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Beware of TLC's fashion police!

Stacy London, left, and Clinton Kelly shop with Leanne.Stacy London, left, and Clinton Kelly shop with Leanne.
Stacy London, left, and Clinton Kelly shop with Leanne.Stacy London, left, and Clinton Kelly shop with Leanne.
TLC

PASADENA, Calif. — Through seven seasons and more than 250 episodes, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly have given a whole lot of fashion advice.

And a lot of what they've said on "What Not to Wear" has been pretty severe.

The people on the show tend to take their advice, although some of them take a while to come around. Their friends and family — not so much.

"Actually my friends don't even listen to me anymore," London said.

"Nor do mine," Kelly added. "Unless it's a very special occasion. And then I find that, if somebody is going to a black tie event or a wedding, then I'm asked for my opinion."

In "What Not to Wear," people whose fashion sense ranges from nonexistent to terrible are nominated by friends or family to participate. London and Kelly show up; convince the woman (or sometimes man) to toss out all their old clothes; give them a trip to New York; give them fashion rules; give them $5,000 to shop for a new wardrobe; and give them a hair-and-makeup makeover.

There's quite a bit of tough love involved. And some harsh criticism that's softened by the charm of the hosts.

"We had chemistry from the moment we met," London said. "We're very good at playing off of each other — good cop, bad cop — to get a (guest) sort of mentally where we want them to be and what we want them to see."

"We're very manipulative," Kelly said.

New episodes of "What Not to Wear" air Fridays at 10 p.m. on TLC; repeats air at various times throughout the week. And no small amount of time goes into shooting each hourlong episode.

"We make it look fun and everything, but we film an hour for every minute that airs," Kelly said.

"At least," London added.

"What a lot of people don't realize is on that second day of shopping when Stacy and I show up, we don't just sort of flit in and flit out," Kelly said. "We spend the entire day shopping with them all over New York."

It's their job. A job they're very good at — "What Not to Wear" is a very entertaining show. But nobody wants to be on the job all the time. So their friends and family don't have to worry about too much unsolicited fashion advice.

"We are talking about clothes so much and dressing people's bodies that it really is hard to do that when you're not on camera," Kelly said.

"It is funny, though," London said. "I will say that friends of mine … don't ask my opinion. They just borrow my clothes."

Of the two, London is "on" more than Kelly.

"I definitely have a switch that I can turn on and off," Kelly said. "Like, I could go through this entire room right now, critique every one of you. But that switch is off, luckily for some of you."

"But mine isn't," London said. "I don't have an off switch. So beware."

Not that she's claiming she's been fashion-flawless herself.

"I'm not going to lie," London said. "I have seen a couple of shows from, like, Season 1, Season 2, Season 3. Oooh, did I make some mistakes. Yowza!"

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com