We’ve all been subjected to these TV shows or segments that are “what not to wear” oriented. The concept was perhaps made most famous by fashion stylist Stacy London, who hosts the a show, “What Not To Wear” on TLC and also pops up on programs like “Today” doing segments like the one that caught my eye – or was it my ire – just before the holidays.
What can I say about it? It was an atrocious style segment.
In order to appreciate it in all its total glory, you have to sit back and see it from start to finish. You will be subjected to a lead-in montage that shows how the Kardashians [“the first family of reality TV,” as Ann Curry says] were decked out in their annual Christmas card, and how other celebutants, how the First Family, and even how the Duchess of Cambridge were dressing around the holidays. Though I always enjoy seeing Princess Catherine, because she pulls herself together so well, that was not the point of the segment. It was probably also the best part of the segment!
That whole opening montage was set up just to make the point that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good for holiday festivities. Of course, I buy into that concept. But it would have been more effective to say what those famous people were wearing and how you could achieve that look for less.
Segue into none other than miss What Not To Wear herself, Stacey London, her band of trends and poor volunteers, and the segment took a turn from bad to worse.
London’s point was rooted in dressing to be authentic. “It’s also about dressing you, and not dressing yourself to look like a Kim Kardashian. You want to be yourself.” Thank god!
Sondra, the mother of a Today show staffer, came out dressed in the winter white trend. And the first thing London says is, “Here’s the big thing” as Sondra saunters before the camera. She is a curvaceously voluptuous woman who wore a very heavily textured blanket sweater with a scalloped detail that made her look even more curvaceous and voluptuous. She wore a scoop neck top beneath it, which was the most flattering item of any in the outfit. There was an uber-large necklace worn with this ensemble that may have been effective at drawing your eye away from other flaws with the outfit they put her in, but it was as ugly as sin. But perhaps the biggest sin of all was the ill-fitting white pants London outfitted her with. They put the “V” in vajayjay. You really don’t want to be looking there, but it was so distracting you can’t help it. To top it all off, white makes any part of the body look larger, even if the look is white from head-to-toe. It would really have helped Sondra tremendously if the chosen clothes were entirely flattering to her figure, and had fit well, which would have compensated for the color choice.
Sondra’s body language suggested that she was uncomfortable with what she was wearing and that she wanted to somehow hide. It was far from a Princess Catherine moment for her. #Fail.
Cassidy was the second volunteer, showing off a look for a casual party. Her look was perhaps the easiest on the eyes of the four. But it was a sort of rubberized legging, a sort of faux leather concept, that if you’re above about a size 4 and aren’t quite tall and thin, will not be flattering. Still many would look at this and consider the idea. Her black embellished tank kept the look simple, but not too basic. What I cannot believe is her insistence that “these are two easy pieces that almost any body type can wear when you pair them together.” I don’t think Sondra could have worn them. #Fail on the advice.
Nancy was the third model, dressed for a cocktail party. I think she was dressed in road kill if you want to know my honest opinion. And her hair looked so uninspired for a cocktail party. [Actually everyone’s hair. Who was in charge of their hair!!!] The dress she had on was not enhanced by her foundation garment, as her breasts looked to be smashed and sagging, both at the same time. The combination of her awful hair and awful stole make her look so droopy, like she’s all ready arrived at the party looking just a bit too tipsy for her own good. Plus that stole makes her look very chesty. Is she trying to channel a bit of Krystal Carrington here? #FAIL
Karinna is the final model of this sad state of affairs. They have her dressed for a family party. She’s got an adorable little baby boy with her. While I don’t generally have a problem with what she’s wearing, I don’t understand why this nagging style of lace at the bottom of a T-shirt has to extend beyond a sweater and be visible. If the objective is to keep your eye focused on the beautiful young woman and her cute baby, that white lace around her mid-section is a surefire distraction. #Fail
You can’t always trust what you see on TV. I tell this to my clients privately all the time. And now I’m telling everyone. Was this an example of what not to wear? Absolutely! Thanks, Stacy.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.