Why Emily in Paris is the Escapist Show You Need Right Now (Even if it is Ridiculous)

An American in Paris is a great film. Unfortunately, right now, that’s all it is. A film and sadly not the plight of so many Americans who have been banned from crossing the borders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Unless you have a Canadian or European passport or have pulled off the art of being a stowaway you are stuck with looking at photos of Paris. Well, until now.

It’s like the people at Netflix can read our minds because they have provided us with the ultimate escape route and you can do it right from your couch. Meet Emily in Paris. A plucky American with aggressive eyebrows (the charming though slightly forced Lily Collins) who gets every young woman’s dream job when she gets to move to Paris to work at her marketing company’s new Paris-based acquisition. 

Like many Americans she doesn’t speak French. Unlike other Americans, she isn’t embarrassed by this at all (she also is not embarrassed to wear a dress with eiffel towers on it to work but that’s another story.) But also unlike many Americans her life is written by the highly entertaining and always compulsively trendy Darren Starr. And also unlike many Americans, every single French man finds her charming and immediately falls in love with her (if I had known the odds were so good I would have gone there years ago despite my strong aversion to berets and rich cheeses.)

The show has received much criticism for its French cliches and some of Emily’s personality traits and, well, entire existence but whether you are hate-watching it or just watching it, you will mostly be entertained. And all of us could do with some beautiful cinematography of the world’s most romantic city and a look at that amazing cuisine in the convenient package of 10 episodes.

In addition to the city views and the food, the clothes are, of course, a huge focus. Patricia Field-she who gave us the giant flowers, the midriff belts, and made us think running in stilettos in New York was a requirement- is the mastermind behind Emily’s wardrobe (and don’t worry, we get plenty of crop tops and fringe purses here too.) Similar to Carrie Bradshaw we are quite entertained by the sartorial aesthetics while also often delightfully perplexed. 

Workout clothes? Non.

For example, Emily Cooper’s workout gear is confusing. Apparently she is a good runner so we are not sure why she would wear a heavy parka to run in as if you are doing it right, your muscles should warm up. And then for another jog, she opted for a Chanel eyelet cropped blouse. I would wear a Chanel eyelet cropped blouse to a dinner with the Queen of England while Emily wears it to sweat in. Tomato, are you kidding? Has she heard of Lululemon? Or rather Le Lulucitron? But at least she wore sneakers and not those purple boots. 

Hats or chapeaus

Though Carrie never went too insane with the hats, Emily has filled that void with her friggin bucket hats.

I am not sure why the bucket hat even came into fashion as no matter what you are wearing that is all anyone will remember about you (and call you.) 

Ridiculous, non-functioning purses

Carrie had some amazing purses that probably only had room for two cigarettes and Emily is no exception with her pearl ball purse. Well, maybe it could fit that croissant she ate once. 

The coat game is strong

Just like Carrie, Emily has some fabulous coats. The pink one is my favorite as it is simple but makes a major statement. I also enjoyed her flannel (let’s count it as a swacket) in Episode 1 as it was so unapologetically American. 

She loves to dress up!

Just like Carrie and Blair Waldorf (a lot of Gossip Girl references in this show so get ready), Emily likes to dress up. Her opera outfit is a little over the top but if you had the waist of Audrey Hepburn, you know you wear that dress too.

How did she afford these ensembles?

Emily clearly lives in the same universe as Carrie Bradshaw because in this universe middle management marketing employees and writers can afford a bounty of Chanel in their wardrobes (despite insisting that they are a basic bitch.) 

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth, SheKnows.com, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.