Exclusive! Bachelorette Stylist Shares Ali’s Fashion Hits, Misses, and Malfunctions
Cary Fetman is the stylist for both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. He’s seen it all. The good, the bad, the ugly — the shirts with corporate logos that entertainment wrestler Justin "Rated-R" Rego should've known not to bring but brought anyway and therefore had to wear inside out.
Cary spoke with BacheloretteFans.com about Season 6 heroine Ali Fedotowsky’s personal style, his favorite looks for her, how weight changes affect the show, one recent wardrobe malfunction, and the style trick Oprah taught him on how to dress for a date.
Can you give a general outline of what it entails to be The Bachelor/Bachelorette stylist?
It entails doing whichever one it is, whether it's The Bachelor or Bachelorette, doing their whole season every day, or whatever the date, is and making sure that they're dressed for it. And then the finales for, it's whoever the last two people are, doing them. And then throughout the season when we do a special date then I'll go in and dress the person when it's one of the romantic dates.
Do you travel with them? Ali's going all over the world this season.
I've been traveling. I didn't go to everywhere this trip, but I went with them to almost all of them. I just went home for one of them.
How do you go about choosing outfits and how much of a say does Ali have in what she gets to wear?
Ali had a very strong say. She has a very strong sense of herself. She likes what she likes. Therefore I'd say she had a really, really strong say. Boys are different. The boys are just kind of like "Yeah, I love the fact that I don't have to think about this and you're dressing me." Girls are a little more precise in their own style, but some are more strong than others and some just look and go "Oh I love you. I love being dressed up and it's so fun and, you know, what am I going to do without you?" And others are kind of like "I know what I like and I know what I look good in."
So for Ali we know that she loves yellow. Do you ever have to tell her "OK, enough yellow"?
Absolutely! It started at the beginning of the season. She was like, you know I'm a yellow girl. I'm like uh, you don't have to tell anybody in the whole country; I think they all know. Yellow is going to be, I'll bring some yellow but we can't make this into your trademark. It's silly when you bring too much.
How has Ali's style changed from Jake's season?
She is a self-proclaimed tomboy and she likes that kind of girl-next-door kind of clothes. And she likes a lot of empire and more flowy clothes. I like her in more fitted and more sexy clothes. And so there was a compromise as to, you can wear your flowy things, you can wear your jeans rolled up with sneakers, you can wear all of those things that you choose and once in a while I get to win also. There's days where you look and go, oh I can see that must've been Cary's look and there's other days when you're like, that's definitely Ali.
What's your favorite look from both — that you picked for her and she picked for herself.
I loved her when we were introducing her, she was in a very sophisticated black one-shoulder dress. I loved when she would wear a more fitted dress. You'll see in coming [episodes] where there's some really fun layering where she wears a tight pair of jeans with a boat and some of the shorter skirts with a heel. And then you'll see Ali's look, which is she would take a short skirt and put a flat shoe with it. My look would've been, oh let's make it hot and sexy and put you in a hot heel. I dress for men. Ali dresses more for girls.
Ali said recently she gained 15 pounds this season from eating and drinking a lot. Did that affect her fittings and the clothes?
Oh, of course. Because we were going to be traveling around the world, most of the fitting was going to be done before we left L.A. Because we knew once we got on the road it would be almost impossible to try to find clothes in strange countries where I've never been to, and then also try to figure out who would be a good tailor. So we did almost everything before we left, and we did pick up some pieces in the different countries so there would be a little taste of each country. It changed because there was things that were all of a sudden getting tighter and things like that. She was a great sport about it and we just moved it around. A couple of the pieces we loved in the beginning we didn't love so much in the middle of the show, and so we just ended up not using it and by that time we were already — the beauty is that I bought a lot.
I had a gut feeling that it was possible that it could happen. Because it happens with a lot of them. They come into the show, they've been working out like crazy to get ready. Ali was very precise that she hadn't wanted to do that. Her big fittings were that she was going around and having dinner with friends and a glass of wine and enjoying their company to get herself prepared for coming versus having to worry about really getting crazy working out her body so that she would have this camera-ready body. So I also knew because of that there was a good chance that she could gain a little weight.
And we always prepare for those things cause it really does change for all of them. They go from having worked out to all of a sudden getting here and we're shooting late at night and you haven't eaten on camera because you don't want to eat while they're filming. So you first come home and then you're starving and you start munching on crap at four o'clock in the morning and then you need to get back for a date the next day. And a lot of drinking. It's just different. Like the guys sometimes will get much thinner because they're losing their muscle. The girls have a tendency to go up. And yet Jillian was the opposite. She kind of went down.
Were there any memorable wardrobe malfunctions this season or in any past season, where you had to kind of scramble and fix things?
Oh absolutely. Last week was a huge one. There's a reason why Ali was wearing this big, huge ball gown. She had picked her favorite dress. As a matter of fact, she had even gone out to pick it. This was a dress she had seen in a store that she had to have, she had to have. I couldn't figure out what dress she was talking about. After one night she's like "I'm just running to the store, I'm going to look for the dress that I love." The next day she came to my house so excited that she found the dress that she wanted to wear. I was like great, OK, I love the dress. We have it altered and we decided we're saving it for the third episode. We get her in it and she's like "That one feels a little tight." I was like "Yeah, it's tight. It's a tad tight." Because we also deal with how they're getting their period — there could be 100 things as to why all of a sudden a dress isn't fitting the same way it did three weeks ago when we were doing a fitting. We got her into the dress and I was like "Are you sure you're comfortable? It looks great." And the dress did, it looked amazing.
She was so excited about how she looked and she was feeling great and she just looked beautiful — and all of a sudden she's in the middle of an interview and the whole zipper just breaks. Just popped right out. And everybody's waiting for us, the whole production team is waiting for us at the mansion and we're at her house doing an interview. And now they have to start the whole interview over again and everybody's screaming at the main house as to what's taking so long, that we have to just get her into a dress. And the one dress that was there that she — everything else she's like "No, I don't want to wear that, no I don't want to wear that." She's like "Fine, I'll just wear that dress." And that's why everybody else is wearing a jean shirt. It basically looked like they were going to play ball and she's walking in in this big, full ball gown. It looked silly, but there was a good reason for it.
So you have to be prepared for all kinds of things like this.
Of course, of course. And then are other things. It's part of what being a stylist is. I've been on the red carpet with celebrities where a dress broke and all of a sudden you're sitting there and you're just sewing the zipper and you're praying that nobody's going to shoot them from that angle and you're just praying that your sewing will hold. The idea that it won't — I mean, there's nothing you can do. They're getting to walk down that red carpet and you are just praying. There's no other dress. So you get used to these kind of emergencies. You prepare for the worst and you hope for never having to deal with it.
You have to inspect what the guys brought for logos. Did you have to confiscate anything, any logos this season from the guys?
Oh my god! Absolutely. One of them had — a company just shipped them a box of T-shirts and he decided that because it was a company doing it as a gift that that meant that it was OK to wear it, and that's all he brought. He brought only the T-shirts that were logo-ed out. I was like, what part of logos did you not understand?
Wait a minute ...
I'll answer if you ask, if it's the right person.
We were noticing someone wore a T-shirt inside out — is that Justin who had to hide that?
You bet. He had nothing else. And I just looked at these guys and I thought, you know, we sent out letters on it, the producers tried to talk to them before their coming just to kind of remind them. And then I walk in and I just look and go, what part of this was so confusing? Do you not see this huge eagle on the front of your shirt? Do you not see that Polo pony? Do you not see the name of the brand striked across in huge letters going across their chest? And yet, they do. The guys are so different from the girls, 'cause the girls, what they do is they try to hide from me that they're wearing a Chanel bag or Chanel glasses. They're like, well that shouldn't count, they're small. You're like, I don't know how to explain this to you any better. Or when there's double Cs all over your bag, guess what? That's a logo.
Do they ever get to keep the outfits? Or buy them at a discount? Where do they go from there?
They get to keep them. They get to keep the clothes. They end up with a beautiful wardrobe at the end of the season.
Does Ali have any favorites, a particular designer you tend go back to or do you switch it up all the time?
We switch it up each time based on who the person is, but sure there are certain favorites. With her I love like Alice + Olivia and Elizabeth and James. I loved the T-shirts by Alexander Wang this season. Because each season the designers change also and each season I'm working with a person whose taste level is so different, so it just depends on what the season is, who the person is and how the clothes are fitting.
Do you have any advice for best date outfits?
Best date outfit? Absolutely. The trick is, and it's like a trick that Oprah taught me 25 years ago, when you look in that mirror, if you don't feel pretty in the mirror you ain't gonna to feel pretty on that date. She talked about it in front of a camera. Taking it down from there, I see a hot sexy dress or a pair of tight straight jeans with a high heel and a fabulous tank top — I think the two of them are equally as sexy. And I think when you walk out and you see how hot you look — with a great pair of earrings and probably cocktail ring — I think that you will shine, that you will feel as if you're gorgeous. Forget the big sweaters when you're going out on a date. Forget the jacket, forget all of it. Just go out and buy yourself one pair of jeans that are tight and straight — for this season at least — and show off your tush and make your legs look long and lean. Wear it with a hot, hot shoe 'cause a guy is going to look at that and think you are just phenomenal. And the other is a short dress, usually a short, black dress. And have something showing, whether it's your back or it's your front or it's your shoulders. Make sure that there's a body part that's showing. You don't have to show a lot, but you have to at least show one hot body part. And look at yourself and be fair — what's your hottest body part? You either love your shoulders or you love your arms or you love your boobs or you love your butt or you think you have a great back. Whatever that body part is, find the dress that shows it.