Here’s What Emily Should Wear in Emily in Paris, Season Deux

There’s a lot wrong with Emily in Paris. By now, most of us are familiar with the show’s more troubling aspects: the retrograde notion that Emily’s boss simply can’t take her dream job in Paris because she’s pregnant; the rampant fatphobia and allusions to smoking instead of eating; the cartoonish depiction of French people en masse; the entirely uncalled-for Lou Malnati’s diss! (Emily, how could you? A true Midwesterner knows Lou’s is the best, this Emily included.)

And then there’s the fashion. If I’m being honest (and appropriately melodramatic), it’s what bothered me the most. Many a screed has been written about Emily’s perplexing tastes: her earnest berets and Eiffel Tower prints, those five-inch stiletto boots, a seemingly endless cache of statement outerwear. (Exactly where is she storing all of these faux furs and holographic moto jackets?) It isn’t just that her clothes are “exquisitely tacky” or, in many cases, totally unprofessional; in our first glimpse of our protagonist, when she’s still Emily in Chicago, she’s wearing a teeny-tiny minidress in her corporate office.

What really strikes me is that Emily’s outfits don’t come close to reflecting how young women dress in 2020. (Before you fact-check me on the show’s ambiguous time frame, that “guerrilla fashion show” Emily stages was a spoof on Viktor & Rolf’s spring 2019 couture collection, which took place shortly before Netflix likely started filming. Vis-à-vis, we can assume this is modern-day.) Throughout the show, we’re repeatedly told that Emily is not chic and are even led to believe she doesn’t really care about fashion at all (lest you forget Sylvie’s devastating burn: “She has no references”).