Friday, January 15, 2010
What Not to Wear -- Leanne the Salem Witch
Tonight on What Not to Wear, Stacy and Clinton headed to Salem, Massachusetts, to meet Leanne. Often taking part in the town's witch trial reenactments, Leanne had adopted an extreme type of witchy wear for her everyday life.
Leanne was definitely one of What Not to Wear's more interesting characters. With a sideline business as a psychic, Leanne loved wearing tall, lace-covered witch hats, laced-up bodices, and long ruffled skirts. She also referred to non-witchy people as "Muggles", just like in the books and films of Harry Potter.
Leanne seemed confident in her witchy style, but when watching the What Not to Wear secret footage and answering Stacy and Clinton's pointed questions, some chinks in the armor showed through. Apparently Leanne had frightened some of the mothers at PTA meetings, and she'd also failed to be invited to a friend's baby shower and some other events. Stacy and Clinton vowed to help her choose clothes that showed her personality without overpowering it or alienating others. Leanne was game to try.
Leanne was a perfect example of two of the most common issues with women buying clothing. First was the bra fitting shown on What Not to Wear. The extremely busty Leanne had been squeezing herself into a 38DD, then tying up the straps to try to offer herself more support. Turns out she's a 34HH. As is often the case, women are wearing too large a band size, and two small a cup size.
However, most busty women out there know why she was wearing a 38DD--because it's often the largest size a store will carry, especially when they carry pretty bras, like Victoria's Secret. If you can find a "plus size" bra section, you'll notice everything is giant, white, polyester, and with 6 inch wide straps. On What Not to Wear, however, Leanne got to visit a specialty store that hooked her up with a black lace number that fit her perfectly and suited her sexy witchy style.
The second issue covered on What Not to Wear was the fit issue. Women who have a curvy figure and/or large bust are often extremely limited in the clothing available to them. An entire store with thousands of clothing options may only have ten pieces that will work. This leads to immense frustration and a feeling of worthlessness. Trying on clothes that don't fit or are extremely unflattering can kill even the strongest ego.
Once Stacy and Clinton arrived on What Not to Wear day 2 to help Leanne, things looked up. They helped her find the right sorts of pieces to try on, to help avoid those negative experiences in front of the dressing room mirror. So...if you never try that unstructured tunic top on, you'll never know just how bad it looks on you!
The best illustration of what Stacy and Clinton do was shown by the cardigan they'd put on Leanne's What Not to Wear mannequin. Leanne found the cardigan on day 1, and tried it on with a tee shirt top and jeans. She hated the way it looked, and felt defeated. On day 2, Stacy and Clinton paired it with a ruffled button-down top and wide-leg trousers, and then buttoned it underneath her bustline. Leanne was stunned to discover how much she now loved the cardigan, because paired with structured pieces that balanced out her frame, it enhanced her figure.
Once again hairdresser Ted Gibson gave the What Not to Wear participant a fabulous, long, sexy hairdo. He did cut off some excess lengthy and added in layers, giving her voluminous curls. Carmindy gave Leanne a nice smoky eye and false eyelashes, and Leanne was absolutely thrilled with her makeover.
I applaud What Not to Wear for showing us a curvy girl with curly hair, and giving her vavoomy outfits that highlighted her figure instead of covering it up. I also repeat my constant wish for designers and stores to carry a variety of fits and sizes, including lingerie, so that more than 15% of the population can feel good about themselves when they go shopping. And when a woman feels good about herself in clothes, she buys more of them, so it's a win-win for everyone!
Watch What Not to Wear on TLC, Fridays at 9/8c. Check your local listings for encore showings and repeats of older episodes.
PHOTOS: Stacy, Clinton, and Leanne on What Not to Wear, c2010 TLC. Used with permission.