Field was born in 1941 in New York City to a Greek father and an Armenian mother, who emigrated from Plomari, Lesbos, Greece. She was raised in Astoria, Queens, and has claimed credit for inventing the modern legging for women's fashion in the 1970s. She is the owner of the eponymous boutique Patricia Field.
Field met Sarah Jessica Parker during the filming of 1995's Miami Rhapsody. They became friends and worked together on the television series Sex and the City. Before the first season of Sex and the City, Parker asked Field to design some of the clothes that her character, Carrie Bradshaw, would wear. During Field's tenure as costume designer on the series, the show became well known for the fashions.
For her work on Sex and the City, Field was nominated for five Emmy Awards, with one win, and nominated for six Costume Designers Guild awards, with four wins. She is one out of six honorees of the 2008 Reel Time Film Festival. She went on to return as costume designer for the movie Sex and the City (2008) and the sequel Sex and the City 2 (2010). She worked in the Asian market by creating the fashion behind the Chinese feature film "杜拉拉升职记" (Go Lala Go) (2010).
On 25 February 2011, Dior announced that it had suspended its head designer John Galliano following his arrest over an alleged anti-semitic assault in a Paris bar. The next day, The Sun published a video on their website, in which Galliano hurls anti-semitic insults at a group of Italian women and declares "I love Hitler... People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed." In a statement, Natalie Portman, an Oscar-winning American actress who is Jewish and whose great-grandparents died in Auschwitz expressed "disgust" at John Galliano's comments. Field defended Galliano by sending an email blast to 500 friends, blogs and media. She dismissed Galliano's statements as "theater" and later, in a phone interview with WWD described Galliano’s videotaped behavior as “farce” and said she was bewildered that people in the fashion community have not recognized it as such. "It's theater," she said. "It's farce. But people in fashion don't recognize the farce in it. All of a sudden they don’t know him. But it’s OK when it’s Mel Brooks' The Producers singing "Springtime for Hitler"."