The How-To Guide for Girls on a Budget
So you want to be Carrie Bradshaw for Halloween. Who wouldn’t? This sexy, sassy, smart New York native is one of the most fashionable icons around – even on a budget. So if you’re looking for a distinct way to pull off some of Carrie’s do’s and don’ts (and trust me, this gal has a few), you have come to the right place, my friend.
CLASSIC CARRIE – THE HAIR
First, you’re going to want to want to pull off her lion-like mane of tangled curls. Sarah Jessica Parker’s hair is so unique and distinctive that the designer Isaac Mizrahi said, “She acts with her hair. A subtle skill few have mastered.” For those of us who were never able to say whether or not blondes have more fun, you have two choices: go with a wig, or go with permanent or semi-permanent hair color.
A wig is infinitely more practical for a Halloween party, but if you’re daring or just ready to try a change, Sarah Jessica Parker’s sandy hair color is flattering enough for a test drive. Always be sure to check the side of the box to ensure the color will turn out the way you want it to – remember, you raven-haired beauties: blonde isn’t blonde for all of us. Sometimes it’s a bright, unattractive orange!
Wigs can be purchased in local beauty supply stores or online. Online shopping is easier and offers more choices, but you never know quite how a wig will look until you try it on. Sometimes wigs emphasize broad foreheads or fit different head sizes.
You can purchase a straight wig and decide to style it yourself (see the guide below), or just decide to go to works on your own natural locks. After all, who’s to say Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t go brunette?
Styling is relatively simple. Her curls aren’t always defined and smooth, in fact most of the time, the frizzier and bigger the better!
Start with your hair completely dry. All you need is a small curling iron, a ¾ of an inch will do. If you attempt this with your hair damp, you’ll be essentially curling while drying your hair, and the curls won’t hold as well (if at all). Pull your hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck.
Begin to pull off small strands of your ponytail, separating each into a clean, neat section as you pull. Treat each section thoroughly and timely. Make sure the curl is from root to tip, and that you don’t leave any part of your uncurled. Keep pulling off sections of the ponytail until you’re done.
For added volume, take your blowdryer and blow your hair out from underneath, making sure that the heat hits the roots and the underside of your hair. Fan your hair out and thoroughly shake out your mane of curls. Now stand right side up and let your hair fall back into place.
Finish the look with a sleek and shine spray, usually about five dollars at Walmart. Use this very sparingly. Voila!
After viewing countless Sex and the City episodes, one thing is certainly apparent: This girl has many, many different looks. How could you possibly choose one distinct enough to be recognized at a Halloween party as Carrie Bradshaw? The answer?
There isn’t one! You have many, many different styles to choose from, as Carrie-ites. She has many classic outfits, and the fun will be in choosing the one that fits you the best. Here are two to pick from:
THE SEXY BELTED LOOK
This girl loves belts almost as much as she loves her Manolos. And not just on pants – on dresses! Have some fun with this look. Choose a dress that ends somewhere around mid-thigh. The dress should either be strapless, or have large chunky straps that tie behind the neck or that emphasize the cut. The pattern, of course, should be funky. Come on, this is Carrie we’re talking about! Go bold! Polka dots, squares, even the kind of pattern you’d think belongs only on a curtain or a cake dish. Carrie is known for pushing the limits on fashion hits and disasters. This is part of the Bradshaw charm.
Choose a thick, wide belt and tie it around your waist with the buckle facing front. The belt should be a bold color as well – think red, pink, orange. The buckle itself should also be interesting – whether it’s an interesting color or even an interesting shape. Try to coordinate the belt color and the dress itself. Carrie loves to clash, but behind it all there is still a method to her madness.
For a girl on a budget these may be harder to come by. But if you’re trying to portray Carrie Bradshaw, know that those shoulders bones are something she’s proud of. A full body jumpsuit is best, accessorized best with a small, metallic clutch. The front should be a halter, with a cowl-neck that hangs low, showing off your collar bone and the skin below.
If you’re trying to emulate this look without attempting to find and purchase a jumpsuit, go for a simple backless halter, preferably one in a bold pattern. Or even, strangely something with lots and lots of glitter. Top the halter off with skinny colored jeans or a skinny knee length skirt and heels.
This look works best with your Carrie hair in a bun. After all of the hair curlin’ action, pulling it into a sloppy bun at the top of your head will be a breeze! Remember, no stray curls, and don’t pull the bun too severely. You still want your curls apparent – your hard work shouldn’t be in vain.
This woman loves her knee length fur coats. As fur coats aren’t unexpensive (even faux fur, which is more animal friendly), this look requires dedication and thought, although it’s definitely the most simple to pull off.
Find a basic evening gown (it doesn’t even need to be fancy) to go under the fur coat. Make sure that it’s full-length so you can view glimpses of it peeking out from under the coat. Top the whole thing off with heels, and aviator sunglasses. Yes, aviators.
Remember, don’t limit yourself to these looks. Carrie Bradshaw is all about experimenting and going crazy! Try swishy skirts, crazy patterned shirts, use this as an excuse to wear things you can’t normally get away with the other 364 days of the year. And don’t forget the accessories. Especially the shoes.
Big, flowery pins. These are relatively cheap. Try a Claire’s or an Icing store, or look online. Buy them in flashy colors – red, purple, pink. Pin them to the lapel of your outfit (if it’s one plain color), or just off to the side of your color. Carrie loves pins!
Aviators. (Read above.) Top off your fur-friendly ensembles, or pretty much whatever else requires some type of big, puffy jacket. They’re a Bradshaw fave.
Giant, almost tacky (okay, they can be tacky) necklaces. As Carrie Bradshaw is a sucker for fashion, she is also a sucker for jewelry, especially that of the long, dangling kind. The bigger, the better. Try to coordinate your necklace length with that of your neckline. You want the giant bauble dangling on your neck to land just above your halter, or your V-neck.
The Carrie necklace. Remember when Mr. Big bought that tiny gold chain that says simply a flowing “Carrie” in gold script? Go for this if you’re going for the Pre-Break-up Carrie. Where are you going to get a Carrie necklace? Anywhere that does name personalizing, of course! As this can be kind of pricey, I suggest you look online for alternatives. Or even make a completely different version of the necklace yourself, out of beads and stretchy elastic (if your outfit is Bradshaw Casual, of course). Carrie would definitely wear a necklace that looks homemade – even if the price tag says the complete opposite.
A lacy bra. Why is this an accessory? Because it’s Carrie! She wears mesh over this, see-through shirts, anything to show off those amazing abs of hers – topped off with a great lacy bra. This is definitely for the more daring, but if you can pull this off, or even an outfit with a little peek-a-boo bra-age, kudos to you.
The shoes are last because they are the most important. You don’t have to see all six seasons of Sex and the City to know Carrie’s obsession with fashion lies mainly with her shoes. This girl was even held up on the streets of New York for her – you guessed it – heels. Although Carrie buys the brand names that will leave your wallet hurting (and your heels), you don’t have to go that far. Just look for something classic.
The Kitten Heels or Stilettos
You can find a devastating pair of stilettos almost anywhere. Go for a bold blue or a sassy red, topped off with a jeweled buckle on the toe.
Carrie’s sexy Jimmy Choos with seven, yes seven buckles are a little unattainable for the rest of us. You can find a reasonably priced alternative at any shoe store. Look for a heeled sandal that laces halfway up your calf. Again, the shoe should be sparkling gold or silver.
Go for the craziest color or the zaniest style imaginable. And remember, this chick loves the tallest heels, the sexiest styles, and the strangest buckles. Go for it!
There you have it. Being Carrie Bradshaw is about being bold, experimental, and fun! And remember: One of her favorite accessories is a cosmopolitan. It compliments pretty much anything.
Isaac Mizrahi, beauty.ivillage.com/celebstyle/tv/0,,8gzb,00.html