PREACH IT! Leave Blake Lively and her megashirts alone!

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By now you’ve probably seen this photo of Blake Lively, in which she pairs a gigantic tech-support guy, button-down shirt with a belt stolen from a Banana Republic store circa 1987, possibly posing right after reaching up under the hem of her sparkly miniskirt and giving those shirttails a nice firm tug for fit’s sake.

Lively caught heck for that get-up. But she’s bound to catch even more in weeks to come, no matter what she wears. Why? Lively has revealed what the fashion media considers an almost mortal sin: She has no wardrobe stylist.

Everybody who’s anybody in this town is supposed to have a stylist -- somebody to help a star put together looks, mostly for red carpet events and other public brouhahas. Yes, celebrities receive thousands of dollars of free clothes a month anyway, via starry-eyed designers hoping to curry favor. But a paid stylist helps elevate an actress to the next level, providing a connection to couture clothes, vintage pieces, archived gowns -- the rare pieces of wearable art that reflect true star clout.

(For the record, Lively is not alone in shunning stylists, who can charge thousands of dollars a day. But then again, Angelina Jolie does have a stylist, and that is the only fact that matters on this earth.)

But is it fair to criticize a top actress like Lively for forgoing her own wardrobe elf?



Consider: Dozens of stars have appeared in terrible outfits over the years -- despite having a stylist in tow. Despite a reputation for almost limitless power, stylists can only suggest outfits. They can’t enforce them.

Privately, stylists have complained to Preach It! over the years about how little influence they actually have. They nudge their clients in the right direction, pray for the best, and that’s about it. If an actress wants to look like a disaster, there’s little anyone can do -- even Patricia Field. Don’t believe us? Here’s some proof: Beyonce. She’s not exactly known for her good taste on the red carpet. And she has a stylist too.

-- Leslie Gornstein


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