September 08, 2003 12:00 PM

WHAT NOT TO WEAR British fashion mavens Susannah Constantine, 41, and Trinny Woodall, 39, turn the frumpy into the fabulous on their BBC America TV show What Not to Wear and new book of the same name (Riverhead, $15).

BEING BLUNT: Constantine and Woodall hone in on flabby arms, fat stomachs and other flaws before complimenting what they like. “Your arms are like mine. No definition. I always wear sleeves or three-quarter length,” Constantine told a woman she recently critiqued. Then she added, “Your wrists are lovely. You say your stomach is flabby, but I would stab you for your stomach.”

THE PRINCESS DI CONNECTION: Constantine dated Princess Margaret’s son Viscount Linley and got to know Diana. She wasn’t a fan of Diana’s style. “She wore such awful shift dresses. I wouldn’t say she was someone with innate style.”

CLOTHES MAKE THE WOMAN: One woman they made over soon left her boyfriend; another left a bad job. “We know if you feel you look great before you go to a party, you will enjoy the party better,” Woodall says. “If you feel sexy, then you’ll have better sex with your husband.”

WHY SHORTS SHOULD STAY AT THE GYM: Along with too-tight T-shirts over fat stomachs and cable-knit sweaters covering large breasts, shorts are a no-no for all women. “They are such a horrible item of clothing,” Constantine says. “A lot of women [in the United States] are tented or in shorts, which we feel are so unfeminine.”

PREGNANCY MAKES THEM SEXIER: Woodall’s first child is due in November, while Constantine expects her third this month. “I always had big boobs and a flabby stomach, so I’m not doing anything differently,” says Constantine. “Trinny is having a tougher time. She has to reappraise the way she dresses.” Their advice for pregnant women? “Elle Macpherson makes the best nursing bra,” Constantine says. “I swear by them.”

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