The Unlikely Menswear Legacy of ‘Sex and the City’

Aidan, meanwhile, rarely wore suits, and instead was seen in a shocking array of early-aughts hippie clothes: denim button-ups, suede jackets, leather pants (!!!), boots, and, on occasion, sleeveless flannels. John Corbett, who played Aidan, has said one of the perks was he got to take the clothes home, including a pair of not-quite-characteristic Prada loafers (that he apparently still wears).

Those boundaries have effectively vanished. In the years since the show aired, the rise of streetwear, athleisure, and Silicon Valley’s power hoodie have flipped paradigms and erased long standing hierarchies. And now most guys dress like an amalgam of Aidan and Big—or dress like Big one day and Aidan the next. That mix of streetwear and more formal elements is a formula that you see done everywhere, from Aime Leon Dore to The Row to Stussy to Dries Van Noten—even Supreme, with their recent forays into tailoring. The rigid archetypes of yore just don’t exist in the same way, but SATC captured the moment when those roles still mattered, and were conveyed with clothes.

When you and your boy are on different waves but still building.

Courtesy of HBO

But the show’s most interesting menswear legacy doesn’t come from its male characters. Instead, it comes from Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda Hobbes, a driven lawyer whose sartorial influence is unusually long-lasting. In early seasons, Miranda was a suit-and-tie minimalist — which, Agnes explained, was a nod to her status as a woman making her way in a male-dominated corporate environment. But the character’s pragmatic choice was nonetheless deeply covetable: even those buttoned-up looks gave plenty of early-aughts minimalist tailoring inspo in the vein of Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Dior Homme. And outside the office, she delivered fits that wouldn’t look out of place outside of the Aime Leon Dore store today. Take an outfit that has become more famous as time goes on: baggy overalls with a puffer jacket!

Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda Hobbs in perhaps the greatest menswear look from the show’s run.

Courtesy of HBO

And in some killer circa-Hedi tailoring.

Courtesy of HBO

Meanwhile, her baggy pants, raincoat and fisherman’s hat combo seems pulled from a Japanese gorpcore brand’s new lookbook. But while they may look eccentric, these outfits definitely feel like a snapshot of a certain time in New York: one when law offices required suits and ties, and when life off the clock required outfits more attuned to the weather forecast than Instagram selfies. Carrie may be the show’s fashion plate, but there’s a reason people dress up like Miranda for Halloween.


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