Soapbox: George Kotsiopoulos

It can’t be easy to sit next to Joan Rivers week after week and hold your own, but as Fashion Police’s resident stylist (and resident gay), George Kotsiopoulos does just that—and ever so stylishly! So when it came time to pick a Soapbox speaker for our Spring Style Issue, who better than the man who puts just as much thought into his choice of socks as he does into those sharp blazers and bow ties?!

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Prior to me getting on [Fashion Police], all of the male fashion experts that I had seen on television were really caricatures of gay men, very stereotypical of the “bitchy queen.” But I know tons of guys who work in fashion who aren’t like that and not every gay man is like that. And for the most part, most of those guys who play the “fashion expert” role [on TV] aren’t actually fashion experts—I’m a real stylist—they’re just good TV. So I’m really grateful to get the opportunity to be on a show and be me.

I’m always critiquing people that I’ve worked with or styled. And it’s actually easier because if I know their body type and I know what they’re like, things will make sense to me. I used to style Zooey Deschanel, so when she wears what she wears, I know why. I’m a little bit nastier if I know that really and truly the celebrity we’re talking about is an evil person—I just can’t help myself! But then if they look amazing and I know that person is a “C U Next Tuesday,” I’ll still say they look amazing.

With our expanding format on the show, I think we’ll try to bring in more guys. We do the segment “Man Candy” as much as we can, but usually that’s more for the jokes. And think about it: Can you think of anything memorable that guys are wearing other than Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt? Ryan Gosling has been wearing a lot of fashion lately, which I think is great, but you’re either going to talk about the guys that look cool, in which case it’s really not that memorable, or the guys that look silly.  

The thing with men’s fashion is there’s only so much you can do. So for me, it’s all about having a great fit. Having clothes that fit you super well and then modifying. If color is in, then wear the blazer from your pinstripe suit with dark jeans, a color sock and a really bright knit vest. To me it’s about modifying the classics. Have one statement that pops.

I get dressed up very proper when I’m going to events, but otherwise I’m in combat boots, jeans and a V-neck. I’m fashionable either way, but it’s just a little more grungy. And yes, I do care about how I look, as I think we all should. I mean, my gym shorts are tailored! They truly are, but that’s because I don’t buy gym shorts, I buy sweat pants and then cut the leg off. I don’t want them to be tight, but I don’t want to look like a toddler in these big and baggy basketball shorts. But you should absolutely put a little thought and effort into how you look and present yourself. And for me, I just want to look cute with whatever I’m wearing. But let’s be real, I don’t really care what I look like as long as I think I look good! 
 
I’ve never been a fan of jeans with embroidery or embellishments. No man should wear that. Period. And older guys dressing like they’re still 25. It’s like, guys, come on! You can’t wear those logo Ts. I still have all my vintage Ts—well, the ones that still fit me—and what I do is turn them inside out. But I’ll wear them with boots and a blazer, not Converse. It’s fine to incorporate stuff from your youth, and it should feel more like, “Oh, this old thing.” But pair it with something nicer. Although I do dress like Jake from Sixteen Candles, so who am I to talk?

Moderated by Jeff Katz; art by Dave Arkle. Catch George and the rest of the Fashion Police Friday nights on E!