February 3, 2023

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Unique & Classy

Shop 10 Best Lily Collins’ Fashion

7 min read

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I tried, truly, to resist the charm of that red beret. Didn’t we all? Ever since the debut of Emily in Paris on Netflix in 2020, the series’ audacieux fashion has drawn so much critical ire it’s practically a running gag. Who wears that much color in Paris? Especially when they can’t even speak French? And yet. Watching Lily Collins’ divisive Emily Cooper step out in an acid-green Miu Miu coat in the show’s third and latest season, I found myself struggling not to be swept up in the sheer joy of her devil-may-care wardrobe. A mishmash of clashing houndstooth, vibrant florals, neon gingham, light-catching sequins, and towering platform heels, her closet is as bottomless as her all-American energy. Emily Cooper’s style is forever toeing the line between luxury and kitsch, which is precisely where costume designer Marylin Fitoussi likes to play.

Sourcing nearly 40,000 pieces for this particularly fashion-packed season, Fitoussi—now the solo designer for Emily in Paris season 3, after collaborating with Patricia Field in seasons 1 and 2—is never not collecting unexpected pieces for Collins to slip into. She sources luxury pieces, like the aforementioned Miu Miu coat and one particular Balmain fringe suit, from websites, individual collectors, and vintage stores like Ôdette Curated Vintage in Bordeaux and goodJo Paris. “You never have the right bags or the right shoe color,” she says. “It sounds crazy. We had, like, 500 bags and—it’s not the perfect red; it’s not the perfect shoe. It’s always like that. It’s desperate sometimes, but it’s my passion.”

Never mind that Emily, an aspiring marketing executive, likely couldn’t afford Dolce & Gabbana tops, Jean Paul Gaultier jackets, or Giambattista Valli gowns. Fitoussi couldn’t possibly care less. (As she revealed in Netflix press materials, “The main lessons I learned from Patricia was her ‘we don’t care about reality’ motto, which gave me great freedom regarding tone and spirit. I let go completely.”)

 

This season alone, Fitoussi says Collins wears 43 different looks over 10 episodes. Only a teeny handful of them feature exclusively what Fitoussi refers to as the “French national colors”: navy, black, and white. The rest are a kaleidoscope of magentas and turquoises and rust oranges and banana yellows, a break from Parisian reality Fitoussi is all too thrilled to take. “In Paris, if you take the metro in the morning, everybody’s totally in black,” she says. “It looks like a church. And people say to me, ‘Oh, for once I’ve discovered how good it feels to be dressed in color.’”

She takes a particular pride in the controversy Emily’s closet choices have stirred up amongst both fashion and television fans. “I’m happy that people hate the show,” she says, smiling, “because that means my duty, it’s done. My mission is done. That means that what we can see on screen, it’s strong, it’s bold, it’s not regular or ordinary.”

And she knows exactly why, contrary to all our educated instincts, Emily in Paris’ costumes continue to inspire even monochrome-addicted cynics like myself: It’s fun. So if you long to shop and dress like Emily circa season 3, Fitoussi has plenty of tips—as do we, all of which you’ll find below—but remember one thing above all. “In Paris, they call me the parrot; they call me the clown because I’m dressed in color,” Fitoussi says. “Don’t care. You need to be unique and you need to be yourself. So play with clothes.”

Ahead, you’ll discover some of Emily’s best looks this season, as well as ideas for where you can find either the exact items, similar dupes, or in-the-same-vein alternatives.


Look 1

lily collins as emily, lucien laviscount as alfie in episode 301 of emily in paris

Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

Chic knits are indeed a Parisian staple, but trust Emily to shred the rulebook with iridescent shorts and lime-green knee-high boots from Maison Skorpios. The resulting silhouette is as good a guidepost as any when it comes to styling a lá Emily: Find mixed patterns and textures that share a color family, then layer them on with glee. And never neglect a high heel. Says Ashley Park, who plays Emily’s roommate Mindy, “Marilyn really found like this rhythm of, like, not just putting on an outfit, but really making a look out of everything.”

Exact

Essentiel Antwerp Cadaques Printed Sweater

Essentiel Antwerp Cadaques Printed Sweater
Credit: Essentiel Antwerp

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Nadine Merabi Karla Iridescent Green Shorts

Nadine Merabi Karla Iridescent Green Shorts

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Maison Skorpios Adriana High-Heel Metallic Nappa Green Boots

Maison Skorpios Adriana High-Heel Metallic Nappa Green Boots
Credit: Maison Skorpios

Alternative

Pierre Cadault X Rae of Light C'Est La Vie Acrylic Clutch

Pierre Cadault X Rae of Light C’Est La Vie Acrylic Clutch
Credit: Shop the Scenes

Look 2

emily in paris l to r lily collins as emily, lucien laviscount as alfie in episode 303 of emily in paris cr stéphanie branchunetflix © 2022

Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

Early in season 3, Emily dons a gorgeous Paco Rabanne silver-and-violet high-neck sequin gown. You won’t find the exact piece available online today, but a sequin dress is one of the relatively few modern trends Emily indulges in this season, so there are plenty of sparkly alternatives to be found if you’re coveting the style. Just don’t forget to pair with some sort of color.

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Paco Rabanne Ruffled Sequined Stretch-Tulle Mini Dress

Paco Rabanne Ruffled Sequined Stretch-Tulle Mini Dress
Credit: Paco Rabanne

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Max Mara Sequinned Mini Dress

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Credit: Max Mara

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Dress the Population Bodycon Midi Dress

Dress the Population Bodycon Midi Dress
Credit: Dress the Population

Alternative

Sanctuary All Night Long Dress

Sanctuary All Night Long Dress
Credit: Sanctuary

Look 3

lily collins as emily in episode 305 of emily in paris

Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

Emily bares some midriff with this classic look, in which she pairs a Barbara Bui sequin blazer from the designer’s Pre-Fall 2017 collection with a check-print bandeau from lingerie label LIVY. That exact bandeau will be available until Emily in Paris fans snap up all the stock, but other options include gingham crop tops or—if you’re bold enough—bikini tops.

Alternative

Cupshe Starlight Sequin Open-Front Blazer

Cupshe Starlight Sequin Open-Front Blazer
Credit: Cupshe

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Nasty Gal Disc Sequin Single Breasted Blazer

Nasty Gal Disc Sequin Single Breasted Blazer

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Credit: Nasty Gal

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100 Sisters Eclipse Soft Bandeau Check Print

100 Sisters Eclipse Soft Bandeau Check Print
Credit: 100 Sisters

Alternative

Abercrombie & Fitch Tweed Set Top

Abercrombie & Fitch Tweed Set Top
Credit: Abercrombie & Fitch

Look 4

lily collins as emily in episode 302

Netflix

It’s almost difficult to believe Emily is bummed during the scenes in which she wears this gorgeous Mira Mikati pastel blazer. The resulting look is so joyful it feels counterintuitive to watch our protagonist struggle with indecision. But perhaps that’s the real idea behind Fitoussi’s clashing patterns in this look: “Cooper,” as her boyfriend Alfie calls her, is caught between two worlds.

Exact

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Credit: Mira Mikati

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Everlane Modern Breton Tee

Everlane Modern Breton Tee
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BYCHARI Initial Pendant Necklace

BYCHARI Initial Pendant Necklace
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Look 5

lily collins as emily in episode 302 of emily in paris

Netflix

Collins herself is partial to this Dolce & Gabbana look, which, she tells ELLE.com, “looks kind of like a zebra and an elephant combined with the little micro shorts.” Emily styles them with a set of eye-popping Louboutin platforms, which were mere prototypes at the time Collins wore them. “I just loved the combination of those things amongst the neon of Pierre Cadault.”

The D&G top isn’t available to shop online, but you can evoke the same aesthetic with a zebra-print jacket, tiny black shorts, a pair of transparent black tights, and some gleaming silver heels. (Or you can opt for the actual Louboutins, if you’ve got some cash to burn.)

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Christian Louboutin Superyaz 160mm Platform Sandals

Christian Louboutin Superyaz 160mm Platform Sandals
Credit: Christian Louboutin

Look 6

lily collins as emily in episode 306 of emily in paris

Netflix

On a trip to Provence midway through season 3, Emily matches the picturesque skies in this light blue polka-dot midi with a torso cut-out. The billowy long sleeves add an extra layer of romanticism as she dines with will-they, won’t-they love interest Gabriel, one of the few characters not constantly outfitted in neon. You’ll find a few similar dress options below to test-run on your next date night, plus a few Emily in Paris-inspired accessories—including a Pierre Cadault-branded tote ideal for your next European vacation.

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RESA Jojo Mini Dress

RESA Jojo Mini Dress
Credit: RESA

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Pierre Cadault Pierre Cadault Large Canvas Tote
Credit: Shop the Scenes

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Pierre Cadault X Jennifer Miller J'Adore Nameplate Necklace

Pierre Cadault X Jennifer Miller J’Adore Nameplate Necklace
Credit: Shop the Scenes

Look 7

lily collins in emily in paris season 3 wearing a flounced jacket and floral corset dress

Netflix

During an event with Maison Lavaux and McLaren, Emily dons this Giuseppedi Morabito mini with a voluminous lavender jacket to welcome guests to the party. Fitoussi’s had the dress sitting around since season 1, but she says she could never find the right pieces to pair it with. Finally, ahead of season 3, she stumbled upon the ideal flounced jacket from Iris Apfel’s collaboration with H&M, released earlier this year. It’s the perfect example of Fitoussi’s mentality: Luxury fashion can go with budget buys, so long as you know how to mix them.

“Try to see beauty everywhere because every piece can be interesting,” she says. “And sometimes you don’t know at the moment how are you going to style it, but keep it.”

Exact

Giuseppe Di Morabito Floral-Print Corset Mini Dress

Giuseppe Di Morabito Floral-Print Corset Mini Dress

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Credit: GIUSEPPE DI MORABITO

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H&M x Iris Apfel Flounced Jacket

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Katie May Chasing Dawn Gown

Katie May Chasing Dawn Gown
Credit: Katie May

Look 8

lily collins wearing a cherry patterned anorak in emily in paris season 3

Netflix

For Emily Cooper’s idea of athleisure, abandon your LuLuLemon and look no further than this anorak-and-turtleneck combo courtesy of La DoubleJ. The striking cherry pattern might not be anything particularly outrageous for Emily’s wardrobe, but at your local gym, the look is certain to spark a few double-takes. Better yet, pair the top and jacket with joggers for your next airport excursion—and make sure you pack season 2’s infamous Pierre Cadault suitcase.

Exact

La Double J Cherry Hooded Anorak Jacket

La Double J Cherry Hooded Anorak Jacket
Credit: LA DoubleJ

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La Double J Cherries Turtleneck

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Extra

Champére Single Bottle Canvas Wine Bag

Shorebags Champére Single Bottle Canvas Wine Bag
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Pierre Cadault Suitcase

Pierre Cadault Suitcase

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Credit: Shop the Scenes

Look 9

lily collins as emily, ashley park as mindy in episode 309 of emily in paris

Netflix

Says Fitoussi, some of the season’s best looks—including this adorable sunflower-inspired get-up—came to fruition through creative fusion with Collins. “I can have a feeling if I get it wrong, or if she prefers that, or if she has also any suggestions,” she says. “I’m pleased that she’s now able to say to me, ‘I really feel comfortable, or I feel beautiful, or could we…?’ [We] have this beautiful relationship now with no hard feelings; we can say, ‘Okay, let’s try this. What do you think?’” That artistic process led to this look, which combines a light-pink lace top with a yellow blazer, kerchief, lavender socks, and yellow gingham platforms. Is it practical? Of course not! C’est la vie.

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Look 10

lily collins wearing clashing stripes in emily in paris season 3

Netflix

You might notice in season 3 that, in rare moments, Emily’s allowed a true Parisian mentality to rub off on her wardrobe. She wears more neutrals—though always in some sort of pattern—and she’s started to embrace more elegant French silhouettes, as you’ll find with this wide-leg pants look.

“I think now it’s time for her to embrace, a little bit, the French culture,” Fitoussi says. “She decided to stay in Paris. She was observing the way Sylvie was dressing, the way of Camille was dressing. We can see that this love-hate game between both of them means that Sylvie is now taking some color of this young and a little bit arrogant young American … and this young American girl is saying, ‘Oh, the high-waisted trousers with the wide legs, that’s so iconic about Sylvie’s silhouette. [Can] I can take it and do it in my own style?’”

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Headshot of Lauren Puckett-Pope

Associate Editor

Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers film, TV, books and fashion.