What Is Shop Rat?

Shop Rat is a newsletter I started in September of 2023 as a challenge to myself to get offline, go outside, and engage with style in real life. 

Like a lot of people, I shop online a lot. Too much, in fact, which is why my goal is to leave my apartment and immerse myself in physical retail environments as often as possible. I’ll report back on what I find and what I see other people *actually* wearing as well — on the street, on the subway, in parks, bars, restaurants, etc. — as opposed to trends being made up on TikTok. Monthly “guest shoppers” will also be solicited to help keep things interesting.

I plan on posting at least once a week. Some posts will be free, but a paid subscription will gain you access to all my best ideas and secrets.

Why Should You Pay for It?

Fair question! In addition to Shop Rat being an excuse for me to leave my apartment, I also aim to provide actual services, namely: original reporting, unbiased recommendations, and unfiltered criticism—informed, of course, by my impeccable (and expensive) taste. To do all these things well, time, money, and experience are required. Help me help you!

I will NEVER do sponsored posts, and I will ALWAYS disclose if I’ve received any goods for free. That’s the Shop Rat promise.

Who Is “Emilia”?

I’m a native New Yorker who has been writing about fashion and culture professionally for almost a decade. Before going freelance in January of 2023, I held the position of Senior Fashion Writer at The Cut at New York magazine, where I worked for over five years. (And where I was spoiled by brilliant editors and fact checkers, so apologies in advance for errors!!)

Before that, I was at W magazine. And before that, I worked with bloggers like Garance Doré and Leandra Medine of Man Repeller.

I’ve since written for publications like The New York Times, T magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Town & Country, and many others.

I cover a lot of different topics, but one of my favorite things to do (when I’m not obsessing over The RealReal and what Anna Wintour eats for lunch), is immerse myself in a city, particularly *thee* city. I love talking to characters; exploring different areas, micro-neighborhoods, and scenes; visiting small stores and mega-malls; noticing trends; and losing my AirPods along the way. Sometimes, I’ll also spy on people, especially if they’re Larry David.

If you want to know more about me, you can check out my website and follow me on Instagram. But only paid subscribers will know my secrets!!!

And Who Designed Your Amazing Logo??

It was designed by my incredibly talented friend, Clara Kirkpatrick, a New York-based illustrator also known as Doodle Deli. Check out more of her work on her website, and follow her on Instagram!

Reader Reviews of Shop Rat So Far:

"It reminds me of fashion blogs in their prime."

“Shop Rat has a very insightful and critical take on today's fashion and city culture. It's extremely informative and thoughtful, delivered in a non-pretentious, unintimidating, and entertaining way. Good wit, good taste! Have loved every post and looking forward to everything else :)”

“Best and most fun fashion writing around!”

Subscribe to Shop Rat by Emilia Petrarca

One fashion writer's attempt to get offline, go outside, and engage with style in real life.


Emilia Petrarca 

Emilia Petrarca is a native New Yorker covering fashion and culture. Before going freelance, she held the role of Senior Fashion Writer at NYMag's the Cut, where she worked for 5 years. Her writing can now also be found in the NYTimes, WSJ, and more.