Los Angeles–based friends Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni first discovered Sex and the City as teenagers and were immediately obsessed with its provocative plotlines that confronted issues like “funky spunk,” as well as its groundbreaking fashion. “Even though Sex and the City wasn’t expressly about the fashion industry, the show allowed us to see current season designer clothes outside of our well-worn issues of Vogue,” says Garroni. “I remember seeing Carrie wear Nicolas Ghesquière–era Balenciaga, and being so excited to see those clothes on a living, breathing human being,” adds Fairless.
Over cocktails one night, they decided to launch an Instagram account that could act as a database for the show’s fashion, and @EveryOutfitonSATC was born. Nearly 600,000 followers later, they’ve created a bona fide phenomenon thanks to their acutely witty, culturally aware breakdowns of, well, every outfit on the show. But it’s more than that. They aren’t afraid to touch on politics, heavily supporting Cynthia Nixon’s run for office and introducing series like #WokeCharlotte, which calls out the show’s problematic moments in a playful but enlightening way.
In the spirit of Fashion Month, we partnered with the duo to curate outfits for Miranda, Charlotte, Samantha, and Carrie. Scroll on for their on-point styling (and look out for their clever captions on Instagram), plus an interview with Fairless and Garroni about their creative process and how they continue to reinvent the iconic show, which first aired more than 20 years ago.
NEW YORK: MIRANDA
“Corporate Lawyer, Unmarried Woman”
“Keep Calm and Charlotte On”
“Hello, My Name is Fabulous”
“Bright Lights, Date City”
The Window: What was the intention when you launched @EveryOutfitOnSATC? Did you set out to create a cult phenomenon?
Chelsea Fairless: The intention when we started the account was indeed to document every outfit on Sex and the City. I worked as a photo researcher after I graduated from college, and I had a lot of fashion clients who would ask me for specific images from the show. But all of the best outfits were never on the internet—only Carrie’s greatest hits. Then a few years ago, while I was eating dinner with Lauren, I expressed my desire for a Sex and the City fashion database. We started the account that night on a whim. It was a decision fueled more by cocktails than a desire to create a cult phenomenon.
What has surprised you most about the cult following and their engagement? When did you realize the impact that you had?
Lauren Garroni: Yes, while the account started as a joke, it quickly caught on. Sex and the City is a hugely popular show, but our captions resonated with people as well. The voice of the account reflects how Chelsea and I naturally speak to each other about fashion and pop culture. Our first inkling of an impact outside the account was when we launched the “We Should All Be Mirandas” T-shirt in the Fall of 2017. That slogan really caught on, and it was thrilling to see so many people tag us wearing the shirts. But it truly hit us last year when Cynthia Nixon’s campaign reached out to us. We designed merch, hosted a fundraising event, and wrote and directed a campaign commercial for her. It was a wonderfully meta experience.
What can you tell us about your creative process when it comes to making a post?
CF: We work off of a shared Google doc mostly. We both throw images in and do a pass on each other’s captions. We try to make the posts as relevant as possible. If there is a current event that we can reference, we go for it. Hence our recent Bird Box–themed post of Charlotte wandering through Barneys in a Burberry eye mask. If there’s anything that we’ve learned from running this account, it’s that almost anything can be related to Sex and the City if you really think about it. They covered a lot of ground.
Why did you feel it was important to incorporate larger political issues into your fashion coverage of the show?
LG: It wasn’t our intention initially, but then the 2016 presidential election happened. The account became a place for us to vent, and we quickly realized that our audience found it cathartic as well. Many of our followers are very politically engaged as well, which has allowed us to raise thousands of dollars for various nonprofit organizations over the last few years.
CF: We also wanted to find a way to address Sex and the City’s more problematic aspects, which is where our hashtag #WokeCharlotte was born. Even when we discuss social justice issues, we still want to entertain people. Saying “That’s classist” or “That’s homophobic” just isn’t funny. So we made a meme of Charlotte saying those things instead. She’s so passionate about her beliefs that it’s not hard to imagine her being a social justice warrior.
Let’s talk style. What kind of legacy did Patricia Field and SATC leave on fashion?
CF: Mixing high-end clothes with inexpensive clothes and vintage is a concept that Patricia Field brought to the masses. You never saw that on television before, and it has completely changed the way that women dress. It’s pretty staggering.
LG: Oh, and she made nameplate necklaces and giant rosettes a thing.
CF: She also made waist belts a thing, around 2007 when we started seeing paparazzi images from the filming of the first Sex and the City movie. Suddenly everyone was wearing waist belts, floral prints, and ankle boots—just like Carrie.
The women’s style evolves and changes so much throughout the show—do you have favorite season?
LG: Stylistically, we always say seasons three and four are the strongest seasons because it was the perfect balance between the reality the girls lived and the fantastical fashion possibilities that a TV budget allows. While we love the later seasons, Carrie is straight up in costume towards the end of the series.
CF: I agree, but I maintain that Samantha’s chemotherapy-era outfits and hairstyles were my favorite on the series.
What trends and brands would each of the ladies be wearing today?
CF: Carrie would be a ride-or-die Gucci girl for sure; she has Alessandro Michele muse written all over her. She would definitely opt into the fuzzy shoe and the belt bag trend. Charlotte and her dogs would definitely still be wearing Burberry. Samantha is such a Saint Laurent girl—if there had been a third film, I have no doubt that Samantha would have reemerged in some crotch-grazing sequin minidress. And I like to think that Miranda would be wearing The Row, or Dries van Noten. Or Balenciaga. After all, that woman loves a puffer coat.
Barneys got lots of shout-outs on the show—why do you think it was a favored retailer for the ladies?
LG: In the pantheon of department stores, Barneys is the coolest. So it makes sense that the characters would shop there. I mean, they definitely wouldn’t be at Bendel’s. Like the show’s style ethos, Barneys has always had a more eclectic edit and a focus on edgy new designers. We just can’t understand why we never saw them having cocktails at Freds, though.
Has the account changed how you view the show and what you’re looking for?
CF: We don’t watch the show as often as people would think. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve seen every episode a million times over the course of the past 20 years. But at this point, I tend to tune in when I see a marathon on E!. Since we started the account, it’s impossible to not focus on the clothes. And when you really look, the details are extraordinary. In the scene where Charlotte looks at her vagina for the first time, Pat Field styled her in a Georgia O’Keeffe–esque floral robe. These are the moments that we live for.
What are some of the most amazing things to come from the account?
LG: In the last two years, we’ve met so many incredible people through the account, from the show’s stars to our favorite Carrie Bradshaw drag queen, Dan Clay. And we’ve gotten more SATC bus tour offers than we know what to do with. Chelsea and I often joke that, unbeknownst to us, our Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours are in Sex and the City.
CF: I, for one, have started drinking cosmos again. That has been big for me. Certainly doing the live events last summer was wild. When Kristin Davis showed up to our 20th-anniversary screening in the lipstick print Prada skirt I nearly died. It has also been validating to hear Michael Patrick King and Jenny Bicks are fans and didn’t hate us for (lovingly) mocking their life’s work.