Watching What Not To Wear is where I got most of my fashion advice growing up, whether that was a good thing is still to be determined. Clinton Kelly and Stacey London would ambush people who needed a fashion makeover and totally turn their lives around...or at least their wardrobe.
But while we saw what happened on screen, there are many things behind the scenes we never knew!
1. Clinton and Stacey Aren't Around That Often
“What you saw on camera was pretty much my entire interaction with [Stacy and Clinton]. There was very little off-camera interaction. It wasn’t like they were avoiding me, they just wanted them to give genuine, fresh reactions to how I looked,” said one participant, Casey. She, along with many other 'contestants', have claimed it's mainly stylists and personal shoppers who go along with them to pick out outfits.
2. It's Not Off The Rack
Ever wonder how these people can walk right into a boutique store and there is magically every piece of clothing they want in their size? Well, they actually don't. The contestants DO go shopping and find what they want, but the outfits are tailored to fit them perfectly. That way when filming takes place, no time is wasted.
3. It's Been A Long Day's Night
Hours and hours of footage is shot, and it all gets cut down into the 43 minutes we see on TV.
“Every day was epically long. Day one was watching the secret footage they filmed of me hanging out with friends in my neighborhood looking like an absolute lazy schlub. I then had to model my regular wardrobe for Stacy and Clinton and spend some quality time in the show’s patented 360 mirror, while being flanked by two gorgeous, tall, TV-ready people, to really make you feel ugly. But this is how the show works: they break you down in order to build you up,” said former participant, Jules Gerstein.
4. It's Your Money
When participants are given $5,000 it seems like a free-for-all shopping spree. But it's actually not the case. Contestants have to pay taxes AND for tailoring. They're allowed to keep the cash and not really buy anything, but they're encouraged to spend to the budget.
"One of the producers told me the first day to NOT spend all $5,000 and set aside some of the money for taxes," a former contestant wrote on Reddit. "As you are shopping, someone else has control of your money. It isn't like you are walking around with 5 G's in your pocket so it is difficult to know how much you have spent and when to stop. I constantly checked in on where I was money wise!"
"The other thing NO ONE sees on air is that a huge chunk of your money goes towards tailoring. Literally EVERYTHING you buy is later tailored to you," she continued. "At the end of the week the seamstress comes to your hotel room, you try everything on, she pins and marks it all and a few days later everything is all returned to you with the perfect fit. You pay for that service out of your $5,000."
5. Clinton Is Really Nice!
According to Clinton, he keeps in touch with all but two of the show's participants.
"I keep in touch with about 100 of them, believe it or not, whether it's Twitter or Facebook or a text message here or there," he said. "I've really only gotten into fights with about two women out of 350 (over the years)."
6. Donating Clothes
I always cringed watching all those clothes end up in the trash when Stacey and Clinton tore through their closet. Shirts, pants, dresses, shoes all getting thrown in the trash! But it will make you happy to know that all clothes not reclaimed by contestants are donated to charity.
7. Personal Shoppers Wanted
Contestants are followed by a personal shopped who actually does most of the styling for them.
“My personal shopper [who never appeared on screen] is the person I spent the most time with. I learned more from her than anybody else,” said Casey D.
Another former contestant Broyles said her biggest takeaway from the show was due to her personal shopper: “I learned more about clothes from power-shopper Jess, my stylist, than London and Kelly combined.”
Did you know any of these things about What Not To Wear?