past the park eating ice cream". GO IN THE PARK, GUYS! LIVE A LITTLE.
Below is the vintage dress and big hair Carrie is wearing when she goes over to Big's with McDonalds so she can tell him she's fine with him going to Paris for a bit. Beret...French fries....get it?
Then she throws the Filet-O-Fish at Big's tiny TV and they both grip the kitchen island for strength. Big is secretly relieved because Filet-O-Fish are gross.
Below is her pretty dreamy, floral, "I met a cute guy at the psychiatrists" look.
I love everything about this outfit - the hair, the blue dress, the clutch, the book. Everything.
Her next theme is, "I know what you THINK I should wear with this, but I'm going to do the opposite". It's basically when she has a pretty normal outfit but then messes with it in some way. I call it the Defying Expectiations Theme or DET for short. It is these outfit quirks that I think really make Carrie who she is.
That many tones of mustard and pea green together? With a pink scarf? Fair enough.
Perspex mules with a gold heel?
Shiny pink high waisted trousers?
And a peasant top and big fur coat? Sure, why not.
A denim bucket hat?
Using Heather Chandler as style inspiration?
Mesh top with just a bra underneath and the holes in the mesh are pretty big?
Sweet. Also, hi Stanford.
Tie dye, and a printed floral skirt in a slightly different shade of blue, and a printed bag?
Hell yeah. Mmm, bagels.
This cowboy hat/bralet/armband combo she wears to a beach party in the Hamptons?
OK, cowboy hats I find very difficult to embrace, partly because they're a tricky shape to hug, zing. But actually this one proves very handy when Carrie is sick on the beach after seeing Big with his new 25 year old girlfriend. IF YOU HAVEN'T VOMMED INTO A COWBOY HAT, YOU HAVEN'T LIVED (another possible book title?)
And finally, yellow shorts, a blue halterneck and black patent pumps.
She is so in the zone.
Oh and yes, that is Jon Bon Jovi in the screengrab with her. This season has a lot of amazing guest stars including....
Brian Van Holt AKA Bobby Cobb in Cougar Town
Dean Winters AKA Dennis Duffy, Liz Lemon's hopeless boyfriend in 30 Rock
And Justin Theroux.
ANYWAY another of Carrie's themes is her straight hair, crop top and full skirt one. I call it Sleek Carrie And It's Not Working With Big theme.
It kind of speaks for itself.
And FINALLY the last theme, which Carrie does so well - it's when she looks her most stunning - is when she keeps it simple with a well-cut dress, natural hair, and simple makeup that makes her skin glow. This lady loves her matte lipsticks.
This nude dress is amazing. I would never have the confidence to wear it, but it looks so darn good on her.
Love her steel grey eyeshadow and peachy lips.
This pink dress below is the one she wears when she tries to be friends with Big and he tells her he's getting married to Natasha after only five months and she storms out and gets tangled up in a chair and then trips on some steps as she leaves. It's the perfect "Gonna see my recent ex and want to look amazing" outfit combined with two of the worst things that can happen when you go and see your recent ex while wearing your amazing outfit.
And this is what she wears after her, Miranda and Charlotte sing the Barbara Streisand song from the film The Way We Were to Samantha in a cocktail bar, and then Carrie walks home past the hotel where Big and Natasha are celebrating their engagement. Carrie acts out a moment from the film with him (without his knowledge), then turns and looks at a horse that's being all wild and free, and realises that like the horse, she cannot be tamed.
OK, we're done!
Man, I need a lie down. And a poncho.