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Sex and the City vs The Sopranos: which show wins in the style stakes

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A very serious investigation into a deeply important issue

Last week, Sarah Jessica Parker took to Instagram to drop a teaser heralding the return of a little show called Sex and the City, and naturally, the internet went wild. Seemingly forgetting the deeply problematic car crash that was the SATC 2 movie, the TL was quickly filled with talk of Carrie’s 2021 wardrobe, whether the stars would be newly woke, and WTF the whole thing was going to look like sans everyone’s fave sex-crazed PR, Samantha Jones. 

While all that was going on, a strange discourse pitting Sex and the City and fellow HBO smash hit The Sopranos against each other also sprung up, despite the two series’ incredibly different subject matter and cultural nuances. While we wouldn’t advise you dive into that if you in any way value your time, we got to thinking – to quote Ms. Carrie Bradshaw herself – there’s really only one area the two should spar against each other, in an area that deeply matters. That’s right: we’re talking about the shows’ respective fashions. 

From Carrie Bradshaw and Adriana La Cerva’s spaghetti strap moments, to Dr. Jennifer Melfi and Miranda Hobbes’ power suiting – by way of AJ Soprano’s nu-metal merch and that moment Berger (undeservedly) scored himself some Prada – we’ve set SATC and the The Sopranos against each other to see who comes out top in the style stakes. Mild spoilers ahead – but come on, you’ve had 20 years to watch both so don’t @ us, okay? 

ADRIANA LA CERVA IN TIGER PRINT ROBERTO CAVALLI

If you didn’t audibly gasp and begin frantically searching for tiger print Roberto Cavalli on Depop after seeing Adriana La Cerva in a full-length, spaghetti strap, bias cut gown from the brand’s AW00 collection, then you’re obviously not one of the family. The same dress has recently been spotted on what seems like several Kardashians – but we have to say, there is absolutely no one on this green earth who could wear it quite like Adriana. 10/10

CARRIE BRADSHAW IN NEWSPAPER PRINT DIOR BY JOHN GALLIANO

As the quintessential Carrie look, the newspaper print dress designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior’s SS00 show, is now completely synonymous with everybody’s favourite New York Star columnist. Worn during a scene when she walks down the streets of Manhattan in slow mo, reflecting on what the universe has in store for her and Big (babe, it’s not that deep, he’s just an ageing narcissist) there are few pieces in fashion history that come close to this one. 9/10

TONY SOPRANO IN RICHIE APRILE’S LEATHER JACKET

The title of this Sopranos episode is Full Leather Jacket, as it centres on a storyline where Tony is gifted a burgundy ‘fine Corinthian leather’ jacket by Richie Aprile. Supposedly, the jacket once belonged to mobster Rocco DiMeo and is far too big for Richie’s stature. But on Tony, we think it looks quite Demna Gvasalia-esque. Pity he decides to give it away, tbqh. 8/10

SAMANTHA JONES IN HEART-SHAPED SUNGLASSES AND A RED GINGHAM TWO-PIECE

Dressed to the nines for a rooftop BBQ, Samantha Jones looks f****g fabulous in a pair of red gingham hotpants, a matching ruffled crop-top, and pigtails. Completing the look with tinted heart-shaped sunglasses, and wielding a hot dog speared on a fork, there are few who would be able to pull this off like our Samantha. We’ll keep thinking of this outfit as we speculate how the series reboot will deal with her absence. Is she enjoying that great chargrilled sausage in the sky? Or has moved to consistently warmer climes where she can dress like this to her heart’s content? Only time will tell. 7/10

GLORIA TRILLO IN A TRILBY AND TINTED CHLOÉ SHADES

Not to play favourites (as we think of them all as though they are our own sisters), but of all Tony Sopranos goomahs, Gloria is arguably the best dressed. Using that Mercedes dealership salary to buy herself exactly what she wanted and deserved, she always looked impeccable. Our favourite ensemble of hers includes a pair of tinted SS99 Chloé diamanté heart shades, a bandana and a trilby, which means that there’s a lot going on in the head department for Ms. Trillo – and we adore her all the more for it. 9/10

SMITH JERROD’S RED CARPET SHAVED HEAD

The question of ‘who is the best boyfriend in the SATC universe?’ is one that not many can answer with confidence. However, we can. And it’s obviously Smith ‘Jerry’ Jerrod. He’s secure enough in his masculinity to let Samantha take the lead, whilst also being kind, caring, patient, and loyal. Take, for example, the scene where Smith cuts off his signature blonde locks as Samantha begins losing her own hair to chemo, before the two of them arrive at his new movie premiere donning a bubble gum pink wig and shaved head respectively. *Insert heart emoji*. 10/10

JENNIFER MELFI IN BEIGE MAX MARA-ESQUE SUITING

Keeping her fashions in the Italian family, but strictly professional nonetheless, Tony’s psychiatrist slash Freudian mommy fantasy Dr. Jennifer Melfi knows good suiting* *and isn’t afraid to wear it. Oops, wrong series. Anyway, we digress. Melfi’s triple beige trouser suit and ribbed camel polo neck, paired with very noughties rimless glasses and a thick bob, is understated. But much as it likely did for Tony, this look still runs through our dreams all night long. Wanna dress like her? Read our guide here. 6/10

MIRANDA HOBBES’ TIES AND TAILORING

We’ve been served: and not just papers inviting us to the latest Zoom divorce hearing. Of course, we’re talking about Miranda Hobbes and her excellent power suiting in early episodes of SATC. There are shoulder pads; there are statement lapels; there are tuxedos. Steve should have been on his knees, pleading with her to even look at him. One ensemble that particularly sticks in our mind is Miranda’s foray into colour, with a turquoise button-up and navy blazer, which contrasts with her signature red hair that has been Elnetted for the gods. Did somebody say Jillegal Sander? 8/10

BERGER’S ‘I NEVER SAY FABULOUS’ FABULOUS PRADA SHIRT

If Smith Jerrod is the best SATC boyfriend, Berger is undoubtedly the worst. Some say he’s what Carrie deserved. We say that no one deserves that level of emotional constipation in their life. Take, for example, the instance when Carrie takes Berger on a shopping trip to Prada for the first time, and ends up purchasing him a red shirt as a surprise. He gets jealous of the money that Carrie used to buy the shirt from her book advance, and then ditches her at the premiere of a play whilst wearing it. This look receives a low score, purely because it’s on Berger. But, it is a “fabulous” shirt. If you fancy giving it a go yourself, a very similar version is currently available on eBay. 1/10

AJ SOPRANOS NU METAL MERCH

Coal Chamber, Mudvayne, Slipknot, Machine Head, Marilyn Manson, Soulfly: these are the bands that teenage AJ Soprano was a fan of, and he lets everyone in North Caldwell know it by sporting their merch at every opportunity – from hoodies and windbreakers, to oversized tour t-shirts. Robert Iler, the actor who played AJ in the show was a nu metal fan IRL (like any other self respecting teenager in the later 1990s and early 2000s should have been). Story goes that he began turning up to set in these pieces, and the show’s costume designer Juliet Polscsa worked it into the storyline. Maggot hive assemble. 9/10

VICTORIA’S HIDEOUS POST-DIVORCE HANDBAGS

There are several supporting roles in SATC that deserve an honourable mention: Amalita Amalfi, Nina Katz, Susan Sharon, and Lexi Featherston, to name but a few. However, it must be said that Victoria, played by Jennifer Coolidge, delivers one of the best scenes in the entire series. “The good news is, I’m off the Zoloft, I lost 20 pounds, and after that asshole dumped me, I realised I had an amazing gift for designing bags!”, she remarks to the girls as they arrive at her ‘purse party’, where she is flogging hideous post-divorce accessories made with her own fair hands and a hot glue gun. “Isn’t life funny? Because of that fucker, I’ve discovered, I’m Fendi!” Unfortunately, the party doesn’t last long, as Victoria dramatically trashes her display of merch and throws everyone out. But the memory of those hideous handbags – decorated with turquoise marabou feathers, sequin shoe prints, and plastic fruit – will linger in our memories forever. 7/10 (for effort)

ALL OF CARMELA’S FRENCH MANICURES

“Edie (Falco) really wasn’t Carmela until she put the nails on,” manicurist for The Sopranos Maria Salandra told Mel Ottenberg in conversation for Interview Magazine. The nails created for Mrs Soprano were based on the white and pink talons belonging to the IRL mob wives of the New Jersey Mafia that Salandra would hang out with in clubs during the 1990s. And, safe to say, she nailed (lol) the on-screen illusion. No matter what Carmela wears – usually a ribbed knit in various shades of lime green and coral – or goes through emotionally, the French mani stays just as resilient as her. 9/10

THE VERDICT:

The Sopranos comes in first place with 51 points, Sex and the City receives a respectable 44. No hard feelings – we love you both. (Sorry for the terrible sex puns here but someone’s got to step in and fill Samantha Jones’ shoes, right?)