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Part romcom and part office drama, the Darren Star-helmed Netflix series Emily in Paris follows the adventures of our titular heroine (played by Lily Collins) as a young American embarking on life in Paris. All kinds of drama ensue for Emily Cooper from steamy trysts to workplace feuds. Zipping from cobblestoned city streets to scenic locations outside Paris like the French Riviera, the series is packed with picture-perfect moments. Emily’s high-octane wardrobe (put together by costume designer Marylin Fitoussi) is also worth watching the series for. Even if her professional and romantic decisions prove occasionally disastrous, there’s no denying that Emily is a pro at putting together a killer ensemble that matches her bubbly, go-getting personality. Against a sea of cool neutrals, Emily’s yellow blazer and monochrome beret fashionably stand out!
Referencing our heroine’s growth over the show’s two seasons while staying true to her fondness for bold, bright and OTT looks, I’ve assembled three dramatic yet highly wearable outfits that mix preppy influences with street style touches. Whether you’re heading to the office, Fashion Week or an after-party, these Emily in Paris-inspired looks will come in handy.
1. Alternative Power Dressing – the Emily Cooper Office Look
Two obvious things about Emily: she lives to work and she doesn’t do traditional corporate attire. Throughout the two seasons, we never see the heroine in anything resembling a pencil skirt, plain blouse or a pair of flats. Her workplace outfits – which, let’s face it, aren’t all that different from her weekend ensembles – scream: “I’m ready to take on the world, but want to stay true to my quirks!” For Emily, those eccentricities are channeled through an abundance of eye-popping colors, a love for avant garde details and a healthy disregard for fashion trends.
Forgoing Parisian chic for fun and fantastical ensembles, Emily sashays into meetings sporting everything from rainbow-colored crop tops to emerald green tweeds – sometimes all in the same outfit. Never satisfied with a single print, she boldly combines a floral pattern with plaid, or a Breton top with heart print bottoms. Offering a more streamlined take on her maximalist chic, I’ve opted for a checkerboard print cardigan that hits the sweet spot between bold and demure, and paired it with a tweed mini in bright pink. Of course, this look wouldn’t be an Emily Cooper-inspired ensemble without some bold accessorizing, so I’ve added a beret with faux pearl trim, a tweed shoulder bag embellished with gold-tone details, and a faux pearl choker featuring whimsical charms. As for the decision to forgo Emily’s trademark heels for neon block-heel slingbacks, I figure that IRL even the most committed fashionista needs a break from stilettos!
2. Just Another (Avant Garde) Girl Next Door – the Emily Cooper Date Look
Although she’s still partial to sassy, outré and color-heavy ensembles, Emily in Paris Season 2 sees our style icon gaining a newfound sense of sophistication. For instance, the pink and black mini dress Emily wears to her birthday party manages to make the over-the-top bow on the one-piece look chic. Consider also the crop top and mini combo she wears to an impromptu date, which radiates girl-next-door vibes but with an uptown twist. This season, for every pair of fingerless gloves or bucket hat she sports, there’s something streamlined in the mix to balance out the edge, like a floral print dress or mini skirt. The results? Colorful alternatives to Parisian fashion that brim with spontaneity.
In Emily’s words: “Being a romantic and being a realist are not mutually exclusive.” With that in mind, I mix designer vibes and street style touches to assemble an Emily Cooper date outfit that’s fun and flirtatious while making a fashion statement. Not just any shirt dress, this avant garde version comes with a dramatic tulle front that contrasts nicely against subtle cherry embroideries. To keep the whimsical vibes going, I’ve added pops of pink via ribbon-tie sandals, movie star-worthy sunglasses and rhinestone-encrusted earrings. For extra drama, this handbag fitted with gold hardware and a celestial-themed ring ooze quiet romance. This outfit would be perfect for a romantic tête-à-tête with that special someone, or an all-girls hangout at the French Riviera.
3. Glamor and Spunk – the Emily Cooper Fashion Week Look
Emily in Paris isn’t short on drama, and the fashion show scenes in both seasons showcase diva behavior alongside stylish outfits. Instead of taking direct inspiration from Emily’s glitzy front row looks, which include a red tulle dress with fairytale vibes, I’ve crafted an edgier ensemble in red, black and white that could easily take you from drag bar to Fashion Week after-party.
For a hard-hitting first impression, I’ve selected this cold-shoulder, monochrome top echoing one of Emily’s more experimental work outfits: the two-toned, asymmetrically cut mini dress that wowed her colleagues. Instead of a mini skirt, I pair it with a plaid midi that would be classic if not for the off-kilter hemline. Vintage touches such as kitten heels, a boxy shoulder bag and a satin scarf up the old Hollywood vibes, while a faux pearl necklace embellished with a golden heart pendant keeps things girlish. As Emily would say in her far-from-perfect French accent, “Très chic.”
Before you start protesting that this ensemble is way too much, remember that this is Emily Cooper we’re talking about! If you look to our endearing heroine for style inspo, you’ve got to break some fashion rules, like going against the convention that sartorial success depends on clean silhouettes, subtle edge and low-key colors. For summer fashion looks that fizz with energy and whimsy, it’s time to forgo the streamlined chic associated with French fashion for an Emily-style makeover. Her looks might not be for everyone, but they’re never boring.
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