It’s easy to write Aidan off as having no style. After all, he’s compared to the highly stylized Mr. Big, who is perpetually in a suit and a very tightly fastened tie. But Aidan’s jeans-and-T-shirts uniform fits him so well because he actually wears his clothes and works in them–with his hands. He’s sanding, sawing, and living in those T-shirts. He’s fading his jeans himself because he’s wearing them to death.
But Aidan ultimately knows quality. Remember that little suede jacket he wears when we meet him? It’s visibly great quality, the color of teak wood ripped straight from an aged Tectona grandis tree. (Note: He wears the same jacket for his return in season 4.). It immediately elevates any denim and T-shirt look he is wearing. Aidan knows quality fabric; his job is to upholster.
Upstate Fabio also has a certain flair that trickles into his accessories. The most obvious is his love for his turquoise jewelry. (Charlotte uses this against him in a cutting dig when Carrie is considering getting back together with him). His hands are full of gumball-sized rings while his neck is swinging with leather twine necklaces. It’s a tender form of self-expression.
Aidan’s multiple transformations later on in Sex and The City are upsetting, at least to me. Here is the man who has forsaken his funky leaf print button-ups with fat collars for cigars. He’s gone Samson-and-Delilah with his boring short hair, and, yes, left his man jewelry behind.
When Aidan reappears in season 4, Carrie misses him and immediately notes how great he looks while Samantha exclaims, “He just needed to get rid of the turquoise rings and that tummy!” Another gal pal refers to him as “Low fat granola”. And it’s true: Aidan did become low-fat granola. His spirit and style were diluted and jaded by Carrie’s cheating. He lost a lot of charm as he became more and more city-fied. There is a glimmer of hope though. When Aidan and Carrie reunite in season 4, throws rocks outside of her window. While he’s tossing pebbles, he’s wearing that same delicious stellar woody suede jacket with a white shirt embroidered with florals (though he has short hair). It’s the most tender possible version of his later self—and a reminder of why he looked so great to begin with.