A celebrity and a confidence check

Clinton Kelly at Macy's in Towson

Wise words from What Not to Wear TV show co-host, Oh No She Didn’t author, and women’s fashion designer Clinton Kelly on the difference between a shirt and the fancier term “blouse.” Which, as Clinton points out, is not an old-fashioned or stuffy word. It just means boobs are an integral part of the design. As God intended.

I had the chance to hear Clinton speak first-hand at a fashion event at Macy’s over the weekend, which featured a small runway and a packed house. The models ranged in age and size, and Clinton offered his style commentary as they strutted. Only having seen What Not to Wear a handful of times, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I’d been asked to attend and blog about the event, and I worried about the possibility of not enjoying myself. If I didn’t, how could I possibly write about it favorably? “I WON’T COMPROMISE MY CONTENT,” I shrieked internally. Luckily, my fears were unwarranted. Turns out Clinton Kelly is a class act, and he had the crowd (including myself) cracking up the whole time. For some reason, I just love when a funny gay man talks about boobs. I mean that in the most respectable way possible.

Clinton Kelly at Macy's

The most valuable takeaway of the experience for me was Clinton’s closing comments during the Q&A session. As one would expect, the issue of a lack of confidence in women came up. He pointed out the stark contrast between the way women and men talk about their bodies (which is to say, in general, men hardly do, and certainly not as critically as women tend to). He reminded the audience of just how constructed the images we see in the media really are. Even he has been affected by Photoshopped images of himself reminding us that he is not, in fact, 29. Despite “faux”-tographic evidence suggesting otherwise.

As a young girl of about 10 or so looked on from the front row, Clinton also reminded the mostly female audience to check ourselves and the way we talk about bodies around young, impressionable girls. What woman hasn’t been affected by something stupid or inconsiderate someone else said – either about our bodies, someone else’s body, or their own? We carry those comments around for years until or unless we can let them go and love ourselves. Clinton had something to say about those people, too:

“You have to forgive people for being stupid because you just can’t argue with stupid people. They’re too stupid to know how stupid they are.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for attending the Macy’s Clinton Kelly event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

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  1. Ha! That is now my go-to definition of the difference between a blouse and a shirt. I intend to use it as often as possible.

  2. I guess a lot of the button-up shirts I thought were blouses are actually just shirts, since they are not boob-friendly at all!

  3. I like his closing statement best, even if it is harsh. Where I live, there are advertisements for plastic surgery everywhere. They point out things that people don’t even think about as problem areas (e.g. What is the degree of your nose slope? X has scientifically (lol) been proven to be the most beautiful angle).

    From your pictures, it looks like the models and everyone else had a great time. Confidence is one of the most attractive things. The lady with the gray hair looks great!

    • OMG there’s a “scientifically proven” ideal nose slope? I’m gonna run right out and get mine checked. *Eyeroll*…That’s kind of hilarious.

  4. Love his closing comments! I love What Not to Wear, Clinton is awesome 🙂

  5. I love Clinton and Stacy. I always wish I could go on What Not to Wear, if only for the $5,000 shopping spree. I don’t have a huge desire to be on TV, though.

    • Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t want to be on TV for having bad fashion sense, either. But I could play pretend for $5,000. 🙂

  6. And here I was, thinking that blouses were just some fancy name for shirts, as I always thought that they were pretty much just the same-looking!

    Getting to go to a fashion show sounds like a really amazing experience, and I’m happy you had a great time! I really like how he said that we should watch how we talk about ourselves in front of younger girls, too. He seems like he’s a great role model for the fashion industry.

    I’ve never heard of him before until now, so thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • It was a lot of fun! I developed a lot of respect for the guy (I didn’t really know him, either). It was definitely nice to hear positive messages from someone as influential as he is.

  7. Reading that quote on the first image was light a switch being flipped in my mind and I inwardly went ‘oooh, so that’s the difference; that makes so much sense.’ I’m a fashion idiot.

    Clinton Kelly sounds like your version of our Gok Wan – he sounds marvellous, and wise.

  8. Okay I squealed a bit while reading this because What Not to Wear was one of my FAVORITE shows years ago and I loved the shit out of Clinton. I’m so happy he’s still out and about educating and being sassy. I also really loved how he took the time to respond to questions and talk about positivity, especially in a crowd of young girls. I LOVE YOU CLINTON.

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