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Ali Shops Blog

Clinton Kelly Talks Tailoring

November 7th, 2011
by Allison Kaplan

Disaster after fashion disaster on What Not to Wear, co-host Clinton Kelly preaches the importance of tailoring. “It’s unreasonable for people to assume clothes will fit perfectly off the rack,” he says. “That’s not how life is. Clothes are built on a size 4 dress form. That’s like 2 percent of the population.”

After nine TV seasons and thousands of makeovers, Kelly is putting his money where his mouth is. On Saturday, he opened Perfect Fit by Clinton Kelly at Mall of America. There’s a second test location at Orland Square Mall outside of Chicago. More than a tailoring shop, Perfect Fit employs stylists who help customers figure out how to get their clothes to flatter their figure. Tailors and stylists must pass a Kelly-approved skills test, but the true test, which could make or break the concept, will be their ability to mimic Kelly’s quick wit and decisive advice.

“I have bionic eyes,” Kelly boasts, only half joking. “I can scan a body and tell that person exactly how should she should be dressing. It’s like an algebraic equation.”

The most common mistake: Women wearing tops that are too long. “You want to make your torso look smaller than your legs. The longer your legs, the taller you look. I’m constantly hemming tops and it looks like you lost 10 pounds.”

He may have super powers when it comes to styling, but there is one garment beyond tailoring: pajama jeans. “Revolting. For some reason, laziness is something to be celebrated in this country,” Kelly says. “I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t want to look beautiful. They just get overwhelmed.”

Hear my entire conversation with Kelly on Shop Girls (Nov. 5 interview starts halfway through hour 1). Perfect Fit (formerly Stitch It) is on the first level, east side at Mall of America, 952-854-5723.

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