The author poses with her book. Photo: Moises De Pena/Getty Images

On Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City," Jill Zarin is never timid when it comes to offering up her opinions. This month, she follows suit with "Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love," a book in which she spews on everything from fashion to family.

Co-authored by her sister, Lisa Wexler, and mom, Gloria Kamen, the book is filled with nuggets like, "If you want to be at your most attractive, you must be more thin than fat," and "Never marry a stingy person. It will ruin your life."

Here, Zarin tells StyleList about everything from fashion inspirations (Cher, "Dynasty") to breast reductions and how her on-air spats with Ramona Singer are of the wink-wink variety.

StyleList: Did you inherit your style from your mom?
Jill Zarin: My mother was definitely the original. She was just beyond when she was younger. She always wore these fantastic mod outfits; short, but not inappropriately short. She starts thinking about what she's going to wear for the Jewish holidays in September now. I think about what I'm going to wear tomorrow, like, tomorrow.

SL: Do you and your daughter, Ally, have the same taste in clothing?
JZ: She's funky. She's not into like, the tattoos and the nose rings and that kind of look. I did something right. But if she wears something I disapprove of, I will say it not once, I will say it until she hears me -- and that could be fifty times. And of course she will tell me I'm wrong, wrong, wrong, and that I don't know anything. But then she'll change because she knows I'm really right!

SL:
Who are some of your style icons?
JZ: Nicole Kidman. I just love the way she dresses. And I loved Cher in her day. I never wanted to dress like Cher -- well, I might have wanted her body -- but I always loved her fashion. My favorite of all time was "Dynasty." I could not wait to see what designer Nolan Miller came up with for the show.

SL: Did you rock the big shoulder pads back then?
JZ: I'm embarrassed to say I have actually worn them. I wore Alexander McQueen for a Saks Fifth Avenue party. I looked like an alien.

SL: Since you admire Cher, who really pushed the boundaries, what do you think of Lady Gaga?
JZ: I admire her for taking chances. I have no idea where she comes up with these crazy outfits. It's so artistic. It's like she should be in the Museum of Natural History.

SL: What was your most awkward fashion phase?
JZ: There was a company called IB Diffusion back in the '80s, and they were known for all this, I call it, "schmutz", on their shirts: the glitter and the sparkle and all that stuff -- the more, the better. I used to wear Escada's double-breasted suits. I had one in pumpkin orange cashmere with the big shoulder pads.

SL:
Do you have a favorite trend right now?
JZ: One of the trends I like is the one-shouldered look. That's because I had a breast reduction and now I can wear it. I always had to wear a harness, some gigantic contraption. It limited me. Caroline from "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" was at my book party and she's, like, a size 6, but she has these gigantic G boobies, like I did. I said, "Caroline, you should reduce them." Her husband loves them, so she ain't touching them. But if she did get a reduction, she would look so much tinier.

SL: Of the New York Housewives, whose style do you like?
JZ: I love the way the Countess [LuAnn de Lesseps] dresses. Well, she has an amazing body so nothing could look bad on that girl. And she wears the big jewelry, like a big ring, a statement piece. Bethenny [Frankel] is the eBay queen. I'm not into eBay, but she's definitely got great style. Alex [McCord]? No comment. My father taught me that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.

SL:
What about Kelly [Bensimon]?
JZ: Kelly dresses much younger and shorter. That makes me uncomfortable. With that body, the Playboy body, she can get away with anything she wants. I wouldn't be comfortable in Kelly's closet. The clothes are too small. They're like, for my Barbie doll, not for me.

SL: Who are some of your favorite designers?
JZ: You know who I like? Teri Jon. It's very reasonable. Nicole Miller fits me unbelievably this season. I'm wearing Michael Kors right now. Zac Posen is back again for me; sometimes he used to make his boobies too small and I couldn't get in there.

SL: What's a good date-night outfit?
JZ: In the book, we say don't wear black, ever, for anything. I would say to someone who's a little insecure and doesn't know what she's doing, burn all your black clothes. I know every New Yorker will hate me for saying it, but you don't stick out in black. I'm wearing a purple dress from Michael Kors. I look like an Easter egg, but I stand out. Love it, hate it, I don't care.

SL: Do you think the models are too skinny now?
JZ: I guess it's my ignorance, but when I go to a runway show, I want to see clothes I can buy, and often they are not wearable. I'd like to see clothes come out the way I'm buying them.

SL: Do you buy most of your clothes or borrow them?
JZ: I would say 60 percent buy, 40 percent borrow. But I don't buy and return, in spite of what Ramona said on the show. I think she said I was banned from Saks. But I had a party there that must have cost about fifty grand. Well, gee, no one sent Saks or me that memo.

SL: What motivated Ramona to say that?
JZ: She was jealous. Ramona and I are constantly saying smack about each other because we're both in on the joke. First of all, we're not really talking behind each other's back. I'm sitting in a chair doing an interview, talking to the viewer. It's a TV show! If we didn't act out and do the things that we do, what would you be watching? We have to give you drama, and they rotate who's getting thrown under the bus. It comes with the territory of being a reality star. You take your lumps.

SL: It's prom season now. What did you wear to yours?
JZ: I didn't go. No one invited me. Feel bad for me, I know! I wasn't the popular kid in school. I had no friends. Ally's prom is mid May. I asked her who she's going with and she won't tell me. I asked her what she's wearing and she won't tell me. And I begged her to get dressed at home and she's not guaranteeing it.

To see photos of celebs who did make it to their prom, click here.