Clinton Kelly
The interview

Keeping up with Clinton Kelly

Hoping to outshine all those other impeccably dressed girls on the holiday party circuit this season? While looking your best isn’t always a cinch, we chatted up the fabulously outspoken co-host of What Not To Wear and The Chew, Clinton Kelly, to steal his style secrets. Read on for his festive dos, don’ts and more!

SheKnows: Do you have any definite holiday style dos?

Clinton Kelly: Yes, do amp up the sparkle in your outfit! This is really important because you’re not incorporating those bright, vibrant, happy colors that you normally would during the spring/summer, so you have to create happiness by adding lots of shine.

SK: So true! Now, what about holiday style don’ts?

CK: Don’t be so literal. Sometimes people think they need to rock that Santa Clause red or Christmas tree green for the holidays, but oxblood, forest green or any sort of jewel tone color works just as well. Also, for New Year’s, don’t wear a shoe you can’t dance in! That’s a big no-no.

SK: Speaking of color, are there any specific ones women should steer clear of based on their skin tone?

CK: If you have a lot of red in your skin (rosacea, broken capillaries, etc.), you have to be careful about wearing red because it’ll only draw attention to these things. On the other hand, if you have an olive or yellow undertone, mustard is the absolute worst color you can don. Another tricky color to pull off is black. It brings out the black in skin (think dark circles and wrinkles), which can make you appear older. Cream is also hard for women with cream-colored skin to sport. Your complexion has to be perfect or else it’ll exacerbate those little flaws.

SK: OK, so tell us, what’s one festive fashion trend you really love this year?

CK: I’m really into printed and colored denim right now. It’s such a nice way to do a casual, polished holiday look, especially if you’re just celebrating Christmas with your family around the house.

Christmas sweater

"Christmas sweaters should just absolutely be illegal unless worn with some sense of irony!"

SK: What’s one festive fashion trend you think should be banned?

CK: Christmas sweaters should just absolutely be illegal unless worn with some sense of irony! If you’re going to an ugly Christmas sweater party, then it’s OK.

SK: If you could give women one piece of holiday style advice, what would it be?

CK: Don’t forget about yourself. American women tend to be caretakers and often put themselves last on the priority list over the course of the year. So this holiday season, I would say wear something that makes you feel really good and really excited. Because a happier, prettier you only makes your family happy.

SK: Do you have any definite no-nos when it comes to dressing for an office party or a family function?

CK: At an office party, make sure the taste level is high. You have to remember that this is a work function. Don’t wear anything that’s sexually provocative, whether it’s your place of work or your partner’s. Photographs don’t go away anymore. Now they get posted on Facebook and live forever, so keep it classy. I actually recently teamed up with Sargento Cheese to give one lucky person a “Taste Intervention.” Entrants uploaded their quirky holiday photos for a chance to win a $10,000 makeover and a free online consultation with me.

SK: As far as gift giving goes, what are a few fashion items that would make a great gift for anyone?

CK: When it comes to gift giving, never give a gift that has a size label in it. It’s a no win situation, unless it’s for your daughter and she’s a teen and you know her size really well. For example, if your friend is a size eight and you buy her a size eight and it doesn’t fit her, then you’ve made her feel bad about herself. Or if it’s too big and baggy, she’ll be like, “OMG, I can’t believe she gave me that size!” Think a beautiful cashmere scarf or a hat — cashmere is one of those things people love but won’t buy for themselves. You also can’t go wrong with gorgeous jewelry.

Discover more holiday style advice

8 Holiday style tips from Taylor Jacobson
Best gifts for the hair obsessed
Red and green looks that don't go overboard

Photo credits: Marc Stamas/

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Comments on "What Not To Wear ’s Clinton Kelly dishes on holiday style"

Hannah December 21, 2012 | 11:48 AM

I agree with not wearing anything too y to an office party. I always think it's best to stay professional looking. If you start dressing too provacitavely it could hurt your chances with being taken seriously and moving up in the company.

Shannon December 20, 2012 | 1:54 PM

Thanks for the interview, great read! I'm totally into colored denim this year as well and am really hoping this trend stays around for awhile.

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