StyleList caught up with Bloch to talk about his dieting advice, as well as his upcoming clothing line and reality show (an anti-Rachel Zoe project).
StyleList: In "The Shopping Diet," you say the first step is admitting you have a shopping addiction. How do you define that?
Phillip Bloch: It's when you can't control your spending. If you're constantly giving yourself a "treat" and you can't say no to buying extra things, that's when you're starting to get addicted.
Many people give justification, like "I work hard! The kids are driving me crazy! I need to treat myself!" But it's hard to justify the twelfth cocktail, so to speak. Sometimes you have to think back to your relationship with shopping as a kid to figure out where it comes from.
SL: You tell readers to record what they wear in a clothing journal. What will they get out of that?
PB: The journal is about being conscious of what you're wearing and your lifestyle. You should be conscious of what you actually need in your closet, what you have, and what you really wear. If you're in the corporate world, do you really need another dress? If you're a jock, do you really need the peasant skirt? You need to be in touch with what your life is really like so you don't indulge in delusional spending.
SL: Any tips for when you're out shopping?
PB: Shop with a list. It saves time and money in the supermarket, and the impulse buys you make with clothing are pretty expensive compared to a pack of gum or magazine. You shouldn't go shopping after you just had a fight or got a big check or have a new opportunity on the horizon. It's not just the bad times, but the good times that can throw you off.
SL: You stress that women should buy "transformational" pieces. What does that mean?
PB: You should be able to wear any piece on at least three different types of occasions, like going to work, attending a dressier event, and a more casual one. I'm starting my own line of clothing that's all about this idea of being transformative. One of the pieces is a little sweater with beading down the side that you can wear out or throw a jacket on and wear to work. I want it to be moderately priced and sold in places like T.J. Maxx, Kohl's, or JCPenney.
One of the great things about the recession is there are so many good, affordable clothes. It's a great time for the consumers. But, of course, that makes it easier to get addicted to spending.
SL: We hear you're thinking about doing a reality show. What will that be like?
PB: Most reality shows are set up, but my life doesn't have to be set up because it's already amazing, from the charity work I do to my wide variety of friends. I have my fashion friends and childhood friends and Hollywood friends and my homeboys and my road dogs and my office staff.
Keisha Whitaker is one of the producers on it, and it's not just, "Where is this dress?! The dress is at Fed-Ex! What's Cameron gong to do? Oh my gosh!" drama. It's about looking at all of these wild and crazy things I get to do.
Because of my notoriety I got to go to Washington and lobby in front of Congress, I got to go to Africa as an aid ambassador, I've done twelve movies, I'm on my second book. It's not the fabulous life of Rachel. I'm the type of person that will go to an awards show, then rip off my tie and suit and go to Brooklyn or the Bronx and hang with my homeys. I want to bring some reality back to reality television.
SL: Are there reality shows on now that you like?
PB: I like "The T.O. Show" and Fantasia's show. I love Bethenny [Frankel], but I think she's more interesting than her show. I think she's cool and hip, then I watch the show and I'm bored. She's a friend and I love her, but she's more interesting than that.
In related news, read Charla Krupp's tips for dressing slim, taken from her book "How to Never Look Fat Again."