TV Fashion: Joy Turner from 'My Name Is Earl' (NBC)
When fools gold is good enough
Jaime Pressly's character, Joy Turner, from "My Name Is Earl" owns a Bedazzler and isn't afraid to use it.
Fashionwise, that tells us almost all we need to know about the part-time manicurist, full-time foil to ex-husband Earl (Jason Lee). She's Bedazzled her jeans, her tank tops and even her wedding dress. And, frighteningly, we love her all the more for it.
"She's fashionable trailer trash," says Emmy-winning costumer designer Giovanna Melton, whose credits include "Providence," "Jack & Bobby" and The Handler." "Joy continues to evolve, but her sexy persona remains. I've made her have a little more style in a trailer trash way, a southern girl way ... She likes cute details."
Hence the Bedazzler, which allows fashion-forward civilians the opportunity to add rhinestones to anything and everything. In one episode, Joy bedazzled a heart with her initials onto her discount wedding dress in order to cover a stain. But thanks to a little something called character development, you get the impression Joy would have put those rhinestones on there anyway, stain or no stain.
For Melton, the fun comes from diving into the character and their perceived past.
"I truly search high and low to create a closet for these people," she says. "And while we want to be unique, the key for me is to never take away from the comedy. You want to add to the comedy."
So what are Joy's fashion staples?
"She has a limited budget but looks for things that are sexy," Melton says. "She loves a good bargain. She shops at Target and garage sales, but I'm not sure she'd shop for herself at a thrift shop. I'm not sure that's who she thinks she is."
For her part, Melton goes to a lot of boutiques and little hideaway stores that carry inexpensive clothing in the $6.99 to $29.99 range. Jeans, shorts and miniskirts coupled with cute, sexy little tops a la tanks and tubes are all prerequisites for the redneck runway. And let's not forget the bras. "She has a lot of bras that are decorative and you occasionally get a glimpse of those," Melton says with laugh. "She isn't scared of showing her bra straps ... you'll see."
Of course, these styles aren't for the faint of heart or thick of thigh.
"When you have a body like hers, it's easy," says Melton of Pressly, who studied gymnastics as a child and has been modeling since she was 13.
One of Melton's finds for Joy is feetless socks (think leggings, but classier) so that she can keep wearing her flip-flops once the weather gets a little chillier in the trailer park "somewhere between Bakersfield, Calif., and South Carolina."