Retail Therapy: 'What Not to Wear' guru dishes on dressing for office

The Fresno BeeMay 10, 2014 

Clinton Kelly will be in Fresno May 17 at Macy's talking about how to wear the season's hottest fashions trends on any body type.


Clinton Kelly — one half of the entertaining duo from TLC's "What Not to Wear" — will be helping women in Fresno decide what they should wear.

Kelly, now a co-host of ABC's "The Chew," will be on the second floor of the Fashion Fair Macy's at 2 p.m. Saturday. He'll be using the skills that earned him the informal title of "makeover master," showing women of all shapes and sizes how to wear current fashion trends.

"Women come in so many different shapes and sizes, it gets tricky," he said. "You don't have to wear anything that doesn't make you feel good about yourself."

The event is free, but he's a popular guy and space is limited so you need to register online at to save yourself a seat.

In the meantime, we thought we'd lob one more challenge faced by fashionable Fresnans Kelly's way — how to dress for the office when it's 100 degrees or more out. We're not there yet, but those trying-to-look-sharp-while-sweating-through-your-dress-shirt days are coming.

Dressing for the office can be a sticky topic and human resources departments nationwide have let women down by not making clear what's appropriate and what's not, Kelly says.

But one thing is for sure: "It's easier for a woman to dress professionally in the summer than it is for a man."

Fellas, we'll get to you in a second, but let's focus on the bits men shouldn't have to worry about first.

Legs. No, you don't have to wear pantyhose to the office unless it's part of your uniform or you work in the most conservative banking or law firm, he says.

Going bare makes lots of women nervous about imperfections on their legs, he acknowledges. He recommends using a tinted moisturizer or a concealer to cover problem spots.

Not too much leg. Wearing skirts and dresses is a great way to keep cool, but don't show too much thigh. Shoot for knee length — a little above or a little below.

"You really have to be careful about the amount of thigh and the amount of bust you're showing at the office," Kelly says. "It's really not the place to be showing off your private parts."

Flip flops. Nope, don't wear them to the office, he says. Flip flops are the world's most casual shoe, appropriate for a job at a pool or a beach, he says.

"If you have the world's most casual job, maybe then they're appropriate," he says.

Layers. Kelly says he understands the challenge of office life in summertime: Sweat on your way to work, shiver in the cranked-up air conditioning once you get there. So wear lightweight layers, such as a shell with a lightweight jacket that you can take off at your desk, he says.

The men. Guys have fewer options for staying cool, he acknowledges. Look for clothing in lighter weight fabrics, he says.

Natural fibers such as cotton tend to breathe better, he says. But manmade fibers such as polyester don't get as wrinkled, he notes. So go for a blend that has natural fibers in it, he recommends.

And if your job requires a jacket — well, you're just going to have to suffer through being warm. The good news is that you're not alone, Kelly says.

"Everybody is uncomfortable," he says.


The columnist can be reached at (559) 441-6431, or @BethanyClough on Twitter. Read her blog on

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