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Picture this. It’s Friday night. Your significant other is nowhere in sight. You have on your favorite comfortable pajamas and you have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey to keep you company. You turn on the TV. What in the world should you watch? Do you like makeover shows that are smart, witty, and fun? Does it make you feel good to see people change not only on the outside, but also on the inside? TLC’s What Not To Wear might just be the show for you!

The hosts of the show are the sassy and sophisticated Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. Stacy is kind of like that friend you have that you really do love but you secretly hate. She looks killer in stilettos and makes fun of you for wearing your favorite hoodie and sweatpants to the grocery store. Clinton is the peanut butter to Stacy’s chocolate. He doesn’t hold back and will tell you if you are dressed like a groupie at a Bon Jovi concert circa 1985.


They look sweet enough, but just wait until they see you in stonewashed denim jeans!

The premise of the show is that an unknowing person is secretly filmed over the course of a few weeks. Stacy and Clinton ambush the fashion disaster when she (I’m using “she” because I’ve only seen one or two episodes where the participant is a man) is least expecting it and tell the person she has been selected for the show. This usually leads to crying and/or anger at the friends and family who nominated the person. If the fashion victim agrees to hand over her ENTIRE wardrobe to Stacy and Clinton, she gets a credit card with $5000 to spend shopping in New York City plus a hair and makeup makeover.


Dolly Parton called, she wants her hair back.

My favorite part of the show is the 360 degree mirror. It’s more like the “Hey America! Look at every imperfection on my body!” mirror. Participants pick 3 outfits (usually casual, going out, and work) to model in the mirror. I can’t believe some of the things people actually still wear. There has been anything from a one piece denim jumpsuit to a too tight leather mini skirt to velvet shirts from the 70s. Stacy and Clinton make fun of every single thing that is modeled in the 360. After this, Stacy and Clinton get to go through the participant’s wardrobe and throw away anything they want. This is usually the part where the participant yells and fights and claims that their plaid overalls are still in style, but Stacy and Clinton show no mercy. After the participant is thoroughly degraded and wardrobe-less, Stacy and Clinton show 3 mannequins with modern and stylish outfits. These are the “rules” for shopping. The rules usually involve a straight legged jean, a jacket that makes a person look narrow, a dress with an empire waist, and a pair of dangerously high heels.


Another ratty mullet ponytail bites the dust.

There are two “shopping days”. On shopping day one, the participant gets to go out on her own and pick clothing while Stacy and Clinton watch from behind closed doors. On day two, she gets help from them. After this, the participant gets a haircut and style from famous stylist Nick Arrojo and then she gets her makeup done by makeup artist Carmindy. It’s after this complete outside transformation that the soul searching begins. Some people admit they were hiding behind their clothes or they didn’t have the confidence before that they do after the whole process.


“C” is no longer just for cookie, it also stands for chic!

There is a big final reveal where the entire new look is first shown to Stacy and Clinton and then to family and friends. They “oo” and “ahh” and there’s always Stacy’s trademark “Shut up!” thrown in for good measure. At the end of the show, the fashion victim is a victim no longer and suddenly has the confidence to go out and take over the world.

This is a wonderful show that has its own Friday evening time slot, but there are reruns on all of the time. Although I love this show and I’m not denying that a hot pair of red heels can make a girl feel like Superwoman, but come on, who REALLY wants to get rid of those ratty, worn in, most comfortable pair of gym shorts in the world you’ve had since college?

What Not To Wear is on Fridays at 9pm Eastern on TLC