Clinton Kelly (TV personality)

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Clinton Kelly
ClintonKellyin2006 (cropped).jpg
Kelly at a fashion event in 2006
Born (1969-02-22) February 22, 1969 (age 50)
Panama City, Panama
Alma materBoston College
Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism
OccupationFashion consultant
Years active1993-present
Height6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
TelevisionWhat Not to Wear 2003-2013
The Chew 2011-2018
Damon Bayles (m. 2009)

Clinton Kelly (born February 22, 1969) is an American fashion consultant and media personality known for his role as co-host on What Not to Wear, a reality program that featured fashion makeovers. He shared on-air duties with Stacy London. Kelly started his career as a freelance writer for several fashion magazines. Although he still continues to write, he has since expanded into fashion consulting and designing. In 2011, Kelly joined the cast as the moderator of ABC's daytime cooking show The Chew.

Early years[edit]

Kelly was born in Panama City, Panama, of Irish and Italian ancestry, and raised in Port Jefferson Station, Long Island, New York.[1] He graduated from Comsewogue High School in 1987. He attended Boston College and graduated with a degree in communications in 1991; he was president of Boston College's University Chorale.[2] After college, he attained his master's degree in journalism, specializing in magazine publishing, from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1993.[1]



Before joining What Not to Wear as co-host, Kelly hosted a program in the mid-90s on the short-lived QVC spin-off network Q2, and worked as a freelance writer and editor at several publications in New York.[3] Kelly was an editor at Marie Claire and a deputy editor at Mademoiselle, where he contributed under the pseudonym "Joe L'Amour".[4][5] He later became the executive editor of the Daily News Record, a New York-based weekly men's fashion and retail trade magazine.[6]


While Kelly was at Daily News Record, the producers at TLC's What Not to Wear decided to recast the original male lead (Wayne Scot Lukas) and approached Kelly.[7] After three auditions, Kelly was chosen as the new co-host, alongside Stacy London. He has described their relationship as "a brother and sister in the backseat of a car on a long car trip".[8]

Kelly is openly gay,[9] but in comparing What Not to Wear with the show Queer Eye—which pioneered gay men making over people seen as needing fashion advice—the Washington Blade noted some key differences:[10][11] "[U]nless you have your gaydar on while watching the show, you would have no idea. There's nothing 'gay' about the show and he doesn't really talk about it on air. Viewers trust Kelly's expertise based on the strength of his choices rather than on the 'he's gay and he should know' fashion theory."[10]

In 2008, Kelly served as a guest consultant on the TLC reality series, Miss America: Countdown to the Crown. He assisted Mario Lopez during the live pageant telecast.[12] Kelly became the moderator of the ABC daytime show The Chew in 2011.

In 2015, Kelly shared the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host with his cohosts on The Chew.

In 2019, Kelly became the host of Food Network's Spring Baking Championship.[13]


In 2005, Kelly and Stacy London co-wrote a book titled Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body.[14] In 2008, Kelly wrote Freakin' Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally be Better than Everyone Else.[15] In 2010, he wrote Oh No She Didn't, telling the do's and don'ts of women's fashion.[16] In 2017 he published his memoirs as a series of essays entitled I Hate Everyone, Except You.[17]


In 2007, Kelly wrote a weekly style column for "RedEye" in the Chicago Tribune.[18] He is a national spokesman for Macy's[19] and has a clothing line through QVC called Kelly by Clinton Kelly.[20] In July 2008, his Extended Tab 5 Trousers sold out in seven seconds.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Kelly is married to Damon Bayles. They were married in 2009 at their home in Bantam, Connecticut.[22]


  1. ^ a b "Bio: Clinton Kelly". BuddyTV. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Boston College Q&A with Clinton Kelly Archived July 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ ClothingDoctor. "Hosts of What Not to Wear". The Clothing Doctor. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009.
  4. ^ "Fashion Expert: Clinton Kelly". TLC. Archived from the original on October 9, 2006.
  5. ^ "Clinton Kelly". Archived from the original on April 27, 2006.
  6. ^ "Clinton Kelly". American Program Bureau.
  7. ^ Wieder, Tamara (November 21, 2003). "Wear Thee Well". Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on May 1, 2009.
  8. ^ Rovner, Carolyn (November 2008). "Fabulous Q&A with 'What Not To Wear' Host Stacy London". Diablo Magazine. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike (November 28, 2003). "You and Yours, Only Better". Southern Voice.[full citation needed]
  10. ^ a b Moylan, Brian (October 17, 2003). "How to Wear It Well". Washington Blade.
  11. ^ "Television: What Not to Wear". Southern Voice.[full citation needed]
  12. ^ "Miss Indiana Crowned New Miss America". MSNBC. January 24, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Kelly, Clinton; London, Stacy (2005). Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-307-23671-4.
  15. ^ Kelly, Clinton (2008). Freakin' Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate, and Generally Be Better than Everyone Else. Simon Spotlight Entertainment. ISBN 1-4169-6149-6.
  16. ^ Kelly, Clinton (2010). Oh No She Didn't: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them. New York: Gallery Books. ISBN 1-4391-6316-2.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Popular TV Fashion Guru Tells Chicagoans 'What Not to Wear' in Weekly RedEye Column" (Press release). November 20, 2007. Retrieved March 30, 2009.
  19. ^ "Clinton Kelly". Macy's. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009.
  20. ^ "Kelly by Clinton Kelly". QVC. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  21. ^ Green, Heather. "What Not to Wear's Clinton Kelly Comes Clean". Cary Magazine.[dead link][dead link]
  22. ^ Knorr, Amanda (July 29 – August 11, 2009). "In Good Taste: Clinton Kelly of 'What Not to Wear'". Improper Bostonian. p. 38.

External links[edit]