TV Fashion: Howie Mandel of 'Deal or No Deal'

Here are words we never thought we'd type - Howie Mandel is stylish AND cool.

Does anyone remember the mop-topped goofball who used to put surgical gloves over his head and inflate them with his nose? Or the baby talk? Yikes, that baby talk.

So exactly how did this happen? Have we crossed over into some bizarro world where Superman is evil and Howie Mandel is sophisticated? As far as we can tell the answer is "yes." But Mandel's re-emergence can be partly attributed to one of the hottest costume designers around, Dina Cerchione, who specializes in game shows. Aside from a period with "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Cerchione also has worked her magic on Donny Osmond ("Pyramid") and Bob Saget ("1 vs. 100"). Unlike her counterparts in series television, Cerchione doesn't have the luxury of dressing around a character's story line or development.

"When they come to you as a designer they say, 'Here is what the set looks like; here's what the feel of the show looks like,' " Cerchione says. "They tell you how the game plays, and they tell you how the lighting is - so they give you this sort of mood, and you have to plug in the blanks."

The look she designed for Mandel is sleek with clean lines: His suits are tailored and very fitted in superdark hues. "The show is a very sleek, nighttime, dramatic moment show," Cerchione says. "So we keep him in mostly black, slim-cut suits with narrow pant legs and narrow lapel. He's very proportionate and looks great in clothes."

Mandel often finds himself in slim-cut, single-breasted, three-button suits by Joseph Abboud and Thierry Mugler, while Cerchione goes with crisp-fabric shirts by Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Paul Smith, Ted Baker and others that can be either dark or vibrant, sometimes to compliment the number girls.

"He looks best in a high collar, and we never do ties," Cerchione adds. "We keep the collar open but buttoned up pretty high, and on his feet we have him in a narrower Calvin Klein boot."

For accessories, she normally allows Mandel to go with his own personal sense of style - rings, earrings, bracelets, etc. - only occasionally vetoing a wristwatch with a clashing face color.

"Howie has a great personal style so I try not to completely strip it away," she says. "He has a funkiness. He's not your normal game show host."

So true. How else can you explain that 26 girls with aluminum briefcases love him?