DRESSED TO IM­PRESS

Rachael Ray gives area man a makeover

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

PHOENIXVILLE >> Un­til last week John Long wore a pair of shorts ev­ery day of the year. Freez­ing tem­per­a­tures, for­mal oc­ca­sions, you name it, for nearly 30 years, the 47-year-old re­fused to wear long pants, opt­ing in­stead for baggy cargo shorts.

To com­pli­ment his ques­tion­able fashion choice, Long, a con­struc­tion worker who runs a snow-plow­ing busi­ness, also sported long bleach-blond hair. Think Guy Fieri, but with­out the spikes.

That all changed when Long agreed to al­low the “The Rachael Ray Show” to give him a makeover — and the trans­for­ma­tion was noth­ing short of amaz­ing. The episode, which aired Nov. 4 lo­cally on 6ABC-WPVI, fea­tured Long with a whole new wardrobe, in­clud­ing long skinny jeans, and a new short hair­cut with his nat­u­ral dark brown hair color.

“I didn’t look like me,” he said. “They did a great job. They brought in stylists from a pop­u­lar sa­lon in New York, it was amaz­ing.”

Sig­na­ture look

Ever since he got out of high school in 1987, Long said he en­joyed surf­ing at the beach and grew com­fort­able wear­ing shorts wher­ever he went.

“I liked wear­ing shorts and never went back to wear­ing pants,” he said. “They’re easy to buy, in­ex­pen­sive. I work con­struc­tion so they’re com­fort­able and I move around faster. I just found them re­ally easy and con­ve­nient and have been do­ing it ever since.”

He’s not kid­ding ei­ther. On his wed­ding day 17 years ago, Long looked like AC/DC gui­tarist An­gus Young af­ter he had a tai­lor cut him a pair of shorts out of tuxedo pants. When he and his wife Rose would go out to fancy restau-

“I didn’t look like me. They did a great job. They brought in stylists from a pop­u­lar sa­lon in New York, it was amaz­ing.” — Phoenixville res­i­dent John Long

rants, they’d be sat in the cor­ner where they couldn’t be seen, he said.

“We’d go out to restau­rants and I’d think ‘wow, do I look ex­tra good today?” Rose said. “Then I re­al­ize, ‘oh my gosh, ev­ery­body’s look­ing at him be­cause it’s freez­ing out­side and he’s wear­ing shorts!’”

Rose, a hair stylist at In­no­va­tions Hair Sa­lon in Phoenixville, said she put up with his wardrobe choices, but had enough of bat­tling her hus­band over his bleach-blond locks, es­pe­cially af­ter the over pro­cessed hair be­gan to break off.

“Hair­styl­ists know when we do our fam­ily’s hair they want it the way they want it,” she said. Yet the bleach­blond look only looks good on short hair and Long al­ways wanted to grow his hair out.

Time for a change

Af­ter see­ing an episode of the “Rachael Ray Show” where the pro­duc­ers were look­ing for men in need of a “man-over,” Rose sub­mit­ted a wed­ding photo fea­tur­ing Long in his shorts to the show. The pro­duc­ers reached out and Long agreed to a makeover at the TV studio in New York.

The cou­ple and one of Rose’s friends made the Am­trak ride up Oct. 31 and stayed at the Hil­ton Fashion Dis­trict ho­tel. That af­ter­noon, Long spent three hours try­ing on clothes and shoes be­fore celebrity stylist Clin­ton Kelly signed off on the new threads.

Rose spent the day shop­ping, she said laugh­ing.

The next morn­ing Long was back for a hair­cut and was shuf­fled from room to room amid the “con­trolled chaos” of the show which was tap­ing sev­eral seg­ments for the next few weeks at one time.

“Peo­ple were every­where,” he said. “It was crazy. I saw Vic­tor Cruz of the New York Giants and he said, ‘Man, you look sharp, dude.’ I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’m an Ea­gles fan.”

Af­ter chang­ing into his new clothes and get­ting his makeup done, Long was out on stage to hug his wife and talk to Ray and Kelly about his makeover. Long wore a but­ton down shirt un­der­neath a dark red sweater and a blazer. Ray com­pli­mented him say­ing he looked sexy, while Kelly said it wasn’t hard to get him to change his look but ad­mit­ted “straight men can be stub­born.”

Long said he was a bit over­whelmed and dis­tracted by the num­ber of cam­eras and by the au­di­ence mak­ing it hard to fo­cus when the hosts were talk­ing to him.

“Rachael (Ray) started talk­ing to me,” he said. “I was look­ing at the crowd. She called me squir­rel. I said, ‘sorry, I’m just blown away.’ She said, ‘What do you think?’ ‘I can’t be­lieve I look like this.’”

Dressed to im­press

Af­ter the tap­ing, Ray treated the cou­ple to dinner at the restau­rant called The Smith. Long said they had to give the host a fake name be­fore they sat down but were served what­ever they wanted. This time there was no need to hide the cou­ple in the cor­ner.

That night Long said Rose told him she couldn’t be­lieve how good he looked.

“She said, ‘Holy cow, that’s what your butt looks like in jeans,’” he said. “It turned out to be a re­ally cool ex­pe­ri­ence. It was her idea to do it all. She talked me into it.”

While Long con­fessed to wear­ing shorts again, he said he’s much more will­ing to dress up nowa­days.

“Fri­day night when the showed aired I wore a sim­i­lar out­fit (as on the show) when we went out,” he said. “I was dressed to the nines.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — DAVID M. RUS­SELL/RACHAEL RAY SHOW

Rachael Ray and celebrity stylist Clin­ton Kelly ad­mire Phoenixville res­i­dent John Long’s makeover dur­ing a re­cent episode of “The Rachael Ray Show.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO — DAVID M. RUS­SELL/RACHAEL RAY SHOW

Phoenixville res­i­dent John Long hugs his wife Rose af­ter re­ceiv­ing a makeover on a re­cent episode of “The Rachael Ray Show.”

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