'The Bachelorette' Stylist Talks Emily Maynard's Wardrobe and First Date Fashion


Emily Maynard (ABC.com)

Reality TV romance addicts get excited: ABC's The Bachelorette will be launching its 8th season on Monday, May 14. StyleBistro chatted with Cary Fetman, the show's stylist, about what sort of fashion we can expect from leading lady Emily Maynard.

Bachelorette stylist Cary Fetman (From ABC.com)The sartorial architect behind the last five seasons of the renowned series couldn't show us any photos from the upcoming season, but he was happy to give the details on the southern belle's wardrobe (think lots of sparkle and very high heels). He also offered some clear-cut answers to the ultimate apparel dilemma: What to wear on a first date.

StyleBistro: How would you describe Emily's style?
Cary Fetman: She's got this hot, sexy and very glitzy style. She recognizes she's a mom, but when she goes out she goes out very glitzy in tight short dresses.

SB: To what celebrity's style would you compare Emily's?
Cary: I so don't want to say Carrie Underwood because it's not Carrie Underwood. She has an amazing fashion sense, but she doesn't do crazy things like say, Sarah Jessica Parker. Jennifer Aniston does a cute girl, Angelina Jolie does that smoldering look, but that's not her. I've always loved Charlize Theron, and even though Emily doesn't look like Charlize, she takes fashion chances like Charlize and she changes things up like Charlize. She can go from day into evening just by throwing on a leather jacket.

When asked about Emily's style on the upcoming eighth season, Feman said, "I so don't want to say Carrie Underwood because it's not Carrie Underwood." But we definitely see a little Carrie Underwood. (From ABC.com)
SB: Any particular trends she was loving this season? Or that you were loving?
Cary: Anything that had a sequin or rhinestone or bugle beads! I have ADD and she has glitzy taste, so every time we saw something shiny we'd jump on it. But she has that other side of her where she can rock a great skirt with a tank top. The only thing she's really big on are heels. She's much more of a high heel girl than she is a flat and tennis shoe kind of girl and that's what really separated her from the bachelorettes in the past. She's not the girl next door kind of girl, she's a cute sexy girl from the South and just wants to be in a dress every day.

SB: Any particular outfits we should look out for this season?
Cary: She wears an amazing white chiffon jumpsuit that I loved and she wears a lot of tight sexy dresses that have cutouts in the back.

SB: Was there anything she refused to wear?

Cary: I thought that she needed to wear flats and sweaters. I was concerned because even in LA when the sun goes down, it gets cold out. But her answer was, "I don't care, I'm too vain, I'm not going to wear boots or flats or a sweater."

SB: How would you handle it if she told you she wanted to wear some really crazy outlandish couture outfit? Like a feathered cape or chainmail bikini?

Cary: I will put my foot down if I think they are making a jackass of themselves, but I'm not going to put my foot down on something that makes them feel pretty. I may say, "Are you sure?" But they're always so nice if you say to them you think something isn't right. I try to explain to everyone that this isn't about me, this is their life. They're looking for love, this isn't a fashion show. For the most part it's just them wanting to look as pretty as can be, and more important, feel confident and comfortable when they go out at night.

SB: What are your go-to brands for the show?

Cary: I used a lot of Haute Hippie, a lot of Jean Fares, Alice + Olivia, Randi Rahm. It comes out to over 80 complete outfits per season, so there are so many different lines you have to touch upon. Pamella Roland, Parker, Gomez-Gracia, Cynthia Rowland, Helmut Lang, Elizabeth and James, Theysken's Theory. Also, a great knitwear line called Love Token. There were so many more designers coming to us wanting us to use their clothes which was exciting.

SB: Eighty outfits, that's crazy!
Cary: It's a lot of clothes!

SB: Does she get to keep them after?
Cary: (Laughs) If she's nice, she gets to keep a lot!

SB: How much say do you have in what the male contestants wear?
Cary: None. Part of the fun of watching the show is seeing what someone will actually show up in. I would never want to change that aspect of it. See if a guy is going to show up with a shirt unbuttoned to his navel—it says so much about their personality. I, as a viewer, tune in to see if it's going to look as bad as the night I saw them.

SB: Any cringe-worthy fashion moments we can expect from the men?
Cary: Not this season, I have to be honest. She was so much more dressed up than we've ever done before so the guys really pulled their act together and really were dressed to kill. Anytime they had a chance to go out and buy themselves another tie or shirt they did. This was a dressy dressy season.

SB: What was the biggest splurge piece from her wardrobe?
Cary: A couple times I found myself without a warm enough jacket, so I think one of the most expensive pieces I had to buy was a Burberry cashmere coat.

SB: You can't go wrong with a Burberry coat.
Cary: No, and if I had looked at it in the beginning of the season I probably would never have done it, but when all of a sudden the weather changes you get whatever you can find.

SB: What would you say is the perfect first date outfit for a girl?
Cary: The thing that makes you feel the sexiest. It's really not about the outfit as much as it is how you feel in the outfit. I know that's a crappy answer. I don't give Oprah a lot of credit, but when I first started in this business she was a client of mine, and I asked "How do you know what works?" and she said "If I don't feel pretty when I'm looking in that mirror I'm not going to feel pretty when I'm looking in that camera." Now, if I was going to pick a piece of clothing, I think if you've got a body for it, find one area you love and reveal it. You love your shoulders? Do an off-the-shoulder dress. If it's your arms, do a sleeveless dress. If you have a beautiful back make sure the dress has a cutout in the back. Got legs? Show them off. Short as you can and wear the highest heel you can walk in without looking like a crazy hooker.

SB: What about for a guy—what first date advice would you give?
Cary: Dress up! I think if you don't know how the girl is going to dress err on the side of being dressier, and I don't mean dressed up like an English gentleman. A T-shirt and jeans is fine when you're meeting her in the afternoon, but when you're going out at night throw on a blazer over it. You don't know what this girl is going to show up in, she may have spent all day long and the last of her pennies on a dress to go out with you, have enough decency to look like you cared.

SB: Any huge first date fashion faux pas?

Cary: I hate when a girl looks like she is for the first time walking in heels. If you know you can't walk in them, get a pair that you can. For guys, it's ill-tailored clothes. If your jeans are hanging down below your ass or if your pants are too long or too baggy go out and buy a pair of pants that fit. Or if your jacket has sleeves down to your knuckles, guess what, you're not wearing your father's jacket, get it tailored.
I'm a Designer/Editor for StyleBistro.com, a fashion illustrator and vintage shopper. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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