Clinton Kelly doesn’t need any introduction. His persnickety personality on TLC's show "What Not to Wear" had America falling in love as soon as he starting picking apart his victim's wardrobes. To be Clinton Kelly’s victim is hardly anything to cry about, he's only here to make you feel better about yourself (in the end, that is). That's what I kept telling myself as I sat outside Clinton Kelly's interview room staring his 6-ft. 300-lb. body guards in the face. They were making me nervous, which makes me shifty, then everything goes to hell and I want to start peeling my nail polish off. No, I told myself. You bought a new outfit for this interview, it's perfect, DON'T BLOW IT. It was Macy's grand opening at Southridge Mall, and the place was buzzing!
Once I was allowed in I was thrilled that Clinton Kelly was just as charismatic, wonderful and good looking as he is on TV. What did we talk about? Read on to find out.
Fashionista: From where do you draw your fashion inspiration?
Clinton: Real women, I rarely follow what's happening on the runway or with specific designers. To me it's about finding a style that fits your personality and lifestyle. I'm actually not a fashion guy; I do this because I love to see real women feel good about themselves.
Fashionista: What are your favorite basic pieces every woman should have in her wardrobe?
Clinton: Of course a great pair of heels, flats, sandals and non-athletic sneakers; I HATE cross-training sneakers unless you're actually working out. BURN them. A dark-washed jean (very slimming) that can be dressed up or down. Right now I love the colored denim, which is very popular. Shirt dresses, wrap dresses, and trench coats will always be in style and look great on most body types. Everything in your closet should make you happy.
Fashionista: What is the most common wardrobe mistake women make?
Clinton: Bad fit and under-dressing. When clothes are too tight they always make a women look larger. Fit your clothes to the largest part of the body and then have a seamstress take in what is too loose. Under-dressing makes you look dumpy. Women have to get over their fear of being too dressed up; dressing well gives you more confidence which could change the outcome of many situations in life.
Fashionista: Women ages 40 and up are always asking what sort of clothing style they should follow. They feel what's in the stores is either too young or too granny! Where should they be looking for inspiration?
Clinton: Don't give up on fashion, you're never too old. Keep an eye on trends, but be picky! The trends you wear need to be age appropriate. If it is too short, too tight or exposes the mid-drift RUN AWAY. Pick one trend and keep the rest of your outfit classic. This keeps you from feeling bored and dated, while still having the sophistication appropriate for your age.
Fashionista: Last question! What is your favorite Spring/Summer trend of 2012?
Clinton: Colored denim. It's fresh; anyone can wear it regardless of body type. Color blocking and this little pop of neon. And florals, of course!
An assistant glared at my from the corner letting me know my time was up. Clinton signed and handed me his latest book "Oh No She Didn't" of fashion mistakes. I prayed what I had on wasn't in the book.
We said our quick goodbyes and I sat down to wait for the Macy’s fashion show he'd be hosting. Without a missing a beat he stepped on stage and began picking fashion disasters out of the audience. He zeroed in on a woman in her 40's wearing a neon Victoria's Secret PINK sweatshirt. She would be thanking him later.
Scroll down to see more from the Macy's Fashion Show and some of the looked styled by Clinton. All photos by David Szymanski, John Grant and Mitchell Olszewski.