The Bachelor: Fashion/Beauty Secrets You Might Not Know AboutPublished on January 5, 2018. Updated January 7, 2021
The Bachelor is one of the most popular reality shows on television. A series that has been around for over twenty seasons and spawned several spin-offs, the show has evolved greatly since it first aired back in 2002. One aspect that has changed the most is the fashion! As with any reality TV series, there is so much more work done behind the scenes that viewers aren’t privy to, and this is definitely the case when it comes to wardrobe choices by both the contestants and stars of the show. Let’s take a look at 15 behind the scenes secret about getting dressed for The Bachelor:
15. Stylist on Set
While the contestants don’t have access to a stylist, the Bachelor or Bachelorette will have a professional stylist who dresses them throughout the series from beginning to end. Cary Fetman has been the Bachelor‘s stylist since 2006. Styling outfits for an entire season is a lot of work, so most of it is done ahead of time. Fetman will meet with the star of the show ahead of taping to learn about their particular style is and pull wardrobe choices based on that. He also works with each Bachelor/Bachelorette to find what’s most comfortable for them, so they are heavily involved in what choices are made. Some stars will know exactly what they want and be more involved in the decisions while others are more laidback and leave it entirely up to him.
14. Things Don’t Always Go as Planned
Even though clothing choices are very collaborative, since the Bachelor/Bachelorette won’t know where the show will be traveling ahead of time, Fetman definitely has to guide some of their outfit choices. There have been times when they must travel for filming and the clothing doesn’t arrive. “[A]ll of a sudden we’re trying to find a clothing store that has what we need. And all sizes are different. That’s why I’m there,” said Fetman to Entertainment Weekly. According to Fetman, he has to prepare for any kind of situation that might arise, like lost luggage, unexpected weather, wardrobe malfunctions, etc.
13. Final Two Contestants Get Professional Stylist
One of the many perks of making it to the final two on The Bachelor/Bachelorette is having access to a professional stylist and free gown. “I bring a whole fitting to the country [we’re filming in] — I’ve got all the gowns, all the accessories, and all the shoes in two bags — and each person gets her own bag. I always pray that both finalists are the same size, but that rarely ever happens,” said Fetman to Entertainment Weekly. In order to make sure the women are wearing totally different dresses, Fetman tries to go off their personalities which are usually very different. Once the first finalist is styled, he’ll remove everything from the racks that looks even remotely similar. While Fetman is there to help the ladies (and men) narrow down their choices, similar to the stars, the decision of what they wear is ultimately theirs.
12. Contestants Receive a Packing List
Ever wonder how the contestants seem to have the perfect outfit for every ‘surprise’ situation on the show? According to Fashionista, the contestants receive a packing list from producers before coming on the show. This list also includes what NOT to wear, which would be “stripes, small checkered patterns, big patterns, and solid white,” said Sean Lowe, a former contestant on The Bachelorette and star of season 17 on The Bachelor.
11. Bachelorette Wardrobe Budget
This might no longer stand today, but back in 2012, former Bachelorette, Emily Maynard had the biggest, most expensive wardrobe budget in Bachelor history. She was allotted $350,000 to spend on her wardrobe for her entire season. “It was bigger than any previous season – and we still went over,” said Cary Fetman to In Touch. Her most expensive items worn were $1,045 Christian Louboutin heels and $40,000 Randi Rahm gown.
10. Contestants Spend a Fortune on Wardrobe
According to Olivia Caridi, a season 20 contestant on The Bachelor, she spent $40,000 on her wardrobe prior to appearing on the show. While many have disputed the truth to that statement, Jillian Harris, who was a former contestant on season 13 of The Bachelor and season five’s Bachelorette, admitted on her blog that with designer labels and what not it’s very much possible she could have spent a large lump sum of money on her clothing. In fact, Harris admitted she re-mortgaged her house and spent about $8,000 on clothing before she first appeared on the show.
9. This Contestant Paid for Professional Makeup Lessons
As previously mentioned, the contestants on the show typically spend thousands of dollars on their wardrobe and beauty routine in order to prepare for national television. In an interview with Allure, Caridi revealed she actually forked out money for professional makeup lessons! “I’ve never been that great at doing makeup, so I had a professional makeup artist come to my house to teach me how to do everything and make me a list of everything I need to buy…Then, a couple days before filming, I went to Sephora and bought foundation, eye shadow palettes, brow fillers, like every single thing you could ever imagine. That was fun and expensive, but it was worth it,” she said.
8. Producers Will Intervene with Wardrobe When Needed
It would definitely be a little weird if two women showed up wearing the same dress, so in order to avoid a mishap such a this, the producers and Cary Fetman will go around to each of the women’s hotel rooms to check out what they are wearing. “On the first night, I’ll go in to talk to them. They still haven’t seen each other and they don’t know what the other girls are wearing. I make sure that no one is embarrassing themselves or two people are coming out in the same dress. My theory is [that first night] says so much about who they are so I try to give them as little input as possible. That’s the fun part of the show. What the girls wear says so much about their personalities…The only thing I ever am doing is standing outside to make sure that you can’t see up their dresses,” he joked.
7. Contestants Might Receive Wardrobe Suggestions
While the contestants are not styled, the producers will give suggestions if an outfit isn’t working. Jaclyn Swartz, from season 16 of The Bachelor, said there are guidelines in place to make sure the women dress so that each and every outfit pops on camera. “[The producers] would never be like, ‘Oh, that’s ugly. Take it off.’ They would say, ‘It’s just not translating well on camera. You should change, but that’s to benefit you,'” she said.
6. What Happens to Clothes After the Show?
After 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 13 seasons of The Bachelorette, ABC has no doubt amassed a huge collection of gowns and suits, so what happens to all these clothes after all is said a done? Do the stars of the show get to keep the clothing? According to Cary Fetman, he told EW that it all gets shipped back to Warner Bros. “The wardrobe goes to Warner Bros. and they decide what to do with it,” he said.
5. What to Wear on a Date
It can be tricky to keep an element of surprise, but also make sure the contestants are dressed properly. As any viewer of The Bachelor knows, the dates can sometimes be quite elaborate and outside the box, and may require a specific wardrobe. In order to avoid any setbacks in filming or embarrassing moments, producers will dish out hints on what to wear prior to filming a date. “Before dates, a producer will tell you more or less what you need to wear,” said a Bachelor contestant from season 18. “Nothing that will give away the activity, but vague things like, ‘Something comfortable you can walk in,” she wrote on her blog.
4. Contestants Help Each Other Out
Cary Fetman describes the Bachelor mansion like high school, and sometimes it does seem that way! Each season there are definitely cliques that form. One of the nice things about having friends on the show is that they tend to help each other out with styling their outfits. “Once they’re shooting, you’ve got all those girls [helping each other out]. I’m not saying all of them try to help, but you can always see how cliques form. It’s like they’re back in high school — they find the girls they want to be friendly with and they help each other. They kinda become [a] mirror [for each other],” said Fetman to Entertainment Weekly.
3. Contestants Sometimes Share Clothes
While two contestants are never allowed to wear the same outfit or article of clothing at the same time, they have been known to share clothing. Viewers usually aren’t paying close enough attention to notice, but there have been instances in the past when a dress has made its rounds through the group. “If you saw Amanda Stanton, Leah Block and Lauren Bushnell all wore the same dress three different weeks in a row,” said Caila Quinn, a former contestant from season 20 of The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise. It was one of Amanda’s dresses, a black and gold sequined bodycon dress by Dress the Population.
2. There Isn’t Much Space for Contestants
While the Bachelor mansion is definitely huge, when there are twenty-something girls in the house, there’s not a lot of space to get ready — especially when it comes to the bathrooms! In an interview with Allure, former Bachelor contestant Ashley Iaconetti said she used to do her makeup on the balcony. “The lighting in the mansion was really bad for makeup, so I did mine on the balcony every day. There were maybe four mirrors in the house of 23 girls because mirrors make it hard for the camera guys.”
1. There’s A Lot of Down Time
Even though the show is about falling in love, the contestants don’t actually spend a lot of time with either the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Since there are only so many dates and not everyone can go on them, so there’s a ton of downtime that gets unaired. Since there aren’t any distractions like a television or cell phones, the ladies typically spend this time pampering themselves and each other. “We were always doing beauty routines. There were so many days where we did a lot of mud masks and self-tanning sessions. We were painting our nails all the time because we were constantly changing outfits, and we wanted to match the nails to the outfit. There was a lot of beauty and pampering for each other that never really gets aired,” said former Bachelor contestant Olivia Caridi to Allure.