We Love the ‘80s: ‘Carrie Diaries’ Fashion

Whether or not you read The Carrie Diaries, a Sex and the City prequel by the original book’s author, Candace Bushnell, the new show is a great guilty pleasure. Conveniently replacing Gossip Girl on the CW, The Carrie Diaries follows a group of wealthy high schoolers exploring New York City.

The show is aimed at a younger set, but fans of the original HBO classic or those who just love hearing the ‘80s music each week will enjoy the show. With voiceovers from Carrie Bradshaw’s diary mimicking her speaking to the camera and love nods to Sex and the City--for example, stating the fact that Carrie plans to use her oven for storage instead of cooking--Carrie provides us with her background as a budding journalist eager to make a name for herself in Manhattan.

One of our favorite aspects about the show, though, isn’t the plot about Carrie’s deceased mother or watching her face pre-Mr. Big love interests. The reason we love The Carrie Diaries is the amazing wardrobe and the sartorial choices stylist Eric Daman makes each week. Daman assisted the legendary stylist Patricia Field on the original Sex and the City set, so he definitely knows how Carrie thinks. Plus, he and the rest of the Sex and the City team won an Emmy Award for their work on the show! Daman was also the costume designer for all six seasons of Gossip Girl, which has given millions of girls fashion inspiration in the recent past.

The Carrie Diaries is set in the ‘80s, when Carrie Bradshaw was in high school. The clothes aren’t all vintage, though--Daman combines contemporary labels like Marc by Marc Jacobs with vintage staples, like Carrie’s hand-decorated, splatter paint bag to create an authentic but shoppable look.

The best part is that not all of Daman’s choices are high-end: He recognizes that while Carrie’s father is a lawyer, she and her friends are still in high school and are learning responsibility, so many of their outfits are from TopShop or even Target. (Really!) No matter what your budget, Daman’s work is proof that with the right style, you can always look great.

Here are some of our favorite looks from The Carrie Diaries so far:

1. The “Mean Girls"

If these outfits don’t scream ‘80s, we don’t know what does. The skinny neon belts, hoop earrings and seriously overdone curl jobs are a bit much for today’s fashion world. But those colored and printed jeans are totally on-trend now, and the chunky bangles would be cute if worn without the other jewelry pieces. And while we don’t suggest wearing crop tops to class, those neon stripes are pretty cute, too.

2. AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw

In the promotional ads leading up to the show, Robb’s Carrie wore a variety of tutus to remind the audience of Sarah Jessica Parker’s signature tutu in Sex and the City. We love how Daman added an ‘80s touch to the look with chunky accessories and a variety of colors. Plus, how awesome would it be if that were our shoe collection? Even though you probably won’t be wearing pieces as crazy as Carrie’s, this look shows that print and color mixing can work when done correctly.

3. Larissa, Carrie and Mouse at an NYC art show

We can always count on Larissa, a fashion editor at Interview magazine, to wear wild prints and daring colors. Carrie’s look is still bright but a bit more subdued--and her gorgeous dress is from H&M! Mouse, her preppy friend, looks chic in black and white, a timeless combination.

4. Carrie at school

As for her day to day school outfits? Carrie often wears polka dot sweaters from J. Crew and Madewell, with the occasional MBMJ blouse tossed into the mix. And with the J. Crew / Madewell student discount for collegiettes, those are definitely outfits we can get behind! While we probably wouldn’t combine this many prints, Carrie has the confidence to pull it off, and she--of course--finishes the outfit with her signature bag.

Even if you’re not a Sex and the City fan, tune in on Monday nights to see Eric Daman’s mind at work in making AnnaSophia Robb into a young Carrie Bradshaw. One thing’s for sure--she’s got the hair!

Mean girls (photo): Giovanni Rufino / The CW http://www.cwtv.com/shows/the-carrie-diaries/photos/006762304e5
AnnaSophia Robb as Carrie Bradshaw (photo): Nino Muñoz / The CW http://www.cwtv.com/shows/the-carrie-diaries/photos/006756904c2
Larissa, Carrie and Mouse (photo): Barbara Nitke / The CW http://www.cwtv.com/shows/the-carrie-diaries/photos/006756309c0
Sebastian and Carrie at school (photo): Craig Blankenhorn / The CW http://www.cwtv.com/shows/the-carrie-diaries/photos/00674590458