What Not To Wear

Why is it that the U.S. version is twice as long, and still gives half the information? Okay, both the BBC show and the American show are a bit dicey–they go to great lengths to humiliate the person they are making over (but for $5000 bucks, I would take some humiliation), but the idea–show people how to buy clothes that flatter them–is very good. The U.S. version runs for an hour, but they spend almost no time going over the rules! The BBC show gives very clear rules, explaining to everyone why a short fat person should wear this, and tall, busty women should look for this and avoid that, and flat-chested women can do this to create ooh-la-la, and everybody can look fabulous if they remember X, Y and Z. The U.S. version shows a couple of outfits and tells everyone to buy wide-legged pants–they don’t explain what is hidden or accentuated by the styles they recommend. Heck, if I’m going to watch this squirmfest, I want to be able to get some useful information! I also want a complete new wardrobe (and I hate clothes shopping) with the rules for my shape so I buy the right stuff!


good luck

I watched my first episode of this last night. It WAS a squirmfest. They could have told her what was wrong with her wardrobe without being so nasty, or humiliating her so badly.

However, the woman did look terrific at the end. (Kerry? an opera singer, anyway.)

I watched the first couple of US episodes. Really bad. The fashionistas go too far trying to make their little points and what’s worse is they just aren’t funny. I love a good nasty insult as much as the next guy but they should at least be funny nasty. And please, some of the clothes the guy wears (orange gas pump jockey looking shirt last week, for one) leave him no room to talk about anyone else’s clothes, and his long hair is just gross. I don’t think the show works in an hour format.

Thank you elfje, that gives me a bit to go on!

And Otto, I agree completely that taking fashion advice from the guy on this show just seems wrong. If he can’t dress himself in a stylish and flattering way, why would I think he could dress me?

I’ve tried to watch to TLC version, but as Kallessa pointed out, they don’t give you any helpful information!
Trinny and Suzannah are think are helpful, witty, and I trust their judgement.
Otto’s correct also. Sorry- ditch to guy!

The TLC “hosts” seem too preoccupied with themselves to worry about their “guest”.

Love the BBC, haven’t seen the TLC and now won’t bother.

I like that the BBC picks “real” women. I’ve started taping it because I know some of my women friends will dig it.

I wish they’d do one for guys. I have to “dress” for work and now I’m wondering - flat front or pleated? What style of sport coat will work best with broad shoulders and beer gut? Is it OK to wear a concho belt with dress slacks and shirt just because I live in Montana?

And it’s fun to hear the British slang. “Gobsmacked” is one of my favorites. And my favorite line, from the episode “Sam” is,

“Take that fag out of your mouth and stand up.”


I love Larry!

Anyone watch Saturday’s episode? The first WNTW guy and he was a corker. He said what we’ve all been thinking, that for “style gurus” the fashionistas wear some pretty disasterous clothes themselves.

I watched this week because I was curious what they’d do differently with a male fashion victim and because I think my body type is somewhat similar to Larry’s (although I’m taller and not as bulky around the middle). I think someone had a talk with the male fashionista (is it Wayne?) about toning down the pointless insults. He zinged a couple but they were actually funny and didn’t seem strained. Maybe he hired a writer? And he lightened up to the point of taking off his pants in a store for Larry to try on to prove to Larry what kind of pants he should be shopping for.

The advice was useful if basic (wear neutrals, stay away from buying your shirts 6 for a dollar at the thrift store). I felt for Larry not wanting to spend huge amounts of money on individual pieces of clothing. I can’t imagine what I’d spend $5000 on if all I could buy with it was clothes.

If there was ever a piece of advice a man should have taken to heart, Larry should have avoided buying and wearing hats. The hat he wore for the “reveal” made him look like a novelty cream dispenser.


Larry was great. What an expressive face he has!

I couldn’t believe no one snatched that hat off his head before he got to the party, though. Ew!

(It was funny that the first thing he did with the money was go buy $500 worth of fugly hats.)

I love the BBC version of this show much more than the US TLC version. Trinny and Suzanah give great advice. They’re very blunt, but they’re never really mean about it. And they do want the person they’re working on to look good.

If you want to know more about “The Rules” buy their book, “What Not To Wear.” It’s packed with great information, and it’s very funny. I love it! It was $20.00 CAD so it would probably be $12-$15 US after shipping. It’s totally changed the way I look at buying clothes now.

Antelope!! Yes, that was hysterical. The “victim” was the best thing about that US version episode.

I’ve seen two eps of the US version, and absolutely hate it. Why can’t the US do these BBC shows justice? Changing Rooms/Trading Spaces is another remake that I don’t think works. The US versions always seem more mean-spirited and not nearly as helpful. And the hosts seem so obnoxious and fake!

The BBC show is much better, IMHO. It makes me glad that they never remade AbFab with Roseanne Barr.

I have to admit to watching the US version three times now, and I’m appalled.

First of… it costs five times more to redo your wardrobe than to redo a room in your house? I mean… yaaagh!

It seems pretty cruel to criticize people who never, ever in their lives had five thousand bucks to spend on their wardrobe for not having fashionable clothes to wear, when the ‘right’ jeans cost $140. Of course these people have no idea what to do when they wander into the blasted wasteland that is Hugo Boss; the idea of a sweater that costs a couple of hundred dollars is enough to leave most people lying on the floor, gasping in hysterical laughter.

And then there are the hairdresser and make-up person. Who, apparently, lost touch with reality some time ago. I think the last straw for me was watching the hair guy go on about the difference between going to a real stylist and just getting a haircut. Well, I, for one, would love to be able to flounce down to my local salon and plop a wad of twenties down for the haircut of a lifetime, but I’m afraid I’d have to cut something out of my budget first. Like, say, food and electricity. Most people get the hair care they can afford, and making fun of them for doing so is intensely mean.

Which is what the show is all about. It’s not teaching these people how to dress better within their budget. It’s teaching these people, and those watching, that without a really large regular income, they’ll never be able to look this good on a regular basis.

I keep thinking about the poor victims of the show, a few years down the line, going into those stores and not being able to afford more than a shirt. All the clothes they spent five grand on are getting worn, and they need new clothes, and they can’t afford the good stuff, so they’re back to dressing shabbily, only now they know how bad it looks. And they remember a couple of years where they could pretend to be rich enough to dress well.

The whole thing seems designed as an affront to people with average or low incomes. Yet another instance of the fashion industry saying ‘You can never look this good.’

I saw part of an episode of this Sunday night. People are supposed to take fashion advice from a guy with Fabio hair-wearing a sweat shirt and beat up jeans, no less- and a woman dressed like she got seperated from her motorcycle gang? Right.

I agree. I’d cash their check, spend about $500 on an entirely new thrift store wardrobe (ok, maybe a pair of expensive shoes) that conformed to their “rules,” then take the remaining $4500 to the Red Cross or a soup kitchen.

I do enjoy when the camera follows the people shopping for the first time. SOme of the remarks are hilarious. “Oh look, here’s a purse for when you have to carry your cucumber!” ROFL!

Me? I could drop five grand on clothes with out even trying. (I don’t, btw) I love clothes. I love shopping. I wish I could be on the show just to get my hands on the money, but I have way too much style. :stuck_out_tongue:

The reason they give them so much money is because they are getting rid of so many of the old clothes. And remember, the money covers every thing from undies to shoes to jackets and coats. They are trying to give them a base to build from. All you have to do from there is add a piece or two every season or so to keep current. So, in a few years, if something is starting to show wear, the “Fashion Victim” can afford to replace *one * item, which is out of fashion anyway. And you don’t have to pay full price; there are lots of knock-offs floating around.

My only fear is that, having been made over so publicly, these people will cling to these looks for the rest of their lives, not taking the good advice and applying it to the new designs every season. I think they will end up fashion victims once more, once the trends have moved on.

All that being said, I totally agree about the BBC version being much better. Not as mean, better advice. And I hate his hair, too.

I didn’t know the show was a BBC original. The TLC show is horrible… Well, the two hosts are horrible. They make me cringe… they really are assholes.

Another thing that annoys me…

The whole first days’ shopping is pointless. Completely, utterly pointless. You give some schmo ten minutes worth of fashion advice, and of course they’re just going to flounder about when you let them loose in the fashion dens of NYC. They still have no idea what they’re doing, and standing by laughing at them is nothing but mean.

It’d be much more interesting to see them be babysat for the first day, and then turned loose on the second, when they’ve got some confidence in their shopping ability and some idea of what they’re doing. Otherwise, the victims are just going to revert to type.

“The BBC show is much better, IMHO. It makes me glad that they never remade AbFab with Roseanne Barr.”

I thank the gods for this every single day.

Granted, they turn them loose in NY’s most expensive stores for the benefit of the show, but what little advice they do give will work in everyday stores as well. If you’ve been advised to look for v-neck sweaters or pants with no pleats, you can find them in K-Mart. The only advantage to shopping at Hugo Boss is better quality. I will pay $140 for pants (although not jeans), because they are of a quality that will last me almost forever–and there are styles that don’t go out of fashion, and some styles I’m willing to wear even if they are out of fashion (it’s called the classic look). There is a mid-point between outrageously inflated prices and too-cheap-to-bother-with, and that is where most people shop. And, Larry mentioned that one of his pairs of pants–at Hugo Boss, I believe, cost him $12 bucks, down from $250, so deals exists even in the world of the cluelessly wealthy.