When she’s not busy taking care of her two children, The Possessionista (a.k.a. Dana Weiss) spends her days getting to the bottom of who wore what on your favorite TV shows so you don’t have to.
Here, the “fashionably compulsive” Chicago-based blogger who’s never missed an episode of “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette,” “Gossip Girl” (the list goes on) talks about style stalking, her appreciation of Jillian Harris, and what makes a true possessionista.
Q: The tagline for your blog is “For the fashionably compulsive.” What qualifies someone as being fashionably compulsive, and in which ways do you fit the crime?
A: Anyone can be fashionable, but to be fashionably compulsive means it occupies your every thought, and you feel the need to act on it. If you find yourself watching a show and then Googling what the characters wore, or making phone calls to stores and trying to special-order something out of stock, or if you ever tried applying for a wholesaler’s license because the manufacturer doesn’t sell to the public, then you’re fashionably compulsive. And, for the record, I have done all of these things.
Q: A large portion of your blog is dedicated to finding out where to find what a specific TV star is wearing. Can you recall your most challenging “style stalk” session to date?
A: Yes. There is this black dolman sweater that Kristin Cavallari wore on “The Hills.” Tons of people were looking for it, and, to this day, it’s never been identified. Kristin apparently cut the tags out of it, so we may never know. It’s like the Stonehenge of reality-TV fashion.
Q: Is there one item in particular that received an overwhelming amount of requests from your readers?
A: “The Bachelorette” Jillian Harris’ Forever 21 denim romper. Another site dubbed it “Rompergate.” It was the first time I really realized the power of the Internet and how bloggers could work together. It was also the first time I realized the power of Forever 21.
Q: Your blog is perhaps best known for exploring the wardrobes behind hit shows like “The Bachelor,” “Real Housewives,” “Glee,” “Gossip Girl,” “90210” and even “The Office.” Which show has been your favorite to follow, both personally and for the love of fashion?
A: The only thing I love more than clothes is TV, so I’m really living the dream. I adore “Glee” for the music, and Lou Eyrich is a genius when it comes to dressing Emma Pillsbury and Rachel. I appreciate “Gossip Girl” because Eric Daman has created characters with the clothes the way Patricia Field did for “Sex and the City.” But I love reporting on “The Bachelorette” fashion, because the stars are real people, so readers, even on a college student budget, can actually go out and buy what they see.
Q: Which shows would you consider reader favorites?
A: “Glee” and “The Bachelor” both have seriously committed followings. I get e-mails at all hours of the day, sometimes months after an episode airs. Jillian Harris’ fans are by far the most dedicated. I probably get about 10 e-mails a week about her gold watch. (It’s Michael Kors. Stop asking me.)
Q: If you could get your hands on one piece of clothing or accessory that you’ve covered, what would it be and why?
A: That’s like asking me to choose between my children.
Q: While much of your blog focuses on where to find the clothes worn on your favorite shows, you also offer celeb style steals and style advice. How have the franchises on your blog evolved over the years, and what’s next?
A: World domination? I don’t know. The whole process has been so organic. I never expected to have this kind of response. If you’d told me two years ago that I’d still be doing this, I’d have asked you for your pharmacist’s phone number. I’d love to collaborate with a retailer or designer. Or, you know, world domination.
Q:What are five fashion items every possessionista should own?
A: A bag that was more expensive than it should have been, but that you’ll covet forever; A pair of shoes that make you feel tall and thin, even if you’re not; A pair of jeans that will make your ex-boyfriend regret his current status; A piece of jewelry that belonged to someone who loved you; The perfect white T-shirt. (I haven’t found one, not yet).
OK, now the lightning round …
Favorite color? Yes.
Favorite fabric? Is sequin considered a fabric?
Favorite midnight snack? Breadsticks. How do people live without carbs?
Person you’d most like to meet — past or present? This is the part where I’m supposed to say Barack Obama or Gandhi, right? Cary Fetman at “The Bachelor” or Lou Eyrich at “Glee.” They both helped me out from the beginning for no discernible reason. I really owe the success of the blog to them. And Jillian Harris.
Guilty pleasure? Watching shows on the CW and telling my husband I’m “working.” Oh, and Cheetos.
Qualities you most admire in a person? Humor. Kindness. Good shoes.
Favorite getaway? I really love Seattle. The food is great, and the people are really fond of flannel, so I’m always the best dressed wherever I go.
Favorite place to shop? For shoes? Nordstrom. For jeans? ShopBop. For instant gratification? Forever21. With someone else’s credit card? Barney’s.
Hardest thing to pull off? One of those big faux-fur vests that Rachel Zoe has everyone dying over. I have yet to see someone wear it and not look like a Muppet. If you can prove me wrong, e-mail me at email@example.com. If you pull it off, I’ll buy you a venti nonfat latte.
Head to The Possessionista for the latest fashion highlights from “The Bachelor” and more, and new giveaways every day throughout the month of January.
Photo: Courtesy of Dana Weiss