Will things finally work out for the pair this time around? Their outfits seem to argue yes.
Something is off in the And Just Like That… universe. It’s not the typical issues that are canon to the show — like plot holes, questionable decision-making and garish getups. Nay, this particular puzzle lies in the rekindling of one polarizing flame: the entanglement of Aidan Shaw and Carrie Bradshaw. Look no further than their outfits.
Every loyal Sex and the City viewer can probably agree that Carrie and Aidan were never quite right for each other. Throughout their on-again-off-again saga, something about this couple didn’t fully fit — and their contrasting styles were the evidence. Aidan (John Corbett) was a down-to-earth dog-loving woodworker who lived in flannels and backwards baseball caps. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) was a New York City social butterfly who traipsed to cocktail hour in Manolo Blahniks and impossibly fluffy tulle skirts.
Their inevitable relationship issues — including an ill-fated proposal, two big breakups, and a poorly-timed romantic reunion— were hard to watch, but ultimately, made sense. In the competition for Carrie’s heart between Aidan and Big, Big always won. Big was glamorous and materialistic, while Aidan was rugged and outdoorsy. Time and time again, the former aligned more with Carrie’s values — for better or worse. In And Just Like That… season 2, however, Big is out of the picture, so Carrie and Aidan are giving their connection another go. History would suggest it’s doomed. But their costumes — orchestrated by Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago — seem to argue otherwise.
It all started in episode 7 when Aidan re-enters Carrie’s life and our screens. The startling nature of this appearance is not so much due to the fact that Aidan is back, but it’s in what he’s wearing: a modernistic coat festooned with pockets, done up with buttons and finished by a waist-cinching belt. Lying somewhere between Edward Scissorhands-core and a military uniform, the look prompted internet uproar, followed by existential questions about Aidan as a person.
Coming from a man whose outerwear was usually made of corduroy or denim, some argue that Aidan wouldn’t even know how to put this contraption of a garment on. And — hear us out — perhaps that’s the point. It’s Belstaff. It retails at nearly $1,000. And for Aidan, it’s an indication of a new era: he’s divorced, he has money after selling his furniture company to West Elm, and he’s into avant-garde menswear now, apparently. Standing next to Carrie in a floral dress, there’s something about this union that feels…fresh.
In the eighth episode, Aidan dons the jacket again, but with more toned-down styling. Instead of looking suffocatingly zipped and uncomfortably cinched, he wears it undone to reveal plaid lining — a print that feels loyal to the essence of his character. As he and a lovestruck Carrie peruse homeware aisles, spend time at their Airbnb, and go on dinner outings, their clothing seems, for the first time, somewhat in sync.
Carrie spends the episode looking uncharacteristically comfortable. She’s swathed in gargantuan cardigans, cozy knits and heavy layers of plaid and ruffles. Her silhouettes are billowy and loose as she muses about whether Big was “a big mistake” and contemplates living part-time in Aidan’s Virginia farmhouse. (This, from a woman who was physically repulsed after seeing a squirrel at his cabin in SATC season four?!)
Along with his new favourite coat, Aidan has ditched his turquoise rings and hipster string necklaces of years past. Now, he wears crisp T-shirts and collared button-ups. Within this polished vibe, even his flannels give off the air of a moneyed metropolitan man.
Both of their respective wardrobes appear indicative of a hopeful relationship journey. Aidan seems at ease in Carrie’s fanciful comfort zone. Likewise, Carrie is dressed like she’s making space (literally) for Aidan’s rural lifestyle. At last, it seems a sartorial middle ground is being reached.
Knowing these two, things will probably get messy. But if their evolved ensembles are any indication, perhaps their conflicting characteristics will finally find a way to exist in harmony. Take Carrie’s mid-episode decision to pair tartan with hot pink ruffles. Some things shouldn’t work together, but against all odds, they just do.
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