And Just Like That: Why Carrie’s Season Two Wardrobe Was A Triumph

With season two the show - and the fashion - finally found its groove

and just like that

by Laura Antonia Jordan |
Updated on

Remember 'quiet luxury'? AndJust Like Thatdoesn’t. Just when TV seemed to become all about taupe and knitwear and logo-less good taste, along comes Carrie Bradshaw making the case for glitter boots with track pants, bags shaped like vermin and Valentino-Moncler gown-coats as big as most of Manhattan’s studio apartments.

And thank your cosmo for that, because nobody ever came to the SATC universe for sartorial (or financial) realism. The world where freelance writers get paid four-bucks-a-word has evolved into the world where woman drops millions for a Gramercy Park apartment because she’s just revived a decades-old toxic romance.

But I digress. AJLT’s costume department has made sitting through the Che Diaz sets and ‘mevenings’ and Lily’s emo musician era seem remotely worth the time and effort. The sophomore season: no masterpiece but not the clown car crash of the debut, was freer in look and feel. Those first act nerves – the introduction of a (mostly) new support cast, the clunky attempts to be culturally relevant – had settled a bit. And now we got flashes of
OG SATC motifs (post-brunch debriefs, cigarettes, Aidan), plus reminders about what made Carrie Bradshaw’s fictional wardrobeone for the ages.

The distinction between seasons one and two can be summarised as this: one was about dressing Carrie as they thought Carrie would look, two was about following the gut. It worked because that is the essence of her brand of crazy chic. As costume designer Danny Santiago put it in an HBO featurette, ‘She doesn’t really follow trends. She sort of creates her own.’

Even when you hate what she’s wearing, it rarely looks tired. Now in her late fifties, it’s also why she looks like herself rather than an impression of her younger self.  Still, season two has given the fans call-backs to looks that we know and love. Obviously, the return of the Westwood wedding dress, but also the Bradshaw fondness for an unnecessary accessory or curious styling decision, be that detachable sheer sleeves or jaunty hats, a trouser leg tucked into a boot or a pin cushion as a bracelet.

Social media has been a double-edged sword for the show, not just because of the rampant style-spoilers but because the beauty of Carrie is that she’s always looked like she is not dressing for the algorithm. The best-dressed scenes tend to be the comparatively quiet ones, like when core crew gather in Carrie’s new apartment, looking like accomplished, polished, best-self versions of themselves. Miranda in soft yet severe suiting; Charlotte in a more playful take on her Park Avenue prim; and Carrie in another call-back – corsages. Something else of note, _AJLT_02 has granted the support cast its share of fashion fun. Look at the preternaturally fierce Seema’s head-to-toe leopard print or Lisa Todd Wexley’s epic Valentino couture Met Gala moment. God, even Aidan had his own version of a Statement Piece via that cinched Belstaff jacket.

Interestingly, one of the best looks of the entire season belonged to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it character – Jennifer, the host of LTW’s MOMA talk, in surrealist Loewe dress. This was the kind of treat to watch that made it all worthwhile, and it was also a lesson: the older you get, the more you see the beauty and style in letting other people stand out.

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