‘The Bold and the Beautiful’: Fans Say the Costuming Makes It Hard to Believe Anyone Works In the Fashion Industry

The Bold and the Beautiful first premiered in the late 1980s, making it one of the longest-running soap operas on television right now.

Set in the same universe as CBS’ other popular soap opera, The Young and the Restless, the show follows the fictional Forrester family as they run their fashion empire and navigate the typical dramas of daytime television.

And while no one expects soap operas to be grounded in reality, fans of The Bold and the Beautiful find one aspect of the show especially hard to believe. 

‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ is set in the world of haute couture

Scott Clifton (Liam) and Annika Noelle (Hope)
Scott Clifton (Liam) and Annika Noelle (Hope) | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

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The entire premise of the soap opera surrounds the Forrester family’s work in haute couture (expensive, custom-fitted designer clothing).

According to the BBC, the average cost of an evening garment in the industry can be as high as $300,000. “For diehard fashionistas, collecting and wearing haute couture is the ultimate status symbol,” explains the outlet.

“The made-by-hand clothing cannot be purchased in stores. Instead, buyers must have insider knowledge and connections to just learn what’s for sale. […] The result? A one-of-a-kind piece that was fitted by the atelier’s ‘firsthand’ or ‘premiere’  — industry titles for the most senior fashion house staff  — and created by specially-trained artisans. Couture items take months to create, require up to 150 measurements and entail multiple fittings.”

In The Bold and the Beautiful, the Forresters run Forrester Creations, with many of the storylines surrounding notable fashion events, up-and-coming designers who will do anything for their big break, and competition from others in the fashion industry.

There’s just one problem: Many of the cast don’t reflect the wardrobe choices fans expect to see in haute couture.

The cast often wear ordinary department store clothing

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Despite playing characters who supposedly work in an industry where a single outfit can cost you six figures, many of the actors and actresses in The Bold and the Beautiful don’t actually wear expensive clothing. In fact, much of the clothing they wear are off-the-rack from common American department stores.

SheKnows recently interviewed Birgit Muller, one of the soap opera’s costume designers. Muller revealed that the show gets a lot of its clothing from your ordinary mall brands. 

For example, she says the character Felicia Forrester was recently dressed in the brand Karen Millen, which you can find in boutiques all across the world. When Brooke Logan got married, the show ordered her wedding dress online. And Steffy Forrester is often dressed in department store brands, too. [Steffy’s clothing] was bought at Macy’s,” says Muller.

All these off-the-rack, no-label wardrobe choices have many fans frustrated. 

Fans don’t like how casual the cast dresses in ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’

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“My gawd!,” exclaimed soap opera fan and Twitter user KinzJudy on the social media network. “Sure, the storylines are trash as usual, but I’m so distracted by the horrible costuming of every episode that I don’t even notice their dialog. Help them dress better!”

Other viewers were quick to chime in in agreement. “No way it’s a fashion house with the clothes they wear,” added Twitter user GalsViewPoint, going on to suggest that the cast of Project Runway should help dress the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful.  “Where are these hideous outfits coming from?,” asked Twitter user TechGurl15.

Despite these fan criticisms, the TV industry doesn’t seem to agree. “The hit CBS daytime drama The Bold and The Beautiful won four 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards,” reports the Digital Journal. “Costume Designer Glenda Maddox and her team of costume stylists won for ‘Outstanding Costume Design for a Drama or Digital Drama Series.'” This marks one of more than a dozen times the soap has been nominated for excellence in costume design.