Both New York dwellers with a penchant for emotionally unavailable men, Hannah and Carrie are the leaders of their respective four-girl gangs. One fronts Girls, the other Sex and The City; there’s no doubt this quirky pair has become a cultural barometer for females everywhere.
How like or unlike them you are, the traits you can identify with – or perhaps the ones you baulk at – tells you and others a lot about your own personality.
Admittedly it all went downhill for SATC when the movies hit but the TV series is still oh-so-watchable, while new kid-on-the-block megahit Girls takes over the baton as leader of the thinking girl’s telly-and-fashion-fix pack.
The two women might stalk the same well-known cityscape but their fashion sense couldn’t be more different. Glamorous Carrie was regularly seen strutting around Manhattan in Manolos and sipping cosmopolitans in the latest upscale hotspot.
Meanwhile, awkward Hannah is a Brooklyn-based hipster and flats fan who is teetering on the edge of an emotional breakdown after her parents withdraw their financial support.
Fashion played a huge role – almost that of another character – in the plot line of Sex and the City and the four ladies looking polished and aspirational at all times was part of the deal.
Clothes also communicate an important part of the Girls plot but in a more relatable, twenty-something-friendly way: a lot of the costumes are picked up in well-known, Williamsburg vintage haunts Beacon’s Closet and Atlantis Attic.
And you didn’t think Hannah’s ill-fitting, disheveled appearance was by mistake, did you?
No, costume designer Jenn Rogien told The Huffington Post that it’s all part of a clever ploy to convey Hannah’s nature.
“We found some silhouettes that worked really well on her through the first season, and we tend to go back to those silhouettes because they do help to emphasise some of the awkward nature of Hannah’s character. They don’t quite hit at the right place – we mess with the hem lengths so they’re not exactly the best or most flattering length. We don’t press her clothes, so that they aren’t completely put together.”
Much like the girl herself then.
Carrie’s infamous tutu has gotta be her most iconic look, similar to how Hannah’s self coined ‘shorteralls’ will go down in the history books. There are more comparisons to be made between the two characters so we hopped to it and put together their top six accessories.
1. COMPUTER WORLD
Ah, the laptop is the preserve of every wannabe scribe and when Carrie screeched, “my whole life is on that computer,” we felt her pain. Carrie keeps her Mac clean and unadorned while recent graduate Hannah has sloppily decorated hers with tatty stickers.
2. GET IT IN THE NECK
Loyal to her namesake necklace, Carrie’s signature piece repeatedly pops up throughout the show’s six seasons. It even resurfaces in the last episode after she temporarily misplaces it. Hannah isn’t as sentimental about her jewellery but does show consistency in the styles she favours: apples, owls, robots and the zipper pendant (pictured) all illustrate her offbeat sensibilities.
3. FLOWER POWER
Carrie made the flower corsage and vest look haute couture and this is one of her most recognisable accessories from the early episodes. But Hannah’s got her own take: her illustrative tattoos are just as pretty and feminine, if a more permanent addition. Both show these characters share a sense of whimsy.
4. BEST FOOT FORWARD
Definitely in the practical footwear camp, Hannah regularly wears brogues or plimsolls. She’s just far too practical to wear heels. Carrie, on the other hand, is known for her love of a car-to-bar skyscraper and is a dedicated devotee of Manolo Blahnik’s designs.
5. BAG IT
Carrie’s choice of carryall while walking the streets of the world’s most romantic city? Why, a bag shaped like the Eiffel Tower of course. Hannah still hasn’t quite left her college days behind her as sports several different brightly coloured satchels. In the third series she’s using a more grown-up monogrammed brown version.
6. LET’S (NOT) HEAR IT FOR THE BOY
And last but not least, where oh where would our small screen heroines be without an emotionally unavailable fuckwit to pine over? Probably in a stable, loving relationship, I’m betting. I never warmed to Mr.Big and always campaigned for Aidan. MmmMMmm Aidan. Sorry, I digress.
And after that leaving Carrie at the altar fiasco Big pulled, her taking him back felt all kinds of wrong. I have come around to Hannah’s Adam though and his ‘murdery in a sexy way’ charms. The arms might have played a part in winning me over*
So that’s us: how about you – who wins in your personal battle of SATC v Girls? Is Hannah a step above Carrie in the adorment stakes and is Carrie looking a little jaded in these hipster days, or does she remain your #1 stylespiration? Do let us know!
*I’m very shallow.