'What Not to Wear': Stacy London and I Get Real

Today's cuppa: Irish breakfast tea

What_Not_to_Wear_Stacy_London.jpgWell, this is the day -- the day that my new clothes are supposed to arrive. They're the result of an interesting intersection of reality TV and real life.

But first, some background.

In January, at the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour, I ran into Stacy London, host of "What Not to Wear" (airing new Season 7 episodes Fridays on TLC).

We'd done interviews before and conversed on Facebook, so we knew each other a bit. As it was well into press tour, and I was starting to run out of laundry, I had on a screen-printed black-and-white hoodie featuring scenes of Italy.

I liked it. Stacy did not, declaring, "We don't need landscapes. We don't need architecture."

As the Discovery Networks party was that night, I had a pang of insecurity about the outfit I'd brought with me (no, it didn't also have a hood) and immediately went shopping (BTW, hit a great sale and got some awesome sweaters cheap, so it worked out).

Later that night, at the party, while the new sweater (a red zip-front Shaker knit with bell sleeves and a faux black mouton-lamb collar) passed muster, Stacy decided I still needed some help and offered to take me shopping next time I was in New York.

And when I say "shopping," I don't mean on the famous "WNTW" credit card -- I mean on MY credit card.

Although fearing debt beyond my wildest dreams, I agreed, and last Saturday was the day.

As this experience wasn't for public consumption, I'll keep most of the details to myself, except to say that Stacy is as advertised and did wind up talking me into some beautiful stuff, including clothes I certainly never would have bought on my own. The financial damage was also not as bad as I'd feared. It certainly wasn't the bargain outlet, but it wasn't Saks Fifth Avenue either.

I also walked away with a head full of new rules, and the small satisfaction that a few (only a few) of the ones I already had were right.

But the part I really wanted to share is this -- the revelation that some folks are just what you see on TV. After a visit for a relevatory lingerie fitting in Manhattan (an experience I heartily recommend), we went to a Brooklyn boutique, Stacy helped me and my traveling companion, but we weren't the only ones.

A totally random lady, who just thought she'd come to this little store and maybe buy a new frock, had no idea that she was about to walk into her own personal episode of "What Not to Wear."

With her significant other recording the whole event on his cellphone, she got the full Stacy Stacy_London_What_Not_to_Wear_Shopping.jpg treatment as well, fielding compliments (including that she had "a great rack"), criticisms and coaching on her way to trying on a dress and cardigan combination that was truly stunning.

I didn't see whether she wound up buying the outfit, but I sure hope she did.

So when you watch "What Not to Wear," you can rest assured that Stacy is as warm and funny as she appears, knows what she's talking about and can help pretty much anyone, whether it's a TV journalist with an inordinate fondness for hoods or a woman off the street who may have gone home with possibly the prettiest outfit in her closet.

As I said, my clothes arrive today. I was on a trip back East, so rather than buying a second suitcase, the store shipped them to get to L.A. after I got home.

I will say that a black DKNY trench coat was included in the mix, so I will be rushing to get it altered and hoping very hard that the rains continue in L.A. just a bit longer, so I can show it off.

Oh, look, showers on Monday! Where is the nearest tailor?


SHARE IT ON: