It’s hard not to put Sarah Jessica Parker on a fashion pedestal. She has an unapologetic sense of style (see her 2015 Met Gala look), her own fabulous eponymous footwear collection, a line of fragrances, plus, she played one of the most iconic trendsetters/fashionistas of the 21st century (that would be Carrie Bradshaw). So when I (a millennial who had a Sex and the City poster hanging in my college dorm freshman year) was invited to interview the actress about her latest campaign for Jordache, I totally fangirled, texted all my friends followed by a call to my mom. Then I freaked out about an outfit. Should I wear the SJP collection shoes I splurged on? Was that too try-hard of me? (In the end, I chickened out about the shoes.)
So what happened? Below, my seven minutes in style heaven with SJP.
PEOPLE: Tell me about your outfit! I love the classic black top tucked into the Jordache jeans.
SJP: It’s a bodysuit!
PEOPLE: It looks amazing. Is it vintage?
SJP: The bodysuit? No. The belt is. The bodysuit is Wolford I think.
PEOPLE: The jeans work so great with it. Why did you want to collaborate with Jordache?
SJP: I wanted to do it because they asked, and I grew up with that song and those campaigns and it was like the thing you coveted as a young girl. I was really frankly surprised that they asked, and I was thrilled to say yes. And you know I got to work with [photographer] Michael Thompson who I love. We have a long history, and he shot my first fragrance campaign. It sounded like such a creative and interesting collaboration, and I love the brand — it really is an iconic brand, anybody would have said yes, I think!
PEOPLE: Do you have any standout memories of your first pair of jeans or your first time jean shopping?
SJP: My first jeans were a pair that I inherited from my sister. Back in the day, when someone outgrew jeans in terms of length, my mom would just add a piece of tapestry tape to it and it would make it longer. So I got those, those were hand me downs. And then when I was around 12, we moved to New York. It was a cold winter, I know my mom said I could buy a pair of jeans; or rather she was going to buy me a pair of jeans. But I don’t think they were a designer jean — I don’t think she thought I was ready for that, I think it was probably a pretty standard fare. Not Healthtex necessarily, but I think one step above because I was really, really little and really, really skinny and I never fit into anything. So I don’t know what that jean was but I remember the experience [shopping for them].
PEOPLE: I think denim has that sentimental value, and it’s one of those things you can collect …
SJP: Well you know what’s interesting? We were taking some pictures of my husband and I and the kids, and we were all wearing stripes and I went to my closet and I put on a pair of jeans and I was like, I think these jeans are very, very, very, very old. And they were from 1983. And they were hilarious looking, they were super high-waisted. They’re a little paper baggy — but I really liked them. They’re a really light wash. I don’t know why I got them or how I got them, but I still have them.
PEOPLE: Your daughters are going to inherit the best stuff.
SJP: No, I have a feeling they’re going to be tall.
PEOPLE: How many jeans do you think you own?
SJP: I have a lot. I think it’s the thing that I have the most of.
PEOPLE: Even more than shoes?
SJP: Okay, maybe not. But clothing wise, I really do wear jeans a lot, it really is a huge part of my wardrobe. And also because I live in a city where you walk a lot and I walk my kids to school and I can walk to meetings, it becomes very much a uniform. And my work is such that it allows me — not everybody gets to wear jeans to the office, but I do. I can, and I do.
PEOPLE: Style editors notice that you love to peg your jeans. Is there a story behind that?
SJP: I think I’ve been doing cuffing for a long time — I haven’t even gone to the length of pegging them. But I used to back in the day; pegging the jeans.
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PEOPLE: They look pegged!
SJP: They’re just probably skinnier jeans. But I do it a lot in the winter, because we’re always wearing winter boots so I do it for that reason. But also I’m very, very short, and it’s a little bit of a psychological thing. I feel like I’m taller when I cuff my jeans and it makes me look taller, because I get a little bit more leg-action, and I’m like ‘See? I’ve got a little bit more skin there.’ It’s like a weird thing. It’s nonsense and it’s ridiculous, but it’s just how I feel.
PEOPLE: If you could wear only one outfit everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
SJP: I mean jeans would most assuredly be a part of it, and I’m surprised because I think of everybody else as a jeans person, but the truth is I probably wear them more than any of my friends. Jeans, it’s hard to deny how they’re so accommodating. They’re so many things to so many people, I feel like they’re the gift that keeps on giving.
PEOPLE: One last question. Carrie Bradshaw is on the side of a bus in 2015; what is she wearing?
SJP: So you think she’s not in that same column?
PEOPLE: No, I think she’s doing something different.
SJP: So why is she on the side of a bus then?
PEOPLE: Because she’s promoting something new, like her latest New York Times bestseller.
SJP: Oh, God. That’s a really good question. So she’s on the side of the bus and she’s promoting something, which you said was probably her latest book. God that’s an extremely good question. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen her in so long, I haven’t talked to her in so long…so I don’t know if she’s wearing thrift store things lately and still doing that…I don’t know, that’s so good, can I get back to you? Make sure your readers know you stumped me.
The new Jordache women’s collection (with styles starting at $16) launches at Walmart this week. And check out the line’s premium denim collection, complete with reissued vintage-inspired pieces, now on the brand’s website.
What you think of SJP’s jean queen status? Sound off below.
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