6 Summer Trends That Carrie Bradshaw Made Famous, and 6 That She'd Break Up With Immediately


There are a lot of things that aren’t my forte: DIY, time management, maths, and map reading, but if there is one thing that is my specialist subject, it’s the wardrobe of Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw. Not only can I name episodes and recite quotes, I can pinpoint moments in the characters life from stills of her outfits. Some may find this a wasted talent, but for a fashion devotee who grew up in the 2000s, Carrie’s style was the cultural reset that changed the way I still dress today. Corsages, Blahniks, and logomania—Carrie did it first, and we are but humble followers. So, given the impact that costume designer Patricia Field had on not only my wardrobe but a whole generation of shoppers, it seems only fitting to give Sex and The City its due respect and take a deep dive into one of the most recognisable closets in TV history to examine just how Carrie would shop today (tutus and pigeon clutches aside).

(Image credit: © HBO/ Courtesy: Everett)

There are many stand-out outfits that I can recall and would still wear in 2024—the New Years Eve fur coat and sequin beret, the beach-ready cowboy hat and bandeau top, and the “caught in the rain” red coat and rainbow skirt, but there’s something about summer that really brings Carrie’s style to life. Strappy dresses, pretty sandals, micro shorts, and wearing men’s shirts as dresses, warm-weather is when Carrie relies on the classics (albeit it with a twist), and serves the most inspiration for us to recreate at home.

So, should you be looking for some new season inspo that comes Carrie Bradshaw approved, I’ve rounded up 6 summer buys that still stand today, and the 6 that Carrie would happily break up with. Expect a cool colour palette, chic accessories, and stylish dresses that will last longer than her Petrovsky era.

1. CARRIE OFF: Coquette Camisoles

CARRIE ON: Tank Tops

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(Image credit: Craig Blankenhorn / ©HBO/courtesy Everett Collection)

Style Notes: Take a cursory scroll through TikTok and you’ll find Gen-Z drawn to cute, embroidered, and ultra-feminine camisoles paired with printed midi skirts and gingham trousers for summer, but customising queen Carrie knows that the simple tank top is the perfect foundation for dressing to the nines. Whether she’s pinning a corsage to the shoulder for a dinner date or wearing it with a crossbody bag and jeans to run errands, Carrie’s wardrobe is proof that versatile vests are the summer staple that keeps on giving.

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2. CARRIE OFF: Straw hats and Sundresses

CARRIE ON: Bandeaus and Bandanas

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(Image credit: Getty Images/Bill Davila/FilmMagic)

Style Notes: It’s fair to say that Carrie has worn a lot of hats and hair accessories in her time (that pinstripe flat cap lives in my mind rent free), but you’re unlikely to see her in a floppy straw hat and a simple dress. It makes sense that she would have a wardrobe full of designer scarves, and one way to repurpose them is tied as bandana with a strapless bandeau top or dress to keep the scarf the star of the show. Early noughties styling, eat your heart out.

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3. CARRIE OFF: Tailored Shorts

CARRIE ON: Jorts

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(Image credit:  Bill Davila/WireImage/Getty Images)

Style Notes: There’s a lot to love about this outfit (including the return of the bandana), but the other is Carrie’s off-kilter choice of a pair of long denim shorts. Sure, the long short is currently all over our feeds, but in the early 2000s blue Daisy Duke cut-offs were enjoying a renaissance and a pair of long grey shorts went against the grain. Not only was SJP ahead of the curve in this polished, weekend ‘fit by sporting jorts, but is that also a mesh shoe I spy?

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4. CARRIE OFF: Puff Sleeve Dresses

CARRIE ON: Spaghetti Strap Dresses

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(Image credit: © HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Style Notes: Think of SATC’s most iconic moments and it’s likely a form-fitting dress was present. The brunch mini, the white slip, the newspaper dress,—the only other style we can count on Carrie to rock is a strappy midi, especially with a statement heel. Copenhagen street style might be steering us towards diaphanous, cloud-like dresses with marshmallow sleeves, but those looking for a throwback trend that will look good in twenty years should invest in a spagehetti strapped summer dress in watercolour florals or colour-blocked jersey.

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5. CARRIE OFF: Chunky Sandals

CARRIE ON: Mules

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(Image credit: © HBO/ Courtesy: Everett)

Style Notes: Although the last few years have belonged to Birkenstocks, fisherman sandals and platform flip flops, it’s about time we were treated to an elegant shoe trend that works for evening too. Enter the heeled mule—Carries shoe of choice and resurfacing shoe trend for 2024. Wear with everything from maxi skirts to mini dresses, and bonus points if you manage to squeeze in a Fendi baguette into your look too.