Emily In Paris – Let’s Talk Style

Paris dreaming Emily in Paris

In good news, we’ve come out of Covid lockdown here in Melbourne, Australia. In not so good news, friends and loved ones in Europe and the UK have been thrown into the same situation we recently emerged from.

To anyone enduring restrictions today, know that Scott and I are thinking of you, and sending you love. It’s not easy, but Melbourne proves that it can be done. Lockdowns do have a very positive impact on the spread of the virus.

Thanks to the continuing pandemic issues, it’s a given that I’ll be pining for Paris for the foreseeable future. And so, we did what every every other francophile on the planet has done. We popped ourselves in front of the TV to devour every second of the Netflix series, Emily in Paris.

With a large number of Parisian landmarks on display, regular visitors will feel at home. And for anyone dreaming of their first visit to Paris, it gives a sneak peak into everything the city has to offer.

Is Emily In Paris Perfect Viewing For Everyone?

Well, no. While Emily in Paris shows off the City of Light, this doesn’t mean the series is universally loved. Our now adult son shared that he couldn’t bring himself to watch Emily in Paris. And this was a child who was regularly dragged to France from a young age. In fact, his housemates told us that he struggled to even listen to it when they decided to take a look at the show.


Well, the thing is, the episodes are equal parts charming and cringe-worthy. Let me put it this way. Our girl Em manages to highlight every aspect of the cultural divide between France and countries like the United States and Australia.

Given the high number of faux-pas on display, it’s safe to say that I’m not the first blogger to point out Emily’s many errors. In fact, two of my guests on The Franco-Files have well and truly beaten me to it. Jo Karnaghan shared how to avoid making some of Emily’s mistakes over on frugal first class travel. And Catherine explored some of the accuracies and exaggerations on Taste of France.

But despite the shortcomings, we still really enjoyed Emily in Paris. The characters are very entertaining. And you find yourself wanting Emily to find success in her new city.

For my part, I was almost as captivated by the style portrayed in Emily in Paris as I was by the gorgeous Parisian views. Let’s face it, the man who created Sex and the City was unlikely to hold back on featuring fashion. Like Carrie Bradshaw before her, Emily sports an extensive, and at times enviable, wardrobe.

The team over at Purse Blog took the time to show off every Chanel purse and handbag featured in Emily in Paris. And in doing so, they provided an excellent insight into the style of Emily, her friends and her co-workers.
But the question needs asking….

Would you see some of the looks portrayed in Emily in Paris on Parisian streets?

And the short answer to that question is no.

I’ve rarely seen sky-high heels tackling the cobblestones. And while Parisians wear quality items, brands and logos tend to be under, rather than over, stated. I don’t think I’ve ever seen shorts on anyone other than tourists. And the same goes for berets.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy a lot of the style displayed on Emily in Paris. But, if you are keen to know what Parisians actually wear, you might like to check out this post. I wrote it after spending the day with three Parisian women who were kind enough to answer all my questions. And as far as I can tell, their answers still hold true.

Tell me – did you enjoy Emily in Paris? Or are you more like our son, and avoiding it like, well, a virus? Please let me know in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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9 thoughts on “Emily In Paris – Let’s Talk Style

  • Taste of France

    I just started watching it for the second time. I was watching “Eight Women,” with an eye-popping cast of French stars, but it was too stagey and like a play rather than a movie. I couldn’t decide whether the camp was intentional or not. I bailed out and wanted a sure sugar fix so I queued up Emily.
    What stood out this time was the inappropriateness of her clothes. Off the shoulders in the office? Especially for her? Too many colors, too many patterns. The French characters, especially Sylvie and Camille but also the Durée lady and the wife of the cheating perfume guy, were more accurate. I do see people wearing berets, especially old men. The office itself also was pretty typical.
    Another thing that struck me: Emily had money to burn, and not just on clothes. She got two box seats at the opera? That’s around 50€ per person.
    All that said, it was good fun, and Paris is never tiresome to look at.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Catherine. I do hope you and yours are doing ok. Isn’t it interesting what you take in when you watch something a second time? I didn’t comment on the ‘cash to burn’ element, because it reminded me of the Carrie Bradshaw debate – namely how did she afford that New York lifestyle on what people typically earn for her role? I think part of the escapism comes from the ‘over the top’ nature of the spending for relatively relatable jobs. And I couldn’t agree more…I’m always happy to take a look at Paris xx

  • Barbara Breaden

    I did enjoy Emily yet similarly grimaced at the spiky heels over cobbles and the brash colors of her wardrobe. (The shoes accentuated her awkward, distinctly non-French carriage.)

    I enjoyed re-linking to your French fashion tips. It may sound absurd to incorporate a quality t-shirt into one’s wardrobe, but happily such oddities can be found. I am most pleased by the fact that flats, not 5″ heels, are de rigeur. In the US I’ve seen more and more sites with chic and comfortable flat styles popping up on Instagram. Ditto with stylish tennies—at long last.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks so much Barbara – I’m glad you enjoyed the show. I feel like that French style advice I received was relatively timeless and yes, if you are prepared to look, a high quality version can be found. Which is good if you want to save on shopping time, and save on the amount of clothing we discard.

  • Denise Linkson

    I thought the city of Paris was the star rather than Emily. I loved every scene that showed off Paris but not so much the indoor scenes, but in saying this I still thoroughly enjoyed the series. I’ve never seen anyone in Paris dressed like Emily & sometimes I found her dialogue cringe worthy but it was sometimes a good lesson in how not to behave! I loved how one of her workmates asked her why she was yelling when she was in a meeting, just priceless!
    All in all though how could you not enjoy a show set in the city of Light!! I’m reading a book at the moment that describes Paris as le grand soupir which translated means the grand sigh because somehow Paris makes you breathe in deeply & exhale & when you did some of your troubles fell away.

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks Denise. I agree that Paris was certainly the star of the show. And yes, some of the scenes were just plain funny rather than cringe-worthy. Do you mind sharing the name of the book you’re reading? It sounds quite fascinating.

    • Denise Linkson

      Hi Janelle, the book is The Winemakers Wife by Kristen Harmel & the comment was made by one of the characters grandmother. It goes back & forth between WW11 & modern day France, set in Paris & the Champagne region with Riems
      She also wrote The Apartment on Rue Amelie set in war torn Paris, I also thoroughly recommend this one to.

  • Denise Linkson

    Hi Janelle, the book is The Winemakers Wife by Kristen Harmel & the comment was made by one of the characters grandmother. It goes back & forth between WW11 & modern day France, set in Paris & the Champagne region with Riems
    She also wrote The Apartment on Rue Amelie set in war torn Paris, I also thoroughly recommend this one to.