TV style queen Holly Willoughby says women should be praised for more than just their wardrobe choices
She’s a daytime TV fashion icon whose eye-catching outfits can spark a high-street sales boom, but Holly Willoughby has called time on women being judged for their wardrobe choices.
The This Morning presenter’s comments are likely to be cheered by female fans, even though her lucrative deals to promote fashion brands have led to an online industry devoted to encouraging women to ape her style.
The 40-year-old, who will star in ITV reality show Dancing on Ice tonight alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse, spoke of her frustration when comparisons were made between the outfits worn by the two women.
Lady in red: Holly Willoughby strikes a pose in a classy burgundy off-the shoulder number with a low slit
Fits like a glove! Ms Willoughby in an elegant pale blue one-shouldered column by Safiyaa
Asked if viewers were likely to see some kind of ‘frock-off’ battle, she replied: ‘I think women can exist on a panel without having to have their clothing compared.
‘It’s 2022. Now is the time for two women to be praised on things other than what they are wearing.
‘I love people commenting. You’re wearing a dress, people are going to have opinions.
‘But I hate to think that it was against women in any way because I think life is hard enough.’
Ms Willoughby’s plunging gown from the opening show of last year’s Dancing On Ice series – a daring £6,240 dress by couturier Dany Atrache – sparked more than 300 complaints to the TV regulator Ofcom.
Ms Willoughby spoke of her frustration when comparisons were made between the outfits worn by her and Oti Mabuse
In 2013, the BBC apologised after the cleavage-flashing black dress she wore to host the final of The Voice led to 139 viewer complaints.
However, some of Ms Willoughby’s outfits have become so popular that they sell out minutes after she posts them on Instagram.
The mother-of-three’s reputation as a fashion guru has even prompted ITV to detail what the presenter wears each day on its website so viewers can shop for the same item.
She began posting pictures of her show outfits in 2017 and swiftly attracted a huge audience, prompting Marks and Spencer to sign her up with her own fashion range in a £2 million deal. She previously had a contract with House of Fraser.
Despite her comments about being judged on her dresses, Ms Willoughby said she loved choosing her Dancing On Ice wardrobe, adding: ‘I have my big fitting day. It’s my favourite day of the year. I feel like Cinderella for the day. It’s brilliant fun – proper, serious dress-up.’