It was nearly 20 years ago that we were welcomed into the bubbly, sparkly, sexy world of Sex and the City. Before that, we were basically living in the dark ages—a time without casual tutu-wear, copious Cosmopolitan orders, or infamous Post-it-fueled breakups.
The series is a pop culture staple, and a model for many 20- and 30-something’s lives in New York City. In fact, we’re all so familiar with the show and its imprint on urban living, that it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between SATC events and real life. All the more challenging, the series’ lead and InStyle’s January cover girl, Sarah Jessica Parker, has a lot in common with her iconic character, Carrie Bradshaw—and by that, we mean they share an exquisite taste in shoes.
Despite the parallels between the series and our day-to-day, Sex and the City is, in fact, a beautiful work of TV fiction.
To draw the line between reality and the realm of SATC, we’ve gathered seven little known behind-the-scenes facts about the show (Chris Noth isn’t actually Mr. Big, but did you know the character was modeled after a real person?).
VIDEO: Sarah Jessica Parker's Beauty Transformation
Read on to discover some of the most fascinating SATC secrets, and for more from Sarah Jessica Parker, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download Friday, Dec. 9.
1. THE $5 TUTU
Unlike the many pairs of Loubuitons Carrie wears throughout the series, her very first SATC look, the iconic tutu from the series' opening credit sequence, was a total bargain. The show's costume designer, Patricia Field, bought the skirt for $5 from a literal bargain bin. The rest was history...
2. THE CUPCAKE BOUNCER
After a brief appearance on SATC, Magnolia became the cupcake hotspot in N.Y.C. The shop actually had to hire a bouncer to stand outside the door due to their huge increase in popularity.
3. THE NUDITY CLAUSE
Though she led a show all about sex, Sarah Jessica Parker refused to appear nude onscreen, made possible by the "no-nudity clause" in her contract.
4. The SATC Movie Generated Buzz for a Non-Existent Book
In the first SATC film, Carrie references a book called Love Letters of Great Men ($10; amazon.com)—which, you know, was supposedly a collection of love letters from, well, great men. After the film premiered, fans were desperate to get their hands on the book, but it didn't exist! The anthology was then created to meet the demand set by the film.
5. MR. BIG IS A REAL PERSON
6. THE COSMOS WEREN'T REAL
"The Cosmopolitans were made of water and food colouring or watered down cranberry juice," Sarah Jessica Parker told Cosmopolitan (ha!). Though the cocktails were fake, SJP shared that the beautiful brunch food was in fact very, very real—they actually ate it!
7. CARRIE DOESN'T ACTUALLY LIVE UPTOWN
In the show, Carrie lives on the Upper East Side—but her famous front stoop begs to differ. The building’s exterior is actually in the West Village, on Perry street. Fair warning: the owners probably won’t be amused by your stoop-side photos—there’s typically a “No Trespassing” sign blocking the entry.