Over the course of Sex and the City's six seasons, we watched its main characters go through it all, from Samantha’s chemical peel gone wrong to Carrie’s big splash. Somehow, though, the four friends always managed to look fabulous—even during New York City’s sweltering summer months.
Anyone who has ever spent time in Manhattan during this time understands the unrelenting heat that beats down onto the city streets, trapping its inhabitants in a cruel sticky, sweaty bubble. Frankly, it's unglamorous. And dressing for it IRL can be unglamorous. But when you're Carrie, you take it as a sartorial challenge with hot pants or a breezy white pinafore. Or if you're Charlotte, a simple strapless top and preppy A-line skirt.
Since we're fresh off a recent SATC binge and currently bracing ourselves for the imminent heat wave, we returned to the glorious fashion-packed scenes to learn from the best. From crisp white layers to outfit-making cover-ups, study up on these Carrie-approved lessons in summer style.
1. Reach For an Easy Sleeveless Sheath
Find your go-to dress. For Carrie in season one, that's a simple (yet classic) sleeveless sheath in a neutral color palette. Throw on a scripted nameplate necklace, and voilà, you have a hot look you won't end up sweating in.
2. Accessorize with Ice Cream
Flirt with summery blooms, flutter sleeves, and pretty pastels during a heat wave. But the best accessory? Ice cream. In season two, Carrie and Samantha cooled down with a treat and equally sweet tops to match.
3. Build Your Outfit Around a Statement Piece
Make a one-of-a-kind skirt the highlight of your outfit by styling it with simple pairings, like how Carrie did with her strappy tank and bold floral skirt in season two.
4. Let a Chic Cover-Up Transform Your Pool Look
Consider this proof that you can still look hot while you're all covered up. In season three, the group made an entrance in their bold cover-ups.
5. Play It Cool (Especially for Water Fights)
You never know when your current squeeze will initiate an impromptu water fight, but it’s best to be prepared in a laid-back tomboy look. In season three, Carrie rocked perfectly frayed DIY shorts and a sporty V-neck cropped tee.
6. Bare Your Shoulders
Charlotte showed a little more skin in season three, proving that you can stand out even in a country club crowd. Pair a polished strapless top with a preppy A-line mini for an understated look that's still sexy.
7. Strike Bold for Rooftop Parties
The girls were the lives of the party at a rooftop barbeque in season three. Clearly, halters, crop tops, hot pants, and loud patterns—plus margaritas—make for a fun time.
8. Pile On White Layers
Carrie found the perfect summer date uniform during a flirting sesh with Berger in season five—crisp white pinafore over a white tank (aka darling layers that don't absorb the sun’s rays).
9. Own the Pool in a Statement One-Piece
In season six, Samantha snuck into an exclusive rooftop pool party, proving that as long as you dress the part, you can fool (almost) anybody. Don’t shy away from trying a new style, like Samantha's sexy lace-up one-piece (that's so on-trend right now).