She reveals how she makes old pieces "nice" again

By Colleen Kratofil
June 01, 2017 03:44 PM
Credit: Courtesy Talent Resources

One of the many reasons Dorinda Medley is a breath of fresh air on The Real Housewives of New York City is her down-to-earth realness (and let’s face it, those unforgettable one-liners). While some Housewives would never be caught filming in anything but high-end designer items, Medley isn’t afraid to mix high and low. In fact, she just remixed a dress she’s owned for years with a very low-end buy: a fishnet bodysuit from a sex shop.

Medley tells PeopleStyle that she never throws pieces away, but instead “makes them nice” (sorry, we had to) with fun new finds. On Tuesday night she paired an old dress she’s had in storage with a new fishnet onesie that she got from a sex shop. “Believe it or not it was from a sex shop,” Medley tells PeopleStyle. “I bought a full-on fishnet bodysuit and wore the dress over it. So you only saw a little fishnet here and a little fishnet there.”

And although that may be an easy trick for revamping pieces in your wardrobe, you might want to proceed with caution when wearing similar items. “The worst part was I put it on and it was crotchless. I’m like where are we going with this? So I had to take it all off, put on underwear and put it back on again. Do you how hard it is to put on a fishnet bodysuit?”

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While some Real Housewives enlist the help of a glam squad to get them camera-ready, Medley says she never works with a stylist. “I love fashion and I worked in fashion for years and I think I have a very good high-low eclectic aesthetic.”

Throughout her time on the show she’s picked up styling tips through trial and error and says the main lesson she’s learned is not to wear belts. “I have a very short waist and I’m very good at keeping a sleek, slim line by wearing monochromatic colors so I don’t need to make it too complicated. And the other style tip I’ve learned is, I’m 52, don’t try to dress like a 24-year-old.”

And considering almost every other Real Housewife has a namesake fashion or beauty brand these days, she says she’s still hesitant to embark on one.

“I feel like the only person that’s really been hugely successful is Bethenny [Frankel],” Medley says. “It’s so easy to jump into something, slap your name on it and not believe in it. I wanted to take the first couple of years to see how the audience took to me and I wanted the brand to develop itself and then I think it’s more authentic.”

And now that she’s more of a household name, she’s considering creating a household line. “My dream right now is doing something like a lifestyle brand with Bluestone Manor, my house in the Berkshires, because I’m comfortable with that. I think people would get it and believe it if I did a lifestyle line. Something like home goods.”

Her Berkshires home has been the setting for the last few “Berserkires” episodes of Real Housewives of New York, and even though her birthday celebration got overshadowed by intense drama (again), she does appreciate some of the memories made on these trips.

“I think last year’s Berkshires was great because the phrase, ‘I made it nice‘ came out of it,” she says. “The weird thing is I was so serious, I was so heartbroken cause I really did make such a big effort then they started making fun of my mother’s cake and I was like,’ that’s it.’ Make fun of me, make fun of anything but don’t make fun of that.”

What do you love most about Medley’s style?