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The Social’s Traci Melchor on fashion inspirations, cancer diagnosis

The Social’s Traci Melchor on fashion inspirations, cancer diagnosis
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Mommy of two inspired by Michael Jackson, Rihanna

Traci Melchor doesn’t just make a fashion statement. She makes a fashion exclamation, with plenty of “Bling! Bam! Pow!”

The Pickering, Ont., native is a staple on CTV, showing off her style — and pop culture savvy — as a co-host of daily chatfest The Social and senior correspondent for Etalk.

Melchor spoke with Postmedia News about her style inspirations, making mommy gear fashionable and moving past her cancer diagnosis.

Q How would you describe your personal style?

A I think my personal style is “more is more.” I like a little sparkle, to be unique, things that are a good silhouette for my body, things that emphasize my curves and I like a high heel.

Q Who were your fashion icons growing up?

A I loved Michael Jackson. I wore a school uniform during high school, and on days when you didn’t have to wear one I would dress like Michael Jackson. And then I dressed like Janet Jackson, and for Halloween one year I was Boy George. Also Madonna rings and rosaries, and Lisa Bonet — Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

Q And now?

A Rihanna. She can do no wrong. I was on the 777 tour and I saw how her style changes from day to day, but she still looks like Rihanna. I also look at Jane Fonda, who is timeless and ageless and just perfection on a red carpet or talk show.

Q You have two kids — twins in Grade 5. What are your go-to Mommy pieces?

A I have probably 10, 12 pairs of BCBG leggings. I can wear them dressed up, or I can wear them to take my son to hockey with a Canada Goose parka. And I have BCBG long tanks with little chiffon hems to them. I also have a denim jacket with leather sleeves, and a couple pieces that can mix and match. But I can still put on great sunglasses or a great lip — red or what my daughter calls a vampy lip.

Q What fall trends are you excited for?

A Flared bell-bottomed jeans. They make your legs look so long. I also want a pair of rock ’n’ roll ankle booties with some stud action. And another moto jacket, probably in a deep wine colour. I’m a mom. I have to buy things I can wear over and over again and still look cute.

Q On a more serious note, you announced you had a rare form of cancer last year — how did you find out you had it?

A My daughter actually caught it. It was DFSP (dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans), a one-in-a-million cancer that’s misdiagnosed all over the world. It was on my back. I went to three different doctors, and it was the fourth doctor who said “let’s biopsy it.” They caught it early and it didn’t go into my bones or my muscle. But people can have their faces disfigured, their bodies disfigured and even worse.

Q How did that affect your approach to life?

A I feel like I’m going into this stage of my life where I want to live a simpler life, and I want to be really present. I’m reading books on mindfulness and looking at things with an open heart. You have to appreciate your friends and family, and if people aren’t working in your life then you have to avoid making them a priority. That’s hard to do, but when you do that you can see clearly.

Q Does beauty and fashion feel more frivolous to you now?

A I feel like it’s a little treat for myself. My desk and is littered with makeup and accessories, but it also has newspapers, magazines, research and notes for the show. I enjoy the beauty part of my job, the research part, the fashion part and together they’re the perfect storm. I love what I do.

Q Any tricks for getting great fashion pieces for less?

A For as long as I can remember, I’d go to Goodwill and put together pieces and find accessories and buy winter coats. I had the most winter coats because at that time Goodwill was selling them for $4. I still go. Last year I found a Fendi jacket.

Q Being in the media, do you feel the pressure to look a certain way?

A I do, but I can only do what I can do. People are going to be mean. People are going to post things on social media that aren’t kind. Ninety-nine per cent of the things are kind, and then you’re going to get that one per cent that’s really nasty. It’s just like life. You’ll be able to take it most days, but some days not.

The Social and Etalk are airing weekdays, CTV

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