There’s a simple explanation for why the ‘Bachelorette’ always wears a sparkly dress on the first night

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Michelle Young’s night one dress. Craig Sjodin/ABC
  • When “The Bachelorette” premieres, you usually see the lead wearing a sparkly dress on night one.
  • But did you know there’s a perfectly good explanation as to why?
  • Cary Fetman, the show’s longtime stylist, told Insider it’s easier to keep a sequined dress clean.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Here at Insider, we’ve kept track of what (almost) every Bachelorette star has worn on their first night of the show, and nearly every one of them sparkles, including the gown of this season’s lead, Michelle Young.

Much has been said about the extremely long first night of the show, which regularly goes until sunrise the next morning. So, you might be wondering why it seems like the lead, year after year, is wearing a sparkly gown that doesn’t look particularly comfortable.

Turns out, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.

“On a first night, the only reason why I will normally push a little more sparkle or have the bottom be not a fabric, or even just a netting, is because they stand in a wet driveway during a normal season,” Cary Fetman, the show’s longtime stylist, told Insider.

The driveway is typically sprayed with water so it appears better on camera. As a result, the lead needs a dress “that absorbs” the water and dirt, Fetman said.

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Hannah Brown’s night one dress. John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images

Over the course of the evening, he has to keep cleaning the dress, and sequins “dry a little easier.” Netting can also work because he can wash it quickly, then “put it right back on her while she’s warming up or going through all of the people she had just met, and looking at a photo again so she can remember their names.”

“It gives me like 15 minutes to be able to dry it with blow dryers and clean it to make sure that she’s not walking out dirty as soon as she’s walking out to see the men,” he said.

Fetman has found the Bachelorettes also gravitate towards sequins

Fetman, who styles the lead but not the contestants, wants to make it clear: “I have never pushed sequins.”

“I think what happens is they come into a room with one thing that they have in their mind – they don’t want sparkles. They don’t want to look like any of the other girls. And then they start trying these sequined gowns on, and I don’t know why they all keep going to Randi [Rahm] but they just do.”

The green dress Young is seen wearing on the first night of season 18, which kicks off on October 19, is also by Randi Rahm.

As for some of Fetman’s favorite night one looks? Both JoJo Fletcher and Rachel Lindsay’s (sparkly) gowns come to mind.

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Fletcher and Lindsay on their first nights. ABC

“One of them had a first night gown that I was like, ‘Oh my God. Okay. You can pat yourself on the back.’ … Usually I am my most severe critic, but every once in a while, even I will look and go, ‘Good job. That was good.'”