After 10 years, 325 makeovers and countless pairs of ill-fitting pants, What Not to Wear is signing off the air.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done and the lives we’ve changed,” Clinton Kelly tells PEOPLE of his 10 seasons on the TLC show. “And I’m relieved I don’t have to point out that dark-wash jeans look dressier than light-wash jeans every day of my freakin’ life.”
His fellow resident fashion expert Stacy London shares his bittersweet sentiments about the conclusion of the network’s longest-running primetime series – but it’s not over just yet. Beginning in July, the final episodes will air on Friday nights.
“I’m excited about our final episodes. … We are getting to do things we’ve never had the opportunity to do before, and there are many surprises in store,” says London. “I do love that we are going out with a bang.”
We asked Clinton and London to look back on their decade of helping the fashion-challenged … and whether they think they’ve gotten through to anyone:
What is the most common no-no you have pointed out over the years that people still seem to do?
Stacy: I still think people (women in particular) believe if they ignore a problem area of their body by wearing oversized, shapeless clothes, that problem area will magically disappear. Not true. Never will be true. What we try to hide rather than confront and manage is usually the thing people notice first about our shape. Finding tricks to create flattering body shape is the key to style.
Do you think you’ve gotten through to the American public on any major points?
Clinton: To be honest, despite our best efforts over the past decade, we only seem to have gotten through to a small (but important) sliver of the population. Walk through any airport in America and you’ll quickly notice that 99 percent of people should have been paying more attention to us. If there’s one thing I wish people would take away from the show, it’s that you don’t have to be rich to look fabulous. When you dress with quiet sophistication and participate in the appropriate trends for your age and body type, you exude confidence and class.
Stacy: I do think we’ve gotten a lot of people to hem their jeans and wear jackets, dark wash jeans and pointy toe shoes!
Is there a celebrity who seems to follow most of your dos?
Stacy: I love Jessica Chastain‘s style, and she’s a fan of the show. Don’t know if her looking gorgeous all the time is a direct result of her viewership, but I’d love to think so!
What’s one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had on the show?
Clinton: Several women have met their husbands immediately after leaving What Not to Wear. That’s always sweet to hear. We had a woman on the show a couple of seasons ago – I can’t mention her name because she asked me not to – who was basically an emotional doormat before she met us. After she left the studio, she felt a level of confidence so strong that she was able to go home and dump the guy she was seeing who basically treated her like crap.
How often do you hear from people long after they appeared on the show – and are they applying what they’ve learned?
Stacy: I’ve heard from so many contributors on and off throughout the years. Most keep in touch to show me how well they’ve kept up their style or ask questions but some like to taunt me with their less-than-stellar accessories choices on Twitter. I’m talking to you, Tenesa!
Clinton: I keep in touch with about 100 former contributors in one way or another. As far as keeping up their appearance, I believe in the rule of thirds: One third stay looking fabulous, another third try with mixed results and the last third immediately revert to their old ways. You win some, you lose some.