Of all the TV shows I've watched in my life, Sex and the City has had the greatest impact. The show premiered in 1998, the summer before I started ninth grade, and it wrapped in 2004, just as I ended my sophomore year of college. I wound up purchasing all six seasons on DVD and I would watch them again and again and again. To this day, so much of what I believe to be true about independence, friendship, romance and fashion comes from that show.
Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni are two women who share that same sentiment. Super fans of the show, they started an Instagram account called Every Outfit on Sex and the City. You can follow along @EveryOutfitOnSATC. As they began to post some of the show's most iconic looks, something unexpected happened. Fans weren't just gushing over Carrie's high fashion ensembles, they were rallying around the more realistic looks of Miranda.
In the foreword, the authors share, "We anticipated that our audience would enjoy revisiting Carrie's wacky fashion blunders - after all, her belt-over-a-bare-midriff look is just as batshit today as it was in 2002. But it quickly became apparent that Ms. Hobbes had an equally devoted (and chronically underserved) fan base. A post celebrating her overalls and puffer coat look from season two elicited such a strong response that we realized that there were a lot of other closeted Mirandas out there."
I knew I was going to love this book from the very first page. The dedication reads, "To every woman who has dared to eat cake out of the garbage." That line refers to an episode where Miranda bakes herself a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. After she's eaten a slice, she realizes she will devour the entire thing if she doesn't throw it in the trash. She drops it into her kitchen garbage, but quickly takes it back out to indulge in just a little bit more. She winds up pouring dish soap all over the cake to stop herself and calls Carrie to admit, "You may have to check me into the Betty Crocker Clinic."
The book is organized into six sections:
- Are You a Miranda?
- Dress Like a Miranda
- Love Like a Miranda
- Work Like a Miranda
- Fuck Like a Miranda
- Thrive Like a Miranda
In the first chapter, the authors acknowledge that no fan of the show is a perfect match to just one character. Even if you identify with Miranda, you likely see bits of yourself in the other three ladies too. They created a women's magazine like quiz - more of a flow chart - to help you determine your rising sign (like the zodiac). In a surprise to no one, I am a Miranda with Charlotte rising.
In the style chapter, there is a three-page bit called Carrie's Fashion Corner, which details which Carrie approaches to dressing are fit for a Miranda and which are not. This one made me laugh out loud, "Don't Dress Like a Carrie - This is the most important rule. You can certainly draw inspiration from Carrie's genre-defying fashion sense, but attempting to replicate her signature brand of thrown-togetherness is never a good idea. Some people can wear a marching band jacket with a tulle petticoat and not look totally fucking insane - but Mirandas are not those people. Know thyself."
The illustrations in the book are incredible. When I turned the page to begin chapter three, Love Like a Miranda, I nearly dropped the book because I started cackling. The cartoon is of Miranda biting into the infamous chocolate chip cookie from Dr. Robert Leeds (played by Blair Underwood).
I'm obsessed with this book. It was clearly written by two women who adore the show as much as I do. They reference things that only die hard fans would know or even remember! The book celebrates the true spirit of the show, and especially Miranda - empowerment.
In addition to the great prose, the book is designed like a magazine. It has so many stellar visuals - cartoons, quizzes, checklists and more. You breeze through it because it's so freaking fun!
Once you're done reading this, if you want even more Sex and the City greatness, read Sex and the City and Us by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. In the book, Armstrong chronicles every single moment of the Sex and the City journey like a dedicated anthropologist. Starting with Candace Bushnells's original column for the New York Observer, the quest to find the right network to air the pilot, casting those four critical roles, the cultural phenomenon that gained momentum, and ultimately, the two movies that would hit the big screen.
As I reached the end of this blog post, I couldn't help but wonder, will there ever be a show this great again?