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Frugal Fashion: I don't know how Sarah Jessica Parker does it

July 20, 2011 |  7:00 am

Sjp2After "Sex and the City," Sarah Jessica Parker and Carrie Bradshaw both became fashion icons. Viewers tuned in every week to watch what the frenetic, shoe-obsessed Bradshaw would wear next and in the real world, the paparazzi snapped pictures of everything Parker had on, from a MET ball gown to jeans at the grocery store. The infamous Carrie Bradshaw may have been just a character, but the HBO show gave the actress who portrayed her ubiquitous style power. 

Parker, 46, has been on the cover of Vogue six times, including this month's issue in a Burberry Prorsum cable-knit trench coat. With her lithe frame she is the perfect model and her affinity for classic designs with a twist makes her wardrobe a sort of style bible for fashionistas at any age.

Parker, who can next be seen in the film "I Don't Know How She Does It," slated for a Sept. 16 opening, recently made an appearance at the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" premiere in New York City with her husband Matthew Broderick and son James Wilkie. One who never shies away from taking risks with her clothing, Parker ditched the expected fancy premiere gown in favor of a languid, flowy silhouette. She looked resplendent in a patterned maxi dress, navy boyfriend blazer and gathered handbag.

Be ready for your own summer soiree in a long, colorful maxi like the Fire chiffon overlay maxi dress for $52 from Nordstrom, below at left, Willow & Clay print maxi dress, center, for $39.97 from Nordstrom Rack or the Aqua Racer back maxi dress from for $88.


Parker could have gone the traditional route and covered up with a small cardigan or shawl, but the boyfriend blazer makes a bold statement and is a nice contrast to the flowy dress. Get a similar look with the Asos boyfriend blazer, left, for $94.81, a the gold-buttoned blazer with turn-back cuffs, center, from Zara for $49.99 or a style with patch elbows from H&M for $39.95.


Parker's gathered bag is a refreshing change from the classic party clutch. It's still small in size but a piece you can easily sling over your shoulder while dancing. Zara makes some similar looks with the gathered messenger bag, left, for $49.99 or a smaller version with a chain strap for $29.99.

Happy shopping!

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? Email us a picture. We're up for the challenge.

-- Jenn Harris


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Top photo: Actress Sarah Jessica Parker attends the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" on  July 11 in New York. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

Dress photos from left: Fire chiffon overlay maxi dress. Credit:; Willow and Clay print maxi dress; Credit:; Aqua racer back maxi dress. Credit:

Blazer photos from left: Asos boyfriend blazer. Credit:; Blazer with turn-back cuffs. Credit:; Navy blazer. Credit:

Bottom photos: Gathered messenger bag, left, and cube messenger bag. Credit: