Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

What Not to Wear

By Brenda Kienan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Wisecracking fashionistas say everyone can look good.

TV TLC Reality TV 2003
What Not to Wear Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 9 parent reviews

age 18+

The lady on the show with the black hair should not try changing others when she always just looks the same always !

I don’t think anyone should be listening to the lady on this show she always appears to look the same fir past 4 years that I have watched the show off and on it’s always the same old stuff hey lets get real people ! I was once a professional model and performing dance artist now retired due to health reason , but I can let everyone know these fashion statements the lady on the show goes into just isn’t all true if so how come she never changes? And the gentleman on the show he always looks the same too they wear things right out of the90 ,s some late89,s even and lady on the show her hair always the same ! She wants to cut other ladies hair but never her own lets face it cold she was originally just a foot model for Dr. scholls and high heels not s fashion model I’m not watching this any more put out daughtered back on the air cause dam!
age 12+

Talk about respect and budget sense

This show is fun to watch for the transformations from funny-looking to fantastic. I enjoy and fully endorse the message that people of all body types can look good when they dress with self-respect and a bit of design sense. What bothers me is that this show promotes the idea that if you want to look good, you have to spend lots of money. Only once have I seen anyone on this show enter a secondhand clothing store. (In that case it wasn't for budget reasons, but for going-green reasons, which is also a positive message.) The put-downs in the show make parental guidance important. If you watch this with your kids, talk with them about whether the way Stacy and Clinton talk to the subjects is appropriate. Encourage kids to look for people's positive qualities of talents and character, and not to judge them negatively for how they dress. Despite the consumerism and the mean words, I call this show a net positive because teen and tween girls sorely need the "beautiful in any body" message that What Not to Wear conveys.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (9 ):
Kids say (27 ):

The beauty of What Not to Wear is that even though the subject is initially mocked, she learns that she doesn't have to change any part of her core self in order to pep up her image. And when the subject shows off her changed image to Stacy, Clinton, and her friends and family, she's as delighted as everyone else at her transformation.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate