Was Carrie Bradshaw a Wise Fashion Investor? The Verdict Is Yes

Was Carrie Bradshaw a Wise Fashion Investor? The Verdict Is Yes

Photo: Getty Images

In season 3, episode 17 of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw does the unthinkable. Bradshaw ambushes Mr. Big’s wife, Natasha, to admit to and apologize for her affair with Big. It’s one of the most memorable scenes of the entire series not only because of the scandal but also because of her outfit: the John Galliano for Dior newspaper dress. Yes—she delivers the news while wearing newspaper couture. Although the apology didn’t go over well, the look went down in history.

Of course, Bradshaw isn’t known for her decision-making tactics in love and friendship—if she was, the show wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining. Rather, she is known for the cobalt blue Manolo Blahniks she wore to get married, the various Fendi Baguettes she carried around Soho, and many, many more outfits she wore to make a bad decision feel better. Bradshaw told us herself nearly 25 years ago: “I like my money where I can see it—hanging in my closet.”

In search of concrete answers as to whether Bradshaw’s most famous asset appreciated over time, we spoke with The RealReal’s women’s fashion & new initiatives manager, Rachel Glicksberg. “Carrie’s spending habits can be considered questionable,” she says. “Viewers see that Carrie was often criticized by her friends and partners throughout the seasons for her reckless spending, but it is Carrie who is having the last laugh, as her wardrobe has appreciated considerably, proving that she is the ultimate fashion investor.”

So, what are the items that prove Bradshaw’s shopping habits weren’t always without reason? “The reemergence of Y2K trends in the past few years, interestingly enough led by Gen Z who were mere infants in the early aughts, have certainly added value and demand to SJP’s iconic SATC items,” Glicksberg explains. “When I think of Carrie, the Fendi Baguette and Manolo Blahnik first come to mind. The average selling price of the Fendi Baguette on The RealReal doubled in 2022 from 2019, with the resale value continuing to climb steadily, going from 36% in retail price in 2018 to 52% last year.”

Of course, Sex and the City’s most widely-circulated Carrie outfits run the gamut. Among her ensembles, a handful illustrates that her taste is more than an aesthetic—it’s an investment strategy. Below, we take a closer look at some of Bradshaw’s best investments with the help of The RealReal’s expertise.

Gucci Handle Bag

While The RealReal reports that Gucci’s handle bags have declined in value over the past few years, their overall value has increased since Bradshaw initially carried this bag in the 2000s. A vintage, ’70s-inspired iteration of this bag, Carrie’s is both rare and unique, making it a more valuable bag to behold.

Manolo Blahnik

Bradshaw wore several styles from Manolo Blahnik’s collections throughout Sex and the City. The most prevalent shoes she wears are the Chaos sandals and, of course, her wedding-day shoe: the blue Hangisi. “For Manolo Blahnik, resale value spiked in 2019 at 37% of retail value, but has since slowed, and we’re chalking that one up to work-from-home footwear preference and people opting for comfort over heels,” Glicksberg says. Despite a shift to softer soles, it’s certain that a Manolo will always reenter the trend rotation.

Fendi Baguette

Photo: Getty Images

Carrie’s go-to shoulder bag, her Fendi Baguette collection (there were several, including purple sequined and brown leather iterations), may be the most valuable portion of her wardrobe today. The bag’s steady climb in value can be attributed both to the style’s resurfacing and the cultural relevance Carrie gave this particular bag. Glicksberg expands, “This can in part be attributed to the Baguette bag’s 25th anniversary, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s exclusive collaboration with the brand ahead of And Just Like That’s launch last year.” Either way, the bag’s value has unequivocally increased since its early days with Bradshaw.

Versace Chiffon Tiered Gown

Photo: HBO Max

Carrie Bradshaw’s Versace “mille feuille” gown made its foray into the series while Carrie was in Paris—alone, in her hotel room—after being stood up by her boyfriend. It was a somber moment marked by an extravagant dress (one that is reportedly valued at $80,000). While the gown is now a rare artifact (read: a one-of-a-kind, couture gown), it made a second cameo on the And Just Like That reboot, proving that after 25 years—this frock belongs in a museum.

Elsa Peretti Cuff

Photo: Getty Images

“In regards to jewelry, Carrie is most known for her gold nameplate necklace, and although a sentimental piece, it is her Elsa Peretti Tiffany gold Bone cuff that she wore in the opening scene of the first movie, that proved to be a true investment,” Glicksberg shares. “This cuff’s resale value has increased every year since 201, jumping from 54% of retail to 65% of retail year to date.” In other words, the Elsa Peretti cuff has, without a doubt, stood the test of time. Glicksberg adds, “The average selling price has also continued to climb, jumping 35% since 2018. The increase in demand could be attributed to Elsa Peretti’s depiction in the Halston movie in 2019, which introduced the designer to a new younger fan base, and the iconic designer’s passing last year.”

John Galliano Newspaper Dress

Photo: Getty Images

Oh, the iconic and unforgettable John Galliano for Dior Newspaper Dress. Was there ever a more original look to behold on television? The RealReal confirms that this dress didn’t just look good—it aged well, too. “Overall, John Galliano for Christian Dior dresses have climbed from selling at 16% of retail price five years ago to 42% in 2022, continually seeing increases year over year. The average selling price has nearly more than doubled since 2019.” There you have it: a dress that keeps on giving.

Carrie Necklace

Photo: Getty Images

If there’s one piece of jewelry that defines Sex And The City, it’s the gold Carrie necklace. Carrie is known for the nameplate necklace, a sentimental piece that has surely gone up in value based on the necklace’s notoriety and accrued value of gold—it’s increased steadily since the ’90s, averaging around 10% increase in value year over year. Whether you buy a nameplate necklace from a small jeweler or designer, as long as it is gold, it is a wise investment.

Dior Saddle

Photo: Getty Images

Along with the Fendi Baguette, the Dior Saddle was another among Bradshaw’s iconic bunch. “We can’t talk about Carrie without bringing up Dior’s Saddle Bag,” Glicksberg affirms. “Resale value for this style significantly jumped from 2018 to 2021, continually increasing from 55% of retail, peaking at 88% in 2021. The average selling price has been consistently at an all-time high between 2020-2022.”

Tulle Skirt

Last, but certainly not least, is Bradshaw’s most widely-known statement piece: the white tulle skirt she wears in the episode opener. The hero number of Carrie’s first-ever outfit, the tulle skirt was sourced from a vintage showroom bin for just $55, according to wardrobe stylist and costume designer Patricia FieldsSex and the City’s opening look is a reminder that shopping vintage is always in, especially when a good deal is involved. Needless to say, Bradshaw gave this piece value just by wearing it and making it her signature garment.

This article was originally published on Vogue.com

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