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The Blue Octagon Welcomes Carson Kressley for a Book Signing


Carson Kressley has been making America laugh since we were first introduced to him more than a decade ago through the hit show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, with a Netflix reboot planned for the future. Most recently, the Allentown native appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice working alongside celebrities like Boy George and reality-TV star Kyle Richards on a variety of challenges to win money for charity. He’s currently promoting his fourth book, Does this Book Make My Butt Look Big? A Cheeky Guide to Feeling Sexier in Your Own Skin & Unleashing Your Personal Style. We caught up with him prior to his appearance and book signing tomorrow at The Blue Octagon in Malvern from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

MLT: I’ve been a fan of yours since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. How many times have you heard that?

CK: I’ll tell you that it never gets old. I was just flying down to New Orleans and the male flight attendant handed me a napkin and he had written on it, “I watched your show, and I loved it. It helped me come out. You’re a big inspiration.” I was crying on the plane reading it. I hear it, and it’s wonderful.

MLT: How did you decide to write a stylebook for women?

CK: So many women were coming up to me asking, “How do I look?” or “Can you just zhuzh me?” or  “What should I wear?” And I’d say, “Well, I’m trying to pay for my ice cream right now, but I can give you a couple quick tips.” Then I knew I should write a book so all my tips are all in one place. It took about a year to write, and I had a fabulous co-writer Riann Smith. I just wanted to write a no-nonsense, straight-shooting (pun intended), funny, light-hearted book about helping women get dressed in the morning. Getting dressed is supposed to be fun and exciting. I wanted to address that in the book. Let’s take the anxiety out of it and make it simple. I wanted to approach it with a sense of humor and bring the joy back into getting dressed in the morning. Hopefully, that’s what this book does. 

Carson Kressley

MLT: You certainly made the book a fun read. Do you have a favorite part?

CK: I loved all of it. I really like helping people find their personal style and helping them to discover how they can look most like them. One of my favorite chapters in the book is about shopping. I love to shop. I talk about navigating outlet malls and all these different shopping sites. I also talk about where to get good deals, when the traditional stores have great sales and how to navigate the runway rack at T.J. Maxx in Radnor. I love the thrill of shopping, whether it’s high end or low end. If it has a cash register, I’m there. 

MLT: Are there style tips that cross both genders?

CK: First of all, I always tell people to start with a closet that’s filled with success stories. Don’t have things that are too big or too small. You should only have a closet filled with clothes that fit and flatter you right now because every time you go to it, you’ll have a positive message of, “I look great” or “I have the potential to look amazing.” Having a closet stocked with clothes that work for you right now is essential.

Second, fit is also so important, and I think men get this wrong more than women. When you wear clothes that fit and flatter your body and aren’t way oversized or undersized, you’re going to feel better and everything is going to look more tailored and expensive. I talk about vanity sizing and demystifying sizing. It’s really challenging. The overall theme is that a great fit is always going to do wonders.

Third, I always say have fun with fashion and make it your own.  Don’t be afraid to make it your own.

MLT: What was harder: Writing this book or doing the challenges on Celebrity Apprentice?

CK: Writing a book is always challenging because I have more ideas than I have time for. Celebrity Apprentice I actually loved. I was nervous about doing it, but I really enjoyed it. My years working at Ralph Lauren and working in marketing and advertising in the fashion world really helped me.

MLT: Will you be at the Devon Horse Show again this year?

CK: I love the Main Line, I think it’s so fabulous. It’s a great area. When Krissa [Wichser, owner of The Blue Octagon] invited me to The Blue Octagon I said absolutely. I love interior design. She has an amazing store and such great taste, so I’ll probably be doing more shopping than signing. I’ll definitely be coming back to the Main Line to compete at the Devon Horse Show next month. I had a great year there last year, so I’ll be coming back to try to reclaim some of our glory.

MLT: How many years have you been competing?

CK: My family has been going since I was a kid, so it always feels like home at the Devon Horse Show.

MLT: Let’s do a quick round of questions. Favorite fashion designer?

CK: Ralph Lauren. I used to work there, so I have a soft spot. I love anything equestrian and that’s part of his heritage.

MLT: Item in your closet that gets the most wear?

CK: Cable knit cashmere sweaters. I wear them in the summer, on cold airplanes or chilly nights at the beach. A cashmere cable knit in a fun color with white jeans looks amazing. Always.

MLT: How would you describe your personal style?

CK: I would say it is 90 percent classic and 10 percent a little wacky. I think that keeps it interesting.

MLT: What’s on your wish list right now?

CK: Right now, I want a Louis Vuitton black-patterned travel satchel. I really don’t need any more designer luggage, but this time of year makes me want to pack a chic bag and go away for the weekend.

MLT: Do you have a style icon?

CK: I love Tom Ford. I think he always looks amazing and does amazing work. I love Ralph Lauren. I love how he can do Navajo one day and Wall Street the next. There’s this really cool Italian automotive heir, Lapo Elkann. I follow him on Instagram, and he wears the most amazing clothes. He’s really fun. He inspires me to be even more daring. 

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