We Couldn't Help But Wonder About Sarah Jessica Parker's Most Iconic Fashion Moments

To celebrate Sarah Jessica Parker's 56th birthday, we're looking back on 30 of her iconic red carpet fashion moments. How fabulous!

By Tierney Bricker 25 Mar, 2021 4:26 PMTags
Watch: Looking Back at Sarah Jessica Parker's Iconic Fashions

Before there was Carrie Bradshaw, there was Sarah Jessica Parker.

While the star's iconic Sex and the City character cemented her status as a fashion legend on-screen, SJP's personal style is arguably even more enduring than Carrie's. 

For decades, Parker, who celebrates her 56th birthday March 25, has proven to be one of Hollywood's most daring and dependable style MVPs. When she chooses to hit a red carpet, you know you are in for a treat. Whether it's her jaw-dropping moments at the Met Gala or her ahead-of-their-time ensembles from the '80s, the Divorce alum always manages to find the perfect balance of trendy and timeless, effortless and fabulous.

"Style is what the individual brings. More often than not, we are drawn to people because they have personal style," Parker once told Harper's Bazaar. "Fashion is what is offered to the consumer. Style is what you make of it."

And she's arguably made more of it than any other Hollywood star over the years.

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Sex and the City Fashion Evolution: Carrie Bradshaw

While we happily and easily could've chosen well over 100 looks from SJP's fashion history, we managed to narrow the list down to 30 of her most impactful red carpet moments.

Imagine if we had included her impeccable street style, too? The woman has turned the streets of New York City into her runway.

1986

Do you know how many Pinterest boards this image is probably saved on for Coachella inspo? In 1986, Parker rocked this Western-chic look for a "Vote Yes on 65" celebrity rally in Culver City.

1987

We're pretty sure we say Hailey Bieber rocking this exact 'fit recently...that's how timeless SJP is.

1987

The Square Pegs star served casual Madonna realness at the Slamdance premiere party, which is the most 1987 sentence we could ever write. 

1988

Blossom could never...with Parker rocking the flower hat two years before the TV show even premiered to a charity concert. 

1991

In case you thought it was the role of Carrie Bradshaw that brought out the fashion risk-taker in SJP...

1992

Simple white t-shirt. Silk skirt. White sneaks. This easily could be from a red carpet this year.

2000

SJP wore this simple and sleek champagne gown when she won Best Actress in a Comedy at the 2000 Golden Globes.

2000

SJP's Oscar de la Renta frock for the Emmys that year was an unmistakable nod to her iconic Sex and the City tutu skirt.

2000

She was well-suited at the SAG Awards in her off-the-shoulder top and pants, unexpectedly complemented with a red flower.

2001

Name the better accessory: the SAG Award or her abs.

2001

Parker's style is so timeless that this white tuxedo jacket dress that she completely rocked to the 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards would easily make any best dressed lists in 2020.

2003

The star donned a light pink Chanel haute couture down at the 2003 Emmy Awards.

2006

SJP sported this iconic Alexander McQueen creation for the Met Gala that year, with the theme of "AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion."

2008

Carrie put a bird on her head for Big for their wedding and SJP put this showstopping hat on her head for the Sex and the City movie's world premiere.

2008

How does one follow up the headline-making green hat from the previous premiere? By rocking this metallic Nina Ricci gown to the NYC premiere. 

2009

For Hollywood's biggest night, Parker selected this dreamy Christian Dior Haute Couture confection.

2010

Chanel Couture for the Oscars? That's just fabulous.

2010

Her neon green dress was a dream than demanded to be seen at the New York premiere of Sex and the City 2.

2011

Not all superheroes wear capes...but this fashion superstar does.

2012

And let the evidence of SJP's Met Gala dominance commence with one of her quieter looks, which is still a knockout. 

For "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations," Parker went unapologetically feminine, wearing a pink floral Valentino gown, with the color serving as a nod to Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli's signature color.

2013

The artist formerly known as Carrie Bradshaw goes punk! For a fresh take on the "Punk: Chaos to Couture" theme, Parker topped off her Giles Deacon gown with a showstopping mohawk headpiece by Phillip Treacy and rocked plaid velvet thigh-high boots. 

2014

To honor the "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" theme, Parker went classic with a black and white Oscar de la Renta gown, pairing it with long white gloves.

2015

This woman's on fire! In an unexpected move, SJP rocked an H&M gown that she helped design, topping it with a flame-inspired Philip Treacy headpiece for the "China: Through the Looking Glass" theme.

2016

Arguably Parker's most polarizing Met Gala look, the Divorce star went for a Hamilton inspired ensemble for the "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" theme, a look she later defended.

"We wanted it to be about the technology of thought, of application, of fabrication," she wrote in T Magazine. "The technology of the hand and the machine."

2016

Let this unexpected sheer gown with a navy top serve as a brief-but-welcome respite from Parker's Met Gala dominance.

2016

For the premiere of her HBO series Divorce, Parker turned to a color she doesn't often wear, wearing a rhinestone-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana purple lace dress.

But what really love about this look is that she went for a slight surprise when her footwear, turning to bronze heels from her own SJP collection rather than go for a standard black or nude heel. It's small decisions like that that make SJP such an icon.

2018

SJP was the lady in red at the 2018 New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala, wearing a stunning gown that had a few eccentric details, like its bubble hem, puff sleeves and wrist-cuffs. 

2018

After sitting out of the 2017 Met Gala, SJP returned in spectacular fashion, rocking an intricate headpiece that featured the nativity scene. NBD.

For the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and The Catholic Imagination theme, SJP paired her ornate headpiece with a stunning Dolce & Gabbana gown with a heart motif and showstopping train. 

"I am inspired by the themes. One can only do your best," she told E! News on the red carpet. "This was particularly enjoyable because Dolce & Gabbana—they're devoted observant Catholics—and so they've grown up with the church and imagery and they had a lot of strong feelings and beautiful sketches so it was easy."

2019

We got carried away with our love for this colorful and bold gown she wore to the 2019 New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala...

2019

For the GLAAD Awards, Parker went all-out in this Elie Saab dress, complete with a train and puff sleeves, accessorizing with a necklace and silk flowers in her hair. More sometimes is more.

This story was originally published on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 10 a.m. PT.