How What Not To Wear transformed British TV forever

What not to wear

What Not To Wear transformed fashion makeovers on British TV, blending Trinny and Susannah’s candid fashion advice with a focus on body positivity and self-confidence, leaving a lasting impact on viewers and the fashion industry alike.

Debuting in 2001 on BBC, What Not To Wear quickly garnered attention for its unique approach to fashion makeovers, setting a precedent for countless other makeover shows that followed.

The premise of What Not To Wear was straightforward yet impactful. Participants, often nominated by friends or family, were subjected to candid critiques of their current fashion choices before undergoing a transformative makeover process.

The goal was to help each individual find a style that flattered their body shape while also boosting their confidence.

Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, with their direct and sometimes controversial approach, became household names.

Their methodology, which included the famous 360-degree mirror viewing, was both praised and critiqued for its honesty, with comments aimed at participants including “chicken wing arms” and “thunder thighs”.

Despite the shameful remarks, the show drew up to 7 million viewers.

They introduced viewers to the concept of dressing for one’s body type, emphasising the importance of understanding what works for an individual’s specific shape and size rather than blindly following trends.

The show was as much about emotional transformation as it was about changing how participants dressed. Viewers saw firsthand how the right clothes could significantly impact a person’s self-esteem and confidence.

However, it was not without its controversies. Critics argued that the show’s approach could be demeaning, reducing participants to their physical flaws.

Yet, many defended the series, highlighting the positive outcomes and increased confidence levels in participants. The debate around the show underscored the complex relationship between fashion, body image, and self-perception.

The impact of What Not To Wear extended beyond the screen, influencing the fashion industry and popular culture.

Trinny and Susannah became fashion authorities, publishing books and launching clothing lines. The show’s emphasis on dressing for one’s body type has become a staple piece of fashion advice, evident in the way fashion is discussed today.