A lot of people like to say negative things about Philly. We’re fat. We’re mean. We’re ugly. For most of us, hearing these things is like nails on a chalkboard. We cringe and want to be like, “no stop! We don’t just eat cheesesteaks and whip batteries at Santa, we are more than that, dammit!”
But thankfully we have fine humans, like Emily Goulet, also known as the editor of Philly Magazine’s Shoppist, who uncovers the beautiful gems our city has to offer and puts them on display. To show people Philly is not only stylish and savvy, but we’re also chockfull of tastemakers.
I’ll admit it, I’m a huge fan girl of Emily’s as everything she writes about I immediately become obsessed with, a la Sticks + Stones, a beyond drool-worthy jewelry line. (I would sell my soul for a piece)
So I’ll shut up so you can get to know one of the finest writers and tastemakers Philly as to offer. I give you … Emily Goulet.
I can only imagine your closet is epic, but what is your favorite item in there right now? A black leather IRO moto jacket. And a collection of caftans from the ‘70s. I love a good caftan.
How did your editorial career start? I began as an intern here at Philly Mag just after college and have held countless positions here since, from research editor to managing editor. I’ve always naturally gravitated towards lifestyle coverage, so—after nearly 10 years—I’ve finally found my perfect role here.
Did you always want to work in fashion? While I’ve always had an interest in fashion, writing has always been my first love. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to hold a pencil. That’s what many people don’t understand about being a fashion or lifestyle editor: Writing is a huge part of the job. That’s how I spend most of my time at work, in my office with headphones on, writing.
I love your bathtub selfies. Where did you get that epic mirror? That was a gift from a couple who owned Love Illuminati, a since-shuttered (sob!) boutique in Newtown. They were getting rid of it and I adored it. Yes, it’s the only full-length mirror in our house, and yes, propped over the tub is the only place it fits.
What are three of your favorite places to shop in Philly? Joan Shepp, Ninobrand, Material Culture. And any flea market ever.
What is your least favorite place to shop and why? Forever 21 and H&M. I find both stores incredibly overwhelming, messy and stressful. Zara is really the only fast-fashion retailer I like.
Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you cure it? All the time! I’m lucky in that I get to work with so many talented writers and editors. It helps to sit with them and talk out what I’m trying to say, what message I’m trying to convey. And we read each other’s stuff constantly.
What is something clothing/accessory-wise you would never leave home without? My wedding rings. I wear a mismatched five-ring stack, which includes a spiky gold ring by Angela Monaco, a local jewelry designer (her line is called Concrete Polish) and owner of NoLibs boutique Ritual Ritual. I love the contrast between the diamonds and the modern, funky metal. And I’m almost always wearing at least one Tom Binns safety-pin earring.
I know you’re a vintage lover like myself. Where are some of your go-to spots? Malena’s Vintage in West Chester is terrific, and Philadelphia Vintage and Consignment Shoppe has incredible treasures. Meadowsweet Mercantile is a newer spot, and they’ve got a great selection of women’s vintage, too. Jinxed has fun gems for the home. And The People’s Store Antiques Center in Lambertville is a total wonderland.
Describe the fashion scene in Philly? Do you feel it is up and coming, or do we have some work to do? It’s definitely up-and-coming, and we’re making huge strides. Our retail scene is better than ever. Sure, we’re getting a lot of off-price chains in town, but we’re also seeing a flood of new independent boutiques, too. The support between shops is terrific—everyone seems to understand that we all ride the wave together. We get a bad rap, but we’ve got some of the most stylish people in town I’ve seen anywhere.
You definitely have a style to you, which rocks (love dresses over bell bottoms). Is there a method to your looks you pull together? I’ve found that my style goes in waves. Winter means a lot of black, a ton of layers, lots of texture, a tad more modern. In spring and summer, I find myself gravitating toward a more ‘70s, hippie-ish look, with much more color and pattern-mixing. I don’t mean to, but it always works out that way. I find that I’m most comfortable when I’m a bit uncomfortable, when I’m not quite sure if my outfit is working. If I feel too comfortable in something, then it’s boring.
Favorite designer … from Philly and not from Philly: In Philly, it’s Bela Shehu. I adore her. Not from Philly: Dries van Noten, Rosie Assoulin, Valentino and everything from Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. Everything.
Advice for girls/guys breaking into the editorial fashion scene: It’s not as glamorous as it might seem. And you have to love to write, first and foremost.
Special thanks to Lauren McGrath, assistant editor of Shoppist for the rad pictures