Come fly with me... Photo: courtesy of ABC

Fasten your seat belt. The 14th installment of ABC's "The Bachelor" takes off tonight with 31-year-old Texas pilot Jake Pavelka in the cockpit as the wife seeking hunk on a super-sized speed date.

As much as we hate to admit it, we're still hooked on the reality dating experiment which has resulted in only one marriage. Despite its dismal track record, the show has turned into a strangely watchable prime-time soap ever since producers started featuring past seasons' rejected suitors in the leading role.

Pavelka is one of these lovelorn castoffs who's been given a second chance. He was let go from last year's "The Bachelorette" by Jillian Harris, who called him, "too perfect." Our translation: He's hot, but nerdy.

But before you tune in to see all the ladies vying for roses from "Mr. Flight" -- and who ultimately ends up on the wings of love with Pavelka -- get the fashion scoop from the show's longtime stylist Cary Fetman, who gave StyleList a bird's eye view into the show's style.

Fetman, who has dressed Oprah (when he owned the Intrinsic boutique in Chicago), Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Joan Rivers, says his role helping stars of the reality franchise look fetching is a favorite challenge.

"I have to pull together 60 outfits for 30 days worth of dates for one person. I get about two days to do my fittings. It is much easier to dress a celebrity for a walk down the red carpet."

Fetman, who says Pavelka "is one of the nicest guys I ever worked with" urged us to stay tuned. "You will love him," he promised. Meanwhile, here's our most romantic reality interview ever!

StyleLIst: So what do you need to have in your closet as "The Bachelor."
Cary Fetman: It depends on the guy and the season. From the get-go, you know you are going to have at least eight rose ceremonies. So you've got to get eight suits, ties, shirts, the works. Of course, with a guy like Jake, everything looks good. As you know, the guy has quite the body. I took some Hugo Boss suits right off the rack and popped them on him and he looked great. I can't remember when that's happened. My tailoring bills are going to be nothing this season.

SL: You've dressed a lot of bachelors. Are they picky, or do they just let you do your thing?
CF: We've had some bachelors who were picky to the point of being fussy. These were the guys who actually enjoyed the wine tasting dates. Jake was the opposite. As sweet as he is, he's a very rugged man. He likes a clean look. He would rather wear thermals. And it influenced his dates and what I chose for him, but I don't know how much I can give away about the season.

SL: Well, it's obvious from the previews that he goes camping and there's drama. He tosses a rose in the campfire!
CF: Right. He's very outdoorsy and he wanted dates that were relaxed like he is. So I was shopping for leather coats, T-shirts, jeans. If you are looking for the high fashion season of "The Bachelor," this is not it. But it is a season where I put a guy in a lot of T-shirts that look great.

SL: Let's talk about the 25 ladies who compete for "The Bachelor's" affection. Do you dress them?
CF: Not at the beginning! I only dress the two women who are in the finale. I choose their gowns and dress them. In the beginning, they wear their own clothes. When they get out of the limos to meet Jake [on the first episode] they are wearing their own dresses, which can be a wonderful thing or an absolutely terrible thing.

SL:
I'm surprised. How do they know what looks good on television?
CF: [Laughs.] We have only one rule which is no logos. The rest is up to them. I go around at the beginning and meet all the ladies, look in their suitcases [to inspect for logos] and take a look at what they are going to wear. I will tell them not to wear something that will just look terrible on television like crazy polka dots or very tight stripes.

But I don't get involved beyond that. The fun part for me is to just sit back and see what happens. You get ball gowns. You get slits up to there. You get cleavage. I think that's the fun of the first night. I just keep my mouth shut and watch what happens. It's much more entertaining for me.

SL:
Do they bring trunks and trunks of clothes?
CF: You have women who have bought out every store in the mall. And women who just shock me by coming with next to nothing. I mean like seven dresses. They will line them up on the bed and say, 'These are my seven dresses for the show. Which one should I wear?' I can't believe it, but it happens every season. Do they not know they are about to be on a show millions of people watch?!

SL: My heart is breaking. Do they help each other with date outfits?
CF: I have learned from this show that girls are basically nice. If they are getting along they will loan clothes and help people get ready. It gets harder towards the end when there are real feelings involved. Then, you are not so likely to want to hand over a great dress to the competition.

SL: How about hair and makeup? The show is going to be in HD this year.
CF: They get makeup and hair for their publicity shots. We do touch ups the first night, but the basic look is theirs. They have not been on television before. And have not seen themselves on television before. So we will go in and add more foundation and things like that. We bump it up on night one. That's it.

SL: You have also dressed stars of "The Bachelorette." Who was the most stylish?
CF: I have to say Jillian Harris. She has a great eye. I would give her things with a certain outfit in mind, she would come out with things put together in a completely different way and it would be great. I just love her. We've stayed in touch.

SL: I loved her clothes. I heard you got some of her things from Forever 21.
CF: Exactly three things, but those three things were so recognizable they got a lot of attention. I put her in a lot of Alice + Olivia. A lot of her gowns were by Pamela Dennis. She and Pamela have the same kind of petite body type and her dresses just looked really great on Jillian. I also mixed a lot of high and low with her. She can wear a $4 T-shirt with a $4,000 couture belt.

SL: Your job puts you in such close proximity to the contestants. Do you care about how things turn out?
CF: Well, I like to say I see "The Bachelor" in his underwear and when you are that close to people, they open up. You may not believe this, but these guys really do fall in love. It may not last, but trust me when I tell you in the end, they are in love. Sometimes with more than one person. It may not seem possible that someone could fall in love that quickly, but it happens.

"The Bachelor" premiers tonight at 8/7 C on ABC.