7 of Sarah Jessica Parker's most iconic outfits
The 'Sex and the City' actress’ Y2K style is just as eclectic and era-defining as Carrie Bradshaw’s.
Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage, © HBO Courtesy Everett Collection and by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
No other actress had made an impact on small-screen sartorialism like Sarah Jessica Parker. By way of Sex and the City ingénue Carrie Bradshaw — and with the help of stylist Patricia Field — Sarah Jessica shaped the face of Y2K fashion, on television and beyond. Case in point: Carrie and her covetable closet boosted the career of Manolo Blahnik, catapulted the Fendi baguette into ‘it’ bag-dom and even made tutu’s chic. From the impossibly cool to the downright zany, Carrie’s had (almost) too many iconic looks to chronicle. And in terms of eclectic Y2K style, the only fashion plate who could go toe-to-Jimmy-Choo-toe with Carrie is the face behind the character, none other than SJP, herself. At the turn-of-the-millennium, Sarah Jessica matched Carrie’s quirky glam off-screen in red carpet corsets, going-out-ready tube tops, naked dresses and countless flower brooches. With production of the Sex and the City reboot in full swing — and a worrying lack of new iconic Carrie looks — we take a look back to the era of OG SATC with a selection of Sarah Jessica Parker’s most iconic outfits.
At the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards, 1997
Who doesn’t remember Carrie Bradshaw’s slinky DKNY number, worn during Sex and the City’s first season. It’s the very look that coined the now-ubiquitous “naked dress.” Yes, Carrie’s credited for naming the style, but did you know that Sarah Jessica Parker sported it nearly a year before the TV show hit the airwaves? While shooting SATC’s first season, SJP (presumably) borrowed Carrie’s nude DKNY dress from the wardrobe department to wear to the year’s VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards, giving us a preview of the iconic looks to come.
At the CFDA Fashion Awards, 1999
At the turn-of-the-millennium, SJP loved a corseted moment. Twenty years before the boned garment returned to the forefront of fashion, the SATC actress was wearing bodiced looks to the Golden Globes, HBO events, and, here, with tailored shorts and Manolo-esque heels to the CFDA Fashion Awards. Beyond Y2K, SJP’s remained a proponent of the corset into the mid-00s and even wore a corseted Dolce & Gabbana gown to the 2018 Golden Globes.
At a party in New York City, 1999
SJP channelled Carrie off-duty, too. Or was it Carrie channeling Sarah Jessica Parker, on-screen? Anyway, see: this photo taken at The Palm in NYC, tube top on and cosmopolitan in hand. Both SJP and her on-screen counterpart had a penchant for the early 2000's strapless jersey top. Here, the actress wears a gray iteration, presumably the same one Carrie wore on-screen that season.
As Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, 2000
Of course, we can’t speak to SJP’s iconic looks without a nod to at least one of Carrie’s. Without question, the SATC protagonist was the most sartorially influential figure to grace the small screen, ever. Across the show’s original six season run, the TV fashion plate wore (almost) too many iconic outfits to choose from. There’s her meet-cute wrap dress, her impossibly chic morning after look, this proto-Réalisation Par moment and her endlessly aspirational LBD look — just to name a few. Snagging the number one spot in Carrie’s wardrobe, however, is the Dior newsprint dress, worn to confront Natasha in season three. Any lesser look may have been overshadowed by the climactic encounter it was outfitting. But not only did the dress steal the scene back then, it continues to draw the eyes of both admirers and imitators well into 2021. Like Manolo Blahnik heels, the newsprint dress has become synonymous with Carrie, herself. In fact, the look was so iconic — and so quintessentially Carrie — that stylist Patricia Field decided to revisit it for the SATC movie sequel a decade later.
At the SAG Awards, 2000
Sarah Jessica — and Carrie Bradshaw, for that matter — never met a floral embellishment she didn’t like. Both SJP and her SATC character were instrumental in the proliferation of Y2K’s floral brooch obsession. Here, to the 2000 SAG Awards, she wears her preferred botanical accessory with a rather haute red carpet look: a pinstriped Vivienne Westwood corset suit.
At the Emmy Awards, 2000
Alongside the Dior newsprint dress, Carrie’s opening-credits tutu has become emblematic of the SATC protagonist’s quirky style. It even comes with its own lore: before the tulle skirt became one of the show’s most iconic pieces, it was fished out of a bargain bin by stylist Patricia Field — for only $5. Two years after the show’s premiere, SJP revisited the look, in spirit, on the Emmys red carpet. Fitted with a satin bodice, a luxe feathered skirt, and, of course, a tulle corsage, the pink Oscar de La Renta gown read as an haute homage to Carrie’s first-ever on-screen look.
With the Sex and the City cast at the SAG Awards, 2001
SJP and Carrie loved their Manolos and flower pins, but they also had a penchant for the crop top, whether a teensy bandeau or a navel-grazing cami. Here, to the 2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Sarah Jessica Parker wears a luxe iteration of the former in a sequinned set from Prada’s SS01 collection. Meanwhile, on-screen, Carrie wore a different crop top set from the same Prada collection. Naturally.