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Pretty Little Liars Star Shay Mitchell on Her Character's Closet: 'There Are Pieces I'd Steal for My Own Wardrobe'

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If you watch Pretty Little Liars, you know that Emily (played by Shay Mitchell) has one of the most relatable looks of the bunch — she’s casual, relaxed and always in jeans and plaid shirts. And that’s a look that’s not going anywhere: In season 7, she’s continuing that chilled-out vibe, but elevating it slightly, as Mitchell and the show’s costume designer Cameron Dale told PeopleStyle when we visited the set earlier this summer.

Dale describes her look as “definitely more mature and a little more dressed up” — read: her flannel plaids are now silk — but assures that everything you see Emily wears still has that signature Emily vibe. And that’s a plus for Mitchell. “I’m the complete opposite in my real life so I think coming to work it’s fun,” Mitchell says. “You really do get to put on your character’s shoes.” Now, her look has “a little bit more my style incorporated in it. There are pieces in it that I really love that I would steal for my own wardrobe.”

So, how do you steal the “Emily” look, too? Mitchell and Dale told us three tricks for our “My Style Rules” series (watch it above!).

Pretty Little Liars Emily Shay MitchellAdam Taylor/ABC Family via Getty Images

Dale started to add more and more of the tight necklace to Emily’s accessory rotation this season. “We’ve definitely incorporated chokers because Shay looks amazing in them and they’re great,” says Dale. It’s a dream come true for Mitchell, who says she owns about 150 of her own. “I think that they’re actually very simple for anybody,” says the star. “I think high, low neck, whatever. You can grab ribbons if you even have them and use and just tie it. Even just like a really cool leather string or something. You really can make them from anywhere.”

RELATED: Shop Emily-Inspired Chokers on the Pretty Little Liars Section of PeopleShop!

For someone who prefers pants and shorts over skirts and dresses, Emily has found ways to dress up her through accessories, like belts. “For Emily it’s about incorporating accessories that are going to amp up the more basic pieces,” says Mitchell. “So, we all have jeans, right? We wear them all the time and I think throwing on a belt with a white tee completely changes the look.” In season 7, you’ll see her in the western-style, double-buckle belt because “it’s super hot right now and we’re a young show, so it’s fun to stay on trend,” says Dale.

Pretty Little Liars Emily Shay MitchellAdam Taylor/ABC Family via Getty Images

RELATED: Pretty Little Liars Star Ashley Benson Reveals Hanna’s Coolest Style Tricks

Even though the show jumped five years forward, Emily is still a student — going back to school to finish her degree. Thus, she needs a backpack, and Dale set her up with a cute black leather style. “We’re not going to give her a full-on school backpack — we’ve grown out of those,” says Dale.

Mitchell loves a good backpack, too, especially one that’s worn correctly with both straps instead slung over one shoulder — a lesson she learned from experience. “I think it’s good for your back,” she says. “I went through school with the one shoulder bag and that definitely messed up my whole alignment. If you are going to be choosing whether to have a double back or a one strap, mark my words you will regret it when you’re older wearing the one strap bag because everything is thrown off. So double strap is better for your back. And it’s cute now.”

Watch the video above for more. Do you like Emily’s look? Tell us in the comments!

— Sharon Clott Kanter