The last time Willmar graduate Darcie Conway wore a dress was at her sister’s wedding five years ago. She had to — she was a bridesmaid.
In fact, Conway can remember the last five times she dressed up. They were all for a family member’s wedding, and those five weddings have spanned the last decade.
That’s about to change this week as Conway undergoes a total makeover as part of a special segment on NBC’s “Today” show, airing Friday morning.
The show flew Conway to New York City on Wednesday, and a style editor for Lucky Magazine will make over her hair, makeup and clothing. Her transformation will be revealed on the show Friday.
“I’m definitely nervous, but I think it will be a lot of fun,” Conway said in a phone interview earlier this week. After graduating from Willmar High School in 1997, Conway spent a few years abroad before moving to Las Vegas to teach high school physical education.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of person,” said Conway, who participated in cross country, basketball and track in high school. “I’m not a dress up person. My style is easy. I don’t do it to be sloppy. It’s just the clothes that I have and what I feel comfortable wearing.”
Her laidback approach to fashion is what landed her a spot on the “Today” show. Conway submitted a 200-word essay about why she feels “stuck in a rut” when it comes to her clothing. She never dreamed that she would hear anything back from the show’s producers.
“I didn’t think too much of it. I just wrote it quickly and told them how I still dress in clothes from high school,” she said. “I sent it off and thought, ‘What are the chances?’ Then two weeks later, I heard back from them and they wanted to get to know me and asked me to send in a picture.”
When Conway spoke with the Tribune this week, she didn’t have many details on what the stylist would be doing for the makeover.
“I have no clue,” she said. “They have asked if they could cut my hair. I’m excited about that. I’ve always wanted to do something with my hair, but I don’t know where to even start. I’m just going to let them do whatever they want and trust their expertise.”
She’s also ready to have someone help her pick out a new wardrobe.
“My family and friends give me such a hard time about how I dress,” said Conway, who still has family in Willmar. “Dressing up is just not something I’ve ever been comfortable with.”
Despite her excitement for the actual makeover, it’s the being on television part that makes her nervous. All the attention she’s been receiving has, she said, made her a little uncomfortable.
“I am nervous to be on TV in front of that many people,” Conway said. “I’ll definitely be out of my comfort zone, and I’ll probably be wearing something that I would never have picked out myself.”
Despite the nerves, she plans to do her best to just relax, have fun and enjoy the few days of pampering.
“Everyone’s telling me to go with the flow and have fun,” she said. “Normally people don’t know people that this actually happens to. I’m excited. I still can’t believe this is really happening.”
Watch Willmar graduate Darcie Conway’s complete makeover on NBC’s “Today” show beginning at 7 a.m. Friday.