10 Ways to Channel Sarah Jessica Parker's Style
We couldn’t help, but wonder: Does every woman need to have a mega closet and a never-ending collection of Manolos to channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw?
Thankfully, no. All you need to do is check out one real-life style icon.
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“Sex & The City” may have ended in 2004, but its star, actress Sarah Jessica Parker, is far from forgotten. This year, the 49-year-old married mother of three launched her own shoe collection for Nordstrom to glowing reviews. There’s no denying SJP can seriously strut in a pair of pumps, but it’s her playful, awe-inspiring couture that always makes heads turn, on and off the red carpet.
Best of all, any woman, regardless of her age or budget, can add a little bit of SJP’s personal style to their wardrobe.
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“SJP is a major style influence now more than ever because women continue to relate to her,” says Katina Brock, a personal stylist for Share Some Style. “We’ve followed her since she was an awkward teenager, through her 20s, with many different hair and clothing choices, and we’ve watched her evolved. Her legacy is that for more than a decade, her style choices have rarely brought anything but positive feedback. Women not only appreciate her fearless sense of style, but also her personal accessibility. She connects just as easily with the posh, as much as she does with the more casual among us.”
Sure, SJP has the added Hollywood perk of occasionally getting advice from a personal stylist, such as SATC’s own Patricia Field, but the busy mom still stays true to herself by incorporating her favorite classic pieces, including blazers, floral dresses, and yes, stilettos.
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“Whether it’s walking her children to school or walking the red carpet at the Met Gala, SJP’s style always has us talking,” says model and style expert Jaimie Hilfiger. “Being mindful and respecting her age, she always pairs her casual clothing with something funky to add a playful vibe to a normal ‘mom’ outfit. But on the red carpet, SJP will always add a headpiece or some odd color choice of shoes to make her outfit more fashion forward. It’s all about thinking outside the box.”
Looking to revamp your wardrobe? Consider getting some chic suggestions from SJP herself. Several stylists weigh in on dos and don’ts for channeling this Hollywood star:
Play With Couture
If you truly love how you feel in an outfit, forget what fashion magazines say and wear it with pride for any occasion. “Sarah Jessica Parker’s looks were never the most fashionable or what’s on the runway,” explains Anne Riley, professional stylist from Share Some Style. “Rather, it’s what she finds as cool, hip, and feels great in. Not everyone will want to wear her incredible Philip Treacy hats, but finding accessories that scream eclectic or have a twist of flare can go a long way.”
Want to make a fancy dress more casual for daywear? Simple: give your couture an edgy flair with a fitted leather jacket, which will have all eyes on you for simple brunches and swanky evening soirees.
Flaunt Your Body Type
The reason why SJP always looks so flawless, whether on the red carpet or running errands around New York City? According to Brock, she always dresses for her body type, selecting pieces that accentuates her natural shape, rather than going for anything too tight (which shows off unwanted bulges) or too loose (which can add unwanted pounds). “Know your body and wear clothes that show off your curves and graze the body, but don’t overwhelm them,” advices Brock. If an outfit just doesn’t fit you to a T, consider visiting a tailor, who can create a custom fit to better flatter your shape.
Embrace Colors...Lots of Them
Seriously, give the little black dress a break. Yes, black is always a safe, chic option, it’s also too predictable. Parker is all about having fun with fashion, and anyone can do just that, no matter their budget. This season, look for jewel-hued shades, such as turquoise or fuchsia, to fire up your personal style and draw all eyes on you for any occasion. “She is teaching us that colors can serve as neutrals!” says celebrity stylist Anthony Henderson. “Clothing should make you feel good–when you feel good, you look good.” The next time you go shopping, consider trying on an outfit in a color you would never imagine rocking outdoors in a safe spot known as the fitting room. You may be surprised at how amazing you feel by taking that stylish leap.
Stock Up on Statement Pieces
“Some good advice when wanting to add a touch of SJP’s flair to your personal style is to visit a consignment shop,” says Hilfiger. “There you could find scarves, bold accessories, and shoes that you maybe wouldn’t buy at full retail. Adding these pieces to a simple striped top and ripped jeans will have you channeling your inner SJP.”
Never Forget the Shoes
Everyone is familiar with Carrie Bradshaw’s love for Manolos and SJP herself has a thing for shoes. Not everyone can splurge on designer pumps, but who says you need to? She's is all about rocking statement shoes to amp up a seemingly plain outfit. Consider trying on a pair of stilettos in a heel height you’re best comfortable with, but in a shade that’s completely different from your overall outfit. And if you really must wear the LBD, you’ll now have a new way to flaunt it.
Show Off Your Favorite Feature
Whether it’s your lean legs or whittled waist, show some love to your favorite body part with an outfit that accentuates it. Not only will you feel super confident in your couture, but it’s also a stylish way to get an instant ego boost. In the case of SJP, she’s known for her gorgeously toned arms, which explains why she’s always wearing strapless gowns at highly photographed events.
Can’t afford designer threads? No problem–Simply hit the thrift shops, where you can find unique pieces for cheap. “Vintage stores are key,” says Riley “It’s a great feeling to find that perfect vest, necklace, or blouse, so if you have a minute, pop in one.” Don’t have time to rummage around? Riley suggests replicating some of her looks at local department stores that are more within your budget, where you’ll have a quicker time finding the right size. “Also, websites, like ASOS, Ruche, and Shelnside have lower prices for incredible looks,” says Riley.
Just because a certain look is trendy doesn’t mean it was meant for you. The latest it-style changes daily, so always attempting to look trendy can quickly empty out your wallet. Instead, stock up on pieces you love and that reflect your personality, and simply have fun with different shoes, jewelry, or even head gear, like silk scarves. It’s an easier, more affordable way to explore various looks, all within your closet. “SJP does a great job of looking current with a healthy balance between trends and a strong sense of who she is,” explains Brock. “Moderation is key and diversity is the spice. She never dresses head-to-toe trendy or looks like she’s dressing too young or too old. Never one to take herself seriously in life or in fashion, SJP is a great reminder as we age to still have fun, be creative and show our individuality through how we dress. She reminds us how to enjoy fashion at every age and not be afraid to change things up, but just a bit.”
Let Your Inner Ballerina Shine
Everyone remembers when Carrie Bradshaw strutted in a tutu on the streets of New York for the intro of “Sex & the City.” While most of us wouldn’t dream of heading outdoors in a piece that could appear too costumey, there are ways to still incorporate this iconic look for everyday wear. SJP still does it herself by looking for dresses in soft, pastel shades that enhance her skin tone, and then pairing it with nude heels to elongate her shape, as well as the occasional top knot to solve any bad hair day woes. To avoid appearing washed out in lighter shades, consider satiny fabrics to enhance your natural glow or stick to bottoms, like skirts and pants, to keep the color away from your face.