The Transformative Heart of 'What Not To Wear'
I hear voices in my head if I'm tempted to run to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things dressed in my work-at-home uniform of an oversized T-shirt, sweats and well-worn Birkenstocks. Those voices say things like, "Why are you going out in public in that schlumpy, sad sack of an outfit? Have you learned nothing at all from a decade of watching our TV show?"
Beyond a mere makeover show, TLC long-running What Not To Wearexplores the emotion and esteem issues behind our clothing choices. The show's hosts, style mavens Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, have demonstrated how pleated mom jeans, hippie-era resale store ponchos, or sparkly spandex club-wear alike can be ersatz versions of fig leaves in which we hide our best selves.
The show, which just launched its tenth and final season, highlights the duckling-to-swan transformations that can be accomplished with a New York City shopping trip, an appointment with a top hair stylist and makeup artist, and a heavy dose of barely filtered truth. Clinton and Stacey's efforts have illustrated Coco Chanel's maxim: "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
The show's ambush-style interventions strip away the artifice of those fig leaves so the person hiding inside can shine. On What Not To Wear, the person getting the makeover is usually last to get the memo that she is beautiful.
The format for What Not To Wear hasn't changed ...1