Carrie Bradshaw's Iconic Fashion and the Trends 'Sex and the City' Helped Create

PEOPLE's Pop Cultured breaks down the impact Carrie Bradshaw's wardrobe on Sex and the City had on viewers, 24 years after its premiere

What's more iconic than Sex and the City's story spanning over two decades? Carrie Bradshaw's glamorous wardrobe and the trends the show created.

Rachel Bilson, Kristin Cavallari, and other celebrities discuss the impact Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and her unforgettable closet had on audiences from the show's debut in 1998 on the latest episode of PEOPLE TV's Pop Cultured series.

With six seasons of a flagship series, two movies, a prequel series and a sequel series, the title spans two decades worth of fashions and has more than enough fans to speak on its overall impact on style.

"I think that if I were to raid Carrie's closet, I would be a lucky gal because she just makes the weirdest things work," says country superstar Maren Morris.

"After watching Sex and the City, I was like, 'Oh, I can totally layer whatever I want and turn a tube top into a skirt,'" Bilson adds. "I definitely took inspiration from that."

sex and the city
Sex and the City. Everett

Not only were they taking part in trends, the group of women — Carrie, Samantha (Kim Cattrall) Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) — were starting trends across the board in clothing and accessories, putting designers like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik on the map.

"People didn't really know or even really know how to pronounce Manolo Blahnik. Now the shoes are emblazoned into our memory," Fire Island star Margaret Cho explains of the show's affects on pop culture. "Of course, high heels have always been in fashion, but the idea of a specific designer that only designed shoes, that's only known for shoes, would be kind of like the cornerstone of your outfit. I believe that is the lasting legacy of Sex and the City."

SEX AND THE CITY Sarah Jessica Parker
Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

On the bag front, Sex and the City helped bring the Birkin bag into the national consciousness. One episode followed Samantha as she attempted to purchase a $4,000 Birkin purse, but was informed of the long 5-year wait to actually own the bag. It's a phenomenon that still exists today.

"They wore these crazy things that no one knew about and then they would take off," notes writer and comedian Annie Lederman. "It made Dior saddle bags a thing. I mean, it's a kidney shaped tiny bag. It's insane."

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One of things Sex and the City was not known for was budgeting. Viewers who "couldn't help but wonder" how Carrie afforded her clothes and lavish lifestyle were not alone! Carrie may have liked to have her money hanging where she could see it — hanging in her closet — but fans were perplexed where the funds for her extravagant lifestyle were coming from.

According to executive producer Michael Patrick King and costume designer Patricia Fields, the realism of the show takes a back seat to the fantasy of the overall story.

"Pat [Fields] once said that successful shows are ones that elevate and inspire and if you get too caught up in the reality of 'how does Carrie afford these shoes or these clothes?' she thinks it just kills the show," says Entertainment Weekly editor Gerrad Hall.

"If it was realism, it wouldn't have been as good of a show because she would've been wearing flip flops," jokes RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 2 winner Alaska.

For more about Sex and the City, watch the full episode of PEOPLE TV's Pop Cultured, streaming now.

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