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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

We heart Clinton Kelly!



Clintonkelly2 Oh, how we divas adore Clinton Kelly.

We strive to hit the perfect pitch of sweetness and snark that he dishes out as co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear. We watch hours of back-to-back episodes, conspiring to ugly up our wardrobes so he’ll come rescue us with a $5,000 shopping spree.

Lucky us, he’s bringing his wit and wisdom to local fans during two upcoming visits to area Macy’s stores. To hold us over until he gets here, read the preview chat I had with His Royal Fab-ness (um, yeah, I'm still on cloud 9 about it). I had to trim it down big time for our print versions, but I put back in more of the goodies for you blog readers.

DON'T FORGET: Clinton is hosting two events at area Macy’s stores. Catch him this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel (all body types) or Saturday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m. at the Westfield Countryside mall in Clearwater (petites). For the latter show, call (727) 724-7307 to reserve a seat.

We’re feeling pretty bummed out by the country’s financial mess. There are so many good sales out there, but so little cash to spend. Got any cost-conscious tips for mixing this season’s styles with last year’s slacks and sweaters?

You’ve got to think about the purchases that you’re making. Ask yourself, “Do I need this to be an investment piece for me?” You have to look with an eye toward classics, especially when it comes to evening wear and dresses and suiting. Pencil skirts are popular right now. They’ve been popular for 40, 50 years. Nobody’s going to think you’re a freak if you wear a pencil shirt in 2009 or 2010.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate some trends into your wardrobe. The color purple is everywhere. And ruffles are everywhere and vests and plaids. So if you’ve got some disposable income and you want to spend it on something that’s trendy, go ahead and do that.

But you have to be conscious and know that next season, a purple ruffle blouse worn with a vest is going to look very 2008.

Which trends do you consider must-haves right now?

Top five: Ruffles, purple, vests, plaids, and the grandpa sweater/boyfriend cardigan.

Of course, not every runway fashion makes a smooth transition to Main Street. Will women in Everytown, USA., be able to pull off a six-inch heel if the models in Milan were slipping and sliding in their sky-high Pradas?

Absolutely not. They’re not practical for a lot of women. (But) you can’t just opt out either. There are many happy mediums. There are small heels that are very comfortable to wear. Don’t say, “I’m going to walk around town in my white Reebok high tops because they’re comfortable.” I mean, that’s ridiculous.

What role should fashion play in the political dialogue?

Not much, quite frankly. There have been poorly dressed First Ladies. Somebody like Eleanor Roosevelt, not necessarily the chicest woman on the planet, however a very intelligent woman who had a lot to say and did a lot of wonderful things. Politics should definitely be about the issues.

(But) I think how you dress really does say something about you. Cindy McCain does a good job at looking classic. Michelle Obama does a good job at looking modern and classic at the same time.

Strictly speaking fashion, which aspiring First Lady gets your vote?

Michelle Obama. I think she’s chic and cool. She’s doing it right.

Give us the inside scoop on What Not to Wear. Does every participant warmly embrace the opportunity, or has anyone ever told you to take a hike?

This season, we did 45 shows. Maybe 15 of those women were pains in the butt. We’ve only had three people out of 240 episodes that I’ve done say no. (Side note: One woman in San Francisco backed out after her therapist advised her against participating. Why, why, why?!)

You and Stacy London seem like great pals on the show. Do you hang out off-camera? Go out to dinner with on your birthdays? Know each other’s moms?

We know each other’s moms. But we don’t hang out outside of work. We’re spending 60 hours a week practically in each other’s laps. When they say cut, we go home to our own lives.

We do have a great work relationship. We still make each other laugh after all these years. We have almost identical senses of humor and very, very similar senses of style so it’s been a great combo.

I think I might be the luckiest freaking guy in the world. With that said, I’ll probably get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Do you have any fashion regrets of your own? Things you wish you had never worn?

Not really so much.

Always fabulous?

Yeah, pretty much. I’ve never been particularly concerned about being on the cutting edge of fashion. It’s not my thing, you know. I do like to look good though. I’ve always taken a sort of classic approach to dressing.

In high school I did have a pair of what I call triple threat jeans: pleated, acid washed and tapered. Not so cute.

So have you ever snuck out to the store in gym shorts or PJs?

Never pajamas. Very rarely I have run an errand in gym shorts. That’s one of the hard things, well there are many difficult things about being me (laughs), but one of the things is when I’m out in public people expect me to look perfect all the time, and they will call me out if I don’t.

There will be times when I’m coming back from the gym in New York...and it’s inevitable that someone will say, (he mocks an annoying female voice) “That’s what not to wear!” I’m just like, leave me alone, I just left a run on the treadmill. Can you me a break?

Here’s your chance to make a shameless plug for why everyone should buy your new book, Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else.

It is the book that will make you as freaking fabulous as you’ve always wanted to be. It’s what I call the completer piece to one’s life. There are these little things that you might have wished you could do, like how to behave in a restaurant and the difference between who and whom that might be holding you back from fabulousness. What I’m doing is giving people information in a funny way, and it becomes digestable.

~ Deal Diva Colleen

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:11pm]


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