Remember that season of The Bachelorette when all of the guys were wearing scarves? Yeah, that was not Cary Fetman’s fault. As The Bachelor franchise’s chief wardrobe stylist, Fetman dresses the Bachelor/Bachelorette and host Chris Harrison, but he doesn’t provide any clothing for contestants. “I try to make sure that the cast can do what they need to do, and that’s why I never go near them,” he explains. (He does style the final two contestants for the finale.) As for Scarfgate, Fetman insists that his only involvement was stopping Harrison from adding to the neckwear chaos. “When Chris was wearing a scarf,” he says, “I’d take it off of him before he got in front of the camera.”
With that settled, rose lovers, read on for answers to some burning Bachelor style questions: What happens if two women are wearing the same dress? How many suitcases does it take to hold all of the Bachelor/Bachelorette’s clothing? And what kind of date does Fetman dread most?
What’s your style vibe for Colton?
He’s young and it’s kind of hard to not be doing some of the cooler prints this season, but at the same time [we’re] making him a little more sophisticated. Listen, he’s got an amazing body, he’s a great looking guy, and it’s not hard to just put him in something to wear. He likes shorts and printed shirts and things like that. He’s a rugged guy, but then the other day when he was in his tuxedo, he looked amazing. He can carry off both looks.
The women choose their own gowns for the cocktail parties — what do you think of the night-one looks?
You can see obviously the color of the night was red, you can see that rose-gold sequins were the look in the stores. There was a group [of women] in the beginning that were all wearing ruffles. We’re all captive to what the designers are doing in the stores where we can afford to shop.
Are you involved at all in what the women wear during the season?
I used to meet with them the night before and make sure that their clothes for the season didn’t have a lot of logos and stuff like that. Those days are gone where I even go in. My assistant went this morning to see if anyone needed anything steamed, and she said to me, “A couple of the girls are wearing the same dress.” Normally that would have been something I would have been having a fit about, saying, “No, one of them has to change!” But now we’re just letting [them do] whatever they want to do.
Do you go on the dates to style Colton?
I don’t go on the dates. I go and make sure that Colton’s taken care of in the morning, and either I or my assistant go at night to change him for the evening date.
You’re in charge of the Bachelor or Bachelorette’s entire wardrobe. How do you get all the clothes to where they need to be? Do you ship them ahead or bring everything with you?
I am the man that walks through the airport with all those suitcases. On a season [of The Bachelorette], I have probably like 14 suitcases with me. And with Colton, I’ll have about 8 suitcases. Don’t forget, it’s everything — it’s his underwear, it’s his workout clothes, if we’re going where we know he has a ski date, it’s ski clothes. When we’re traveling someplace cold, it’s a winter coat, a summer coat, you go from one climate to the other.
How long do you have to get the clothes ready before shooting begins?
We do a three-day fitting, and we fit everything.
What do you do if there’s a wardrobe emergency on a date, ripped pants or a broken zipper?
We just keep shooting. Accidents happen. A person splits their pants — you make a joke about it and you continue the night. It’s part of what life is and none of us take this that seriously, we really don’t. I think that’s why I started calming myself [about women showing up in the same dress], because this is life. You go into a party, there are only so many designers that we can all afford to buy, so the fact that girls are wearing the same kind of look is part of what a normal person would experience on the dating scene.
What is your least favorite type of date to style?
A date where I know they’re going to be either freezing or just really, really hot. When they’re uncomfortable and they’re hot and they’re getting sweat through their clothes and stuff, they feel like sh–, they look like sh–, and so there’s nothing pretty about it. Can we avoid it? Of course not. It’s part of our show. We do rugged things, we do sporty things. And if they’re so cold that I can’t get them to be comfortable, that’s just harder on me because I think to myself, “Damn, if I had just looked up one more thing, I probably could have found you something, an extra layer that could have gone underneath that.”
Were you dying watching poor Blake sweat so much during Becca’s finale?
He was so sweaty. It was so unbearably hot. It was like this side of Hell. Even she was hot. She also could not even walk, she had heels on. She kept insisting, “I can wear the heels.” She was finally like, “I’m taking my shoes off and walking across the sand.”
During Rachel’s finale [of The Bachelorette], she was looking stunning, she was wearing a $40,000 dress, feeling gorgeous, and all of a sudden [there was] a windstorm at that last second. It was insane. I’m watching sequins and hand-beaded crystals flying off and just threads blowing in the wind. A tree was falling over. There’s nothing you can do, you just keep shooting. You can’t stop — you could never recapture that moment of real life, so you just roll.
Who was your favorite Bachelor/Bachelorette to dress?
I’m like a parent. I don’t have favorites.
Do you have a least favorite?
Yes, not one I’ll ever tell. [laughs] I love each one for different reasons. Becca is the sweetest thing. Rachel just cracks me up. Rachel and I will crawl into bed together at my house — it’s now two years later, she still comes and stays at my house. She’s like, “I’m staying over for the night,” and the next thing I know it’s four days later. I’m like, “Are you ever going home?” And she’s like, “No, are you kicking me out?” Andi, still to this day — if she ever came to LA and the two of us did not get together, I’d beat her. And the boys, no different.
I’m the only one [on the show] who doesn’t need anything out of them, other than to [make sure] that they look good and they feel good. I’ve got nothing else to do. If you’re sad, I can listen to you be sad. I don’t need to make you happy. If you’re happy, I don’t need to make you sad. I can just be a real sounding board. You get this closeness that’s really hard when the show ends to say, “Okay, bye. Go enjoy your life.” Sometimes it happens, but for the most part, they all still check in with the old man to make sure that I still love them the most. Each season whether it be a girl or a boy, somebody will call and say, “Am I still your favorite?” “Yep. You know it!”
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