TLC’s What Not to Wear Pulverizes the Fashion Challenged

Let those with fragile egos be forewarned-never, ever apply to be on TLC’s hit show, What Not to Wear. Oh sure, a $5,000 VISA card to spend on a whole new wardrobe, a trip to New York and a fabulous new haircut and makeup lesson might seem like a dream come. But make no mistake- being a participant on What Not to Wear is definitely not for the faint of heart (although the brutal fashion critiques make for darn good tv viewing).

The co-hosts of What Not to Wear, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, are given free reign to make fashion roadkill out of the participants. They don’t hesitate to tell them just how hideous their clothes are, how large the wrong outfit makes them look, or how totally inappropriate they are dressing for work, for clubbing, or for going anywhere. These two seem to think that going to the grocery store in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt is a crime punishable by being locked in a stockade while the rest of the town throws rotten fruit at them. They don’t mince words as they toss every piece of the person’s clothing into a giant trash bin. Brutally honest, yes. Helpful, probably. Gentle and mindful of a person’s ego, never ever. But then, that’s what makes What Not to Wear such a guilty pleasure.

I know I dress really, really bad. I know if a “friend” nominated me to be on What Not to Wear, I would be picked in a heartbeat. And I might even endure Stacy and Clinton’s torturous fashion critique for the opportunity to go to New York and shop for a whole new wardrobe. I wouldn’t hesitate to throw every piece of outdated, ugly, stained and hideously awful clothing into the trash can myself. Yes, I know my clothes suck. But would I make it out alive after hearing Stacy and Clinton laugh uproariously at how I looked in my clothes? Would I cringe in embarrassment when I looked at myself in the dreaded 360-degree mirror? Would I even be able to come out of the dressing room wearing my repulsive clothes? Would being turned into fashion roadkill for the sake of entertaining What Not to Wear’s viewers be worth it?

UmâÂ?¦yes, yes, yes and yes! I would even go so far as to nominate myself to be on What Not to Wear. I wouldn’t really mind when they told me how horrendous I looked, because I wouldn’t be one of those who walk in saying, “I don’t look that bad,” or “What’s wrong with this outfit?” I have mirrors at home, and I have eyes that see very well thank you, so I am not crazy enough to think I don’t need their help. Besides, all the histrionics on What Not to Wear are done just for the sake of “good tv,” so why take it personal?

Now, if you’ve never seen What Not to Wear and you are the least bit interested in fashion and how to dress yourself, you owe it to yourself to watch the show. In between making fun of the participants, Stacy and Clinton actually impart some good advice. The tips they offer to the participants can be useful to know when shopping. After several seasons, I really have learned a lot from these two, and the only reason I’m not dressing better myself, is because I haven’t had the money to go on a clothes shopping spree for a long time.

This dapper duo does know fashion. However, I’m still not sure I buy their argument that pointy-toed shoes make your legs look longer and hence, you will look thinner. Maybe it’s because I happen to love square-toed shoes (gasp!) or maybe it’s because I just don’t think a tiny shoe can make that much difference. Never mind. The rest of the fashion and shopping advice on What Not to Wear seems right on. I’m positive I will be making good use of Stacy and Clinton’s tips one day soon.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching TLC’s What Not to Wear on Friday nights, and soaking up fashion advice like a sponge. Care to join me?

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