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    Can I buy the clothes they use in TV shows?

    I just wanted to know how to get information about the fabulous clothes I see on TV shows. Do you contact the production company? Do they sell their wardrobe afterward?

    By: Pam Cheung, Toronto

    A.B. Replies: Dear anonymous 48-year-old greaseball posing as a humble twentysomething Asian girl in the hopes of getting his hairy palms on Eva Longoria's used thongs: busted.

    TV actors do get constant supplies of free, fresh underwear as part of their wardrobes, but the underthings rarely, if ever, reach the trembling hands of the public. Instead the skivvies get washed a few times and then thrown out, costume designers tell this B!tch. Nice try, though.

    As for the rest of Eva's costumes, unless you've just won a few hundred extra dollars shafting the Hennessy fiends down at the card club, forget about it. You won't even get to breathe on a spare pair of the chain-mail gauntlets Eva wears under her shirtsleeves to protect her little birdie arms from Nicollette's steel-enforced claws. See, Desperate Housewives costume designer Cate Adair tells this B!tch that clothes not thrown out or put into storage by the TV studios are usually donated for charity auctions. And those auctions run a bit steeper than the menu at Shoney's.

    First, a primer: TV shows blow through clothes. Just blow through them. One actor might require 80 wardrobe items in a given week. Busy costumers might haul in 80 items in a single day. Sometimes a wardrobe calls for ready-made clothes; designers like J & Company jeans are popular among the Wisteria Lane harpies, while, I hear, The O.C.'s Mischa Barton gets her neck all twisted if she doesn't get Chanel. Less influential shows might have to pay wholesale for such "shopped" items, as they're called. More popular shows tend to get stuff for free in exchange for publicity.

    Other costumes must be tailored from scratch. Either way, if the wardrobe item costs more than $100, the studio usually claims it as its property and squirrels it away into a trailer or a closet. Those of you who just have to make a punny joke about a jean pool, go ahead. I'll wait.

    "The costumes typically all go back into the [studio-owned] costume-rental houses," explains Karla Stevens, who dresses the grinning, go-getter single gals of Hot Properties. "In general, because the studios own the clothes, that's where they stay. They don't get sold, even to the actors, although more often than not, the actors will borrow clothes from their characters' closets if they need an outfit for an event. But they must be returned."

    Now, if you don't mind wearing a replica of the stuff worn by TV stars, I have good news. ABC plans to open a Website selling the same makes and models worn by its actors. The site goes live in a few weeks.

    If you can't wait that long and need to pretend you've acquired Mischa's pants forthwith, try StarBrand.tv. You can buy the same labels worn by the kids on The O.C. and other people weighing 10 milligrams or less. Time to ease up on the Hennessy.

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