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Midlife Moments, Sex and the City, and Me

 How the reboot got me thinking about Carrie and, of course, myself.

It’s 2021 and Sex and the City is once again having a moment, more than twenty years since it first debuted and even longer since the column that inspired it graced the pages of the New York Observer. Before SATC was must-see TV, Candace Bushnell’s revolutionary column was a can’t-miss glimpse into the life of single women in New York. At the time, as a single woman in New York rounding out my 20s, the column — and later the show — resonated with me.

And as we await the return of Carrie and company, I couldn’t help but wonder about something Bushnell herself famously said in that column way back when: “You have to let go of who you were to become who you will be.” And I have so many questions about what Carrie and the gang have been up to as they’ve settled into their 50s. Who have they become and, more importantly, who have I become all these years later?

To be clear, I am not a nostalgic person. It’s not that I don’t take things like music and style and memories into my inspirational existence every day. It’s more that I’m a forward thinker and permanently hardwired to wonder what’s next; it’s the trend forecaster in me.

What I always loved about Carrie Bradshaw’s style was her ability to mix high and low

But it’s hard not to look back at the show and think about all of those amazing fashion moments. There were the striped Ella Moss dresses. And that Juicy Couture strapless smocked terry dress was on every girl from Montauk to Memphis and an endless array of newsboy caps. The tube tops (I loved tube tops Carrie wore the very most) rocked my world, and the exposed bra underneath a slinky frock was instantly iconic without ever being vulgar or cheap. The signature Fendi baguette bag with a side of Cosmopolitan. And, of course, the shoes. And even though I was never in the Manolo Blahnik gang, I appreciated and delighted in the elegant teeter-totter appeal of Carrie in heels, roaming the city in search of love and happiness.

What I always loved about Carrie Bradshaw’s style was her ability to mix high and low. Her cool uptown meets downtown vibe, her wit when it came to dressing up or dressing down. And though it’s a bummer that an early preview of the clothes is not all that inspired, I had a few ideas of how I’d dress them. I’m thinking Nili Lotan separates. Gucci slides with a sundress from an up-and-coming designer. 501s with a crisp white button-down, a peek of bra, and a bright kitten-heeled mule. A good jumpsuit or ten from the likes of As Ever or Alex Mill or a vintage flight suit. Clothes more suited to existence vs. an existential crisis. And feeling comfortably confident enough to take a more lighthearted approach to style or play peacock when the feeling strikes.

I also thought about the powerful opportunity the reboot has to show women of a certain age dressing, living, loving and, of course, celebrating female friendship

But beyond the fashion, I also thought about the powerful opportunity the reboot has to show women of a certain age dressing, living, loving and, of course, celebrating female friendship in the best city in the world. And I for one vote for something new in the TV realm. Picture the Gen X version of The Golden Girls, redefining what it’s like to be a woman in her 50s. Here’s hoping for a fun celebration of lives well lived (that is if we can stop picking apart their faces, their Botox or, of course, their wardrobes). Because one thing’s for sure: female friendship is powerful and beautiful, and it transcends ages and stages and, yes, even outfits.

So as I sit here writing this column on my MacBook in my New York two-bedroom, in a bit of spendy lingerie underneath an Indian print dress I got on Amazon, I can’t help but wonder: do I still want to be Carrie Bradshaw or better yet, will Carrie all these years later feel at all like me? For all the women who felt empowered and sometimes wholly annoyed by the show, we’ll always all be a little Carrie. Or Miranda. Or Charlotte. Or Samantha, if you’re nasty. But mostly Carrie. And just like that, I’ve become who I am, letting go of who I was and very much looking forward to seeing what’s next. Cheers to great style, female friendships, and letting go to usher in this thing called midlife.

With love, from the big city. XO

11 COMMENTS

  1. Love this take. “And just like that'” …what a great homage. Definitely seeing the reboot through different eyes, thanks to you.

  2. As a single woman living in New York City during that time, I was so inspired by the show that one day I ran out of my apartment, butt naked, barely covered by my mini faux fur. When I arrived at the door of my date, I opened my coat and yelled, surprise! No need, he was. Thanks for the memory.

    PS. It’s Not (must-see) TV. It’s HBO.

  3. The women of Sex & the City are much closer to boomers than Gen X. They were in their mid-30s when the show began (Samantha was in her 40s).

    • Hmm. Thanks for this. Gen X began with those born in 1965 and though Samantha was older, the rest were probably within that range.

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Sheri Radel Rosenberghttp://sherimavenblog.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg has spent a life in advertising. Currently she's a freelance writer focusing on women at midlife and the power of reinvention. She regularly writes on her own blog and also works with brands to develop content in the areas of women's health, wellness, fashion, and beauty .She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and a ten pound ball of doggie fluff called Khan.

 

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