Whether you're watching Sex and the City for the first time or rewatching for the twentieth, a few seasons in it becomes evident that emotional intelligence, tech-savvy, and authentic sex positivity aren't Carrie Bradshaw's strong suits. Though she does have her shining moments as a writer, friend, and pun enthusiast, her true area of expertise is more sartorial in nature—as a shoe connoisseur.
When selecting the ultimate Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) shoe, a few come to mind: the red Manolos that get stolen in season three, the frilly pink Christian Louboutins that get drenched when Miranda's water breaks in season four, or even the Manolos that go missing at a children's party in season six. There's no shortage of shoes to choose from, but the ultimate Carrie Bradshaw pumps don't appear in the series at all—they're the pair that we first see in Sex and the City: The Movie, which she ultimately wears for her city hall wedding to her longtime love Mr. Big (Chris Noth).
When Carrie said "I do," she opted for Manolo Blahnik's silk Hangisi stilettos in a royal blue hue. The pumps became an instant favorite among SATC fans, embodying Carrie's signature style: the perfect balance of ultra-glam and bold unconventionality. The elegant crystal embellishment and pointed toe landed it on countless Pinterest mood boards and inspired innumerable dupes.
Victoria Bazalinchuk, the fan behind the account @justlikethatcloset, says that the pumps are key to the plot. "Manolos were an underlying theme for all six seasons of the original show, plus the movie. They became a Carrie essential! It’s hard to imagine Carrie’s wardrobe without a pair of Manolos. So, of course, when their romance was wrapped up with a pair of Manolos and a proposal, the blue pair became significant, and every true SATC fan dreamt of getting married in them."
Read on to take a closer look at what these shoes mean to the characters, how they've been influential for other brides, and what they tell us about the state of Carrie and Big's relationship in the upcoming HBO Max miniseries And Just Like That...
In Sex and the City: The Movie
When Carrie and Mr. Big finally decided to move in together, she christened her new closet with the Hangisis stilettos, fresh out the box. Once she placed them in her luxe new closet, she said that "Now, I believe this is all really happening." Not so fast! Their wedding went awry, and Carrie moved back into her old apartment, so she left her new pumps behind and didn't retrieve them until right before new owners moved into her joint penthouse with Big.
When she arrived to pick them up, Big was waiting for her with the Hangisis in hand. Swoon! They immediately got back together, and instead of proposing with a ring, he slid the shoes onto Carrie's foot Cinderella-style. Double swoon! Carrie wore the pumps to their low-key nuptials, and they lived happily ever after until the film's 2010 sequel (let's all agree that Sex and the City 2 isn't canon, so we won't discuss).
Down the aisle IRL
The most famous bride to replicate Carrie Bradshaw's luxe wedding shoes is Olivia Palermo. For her 2014 civil ceremony to model Johannes Huebl, the MTV alum channeled our favorite fictional columnist when she wore the Hengisis to top off a two-piece wedding look.
On her website, Palermo explained that she had the shoes for six years before wearing them down the aisle—she even one-upped Carrie Bradshaw by having Manolo himself add a personal touch. "He signed the soles for me, and I tucked them away for almost six years, waiting to step out for a special occasion," she wrote. "When it was time to get ready for the big day, they were perfect. As Mr. Blahnik has been a family friend for years, and even though Carrie wore them in Sex and the City, what bride-to-be wouldn't want to walk down the aisle in Manolo!"
And Just Like That...
Since the SATC revival was first announced, rumors have been swirling about what that would mean for Carrie and Big. There are several widely-discussed fan theories about their future: one claims Big will pass away in the upcoming episodes, and another posits that he'll be leaving Carrie for his ex Natasha (played by Bridget Moynahan, who has been spotted on set).
We're not sure what awaits Carrie and Big in And Just Like That... but since the shoes were a proxy for an engagement ring in the 2008 film and SJP was spotted in them while filming the revival, things actually might be just fine between the two. In the photos taken on set, Carrie was the only SATC alum without her spouse (even Miranda's teenage son Brady had a +1), but that shouldn't necessarily be cause for alarm because, in Carrie's case, throwing on the Hangisis is basically the equivalent of wearing her wedding band.