As the former co-host of What Not to Wear, Stacy London dished out straight-up, honest fashion advice. So while you might expect her to be candid in all things, London's recent essay for Refinery 29 is somehow still surprisingly frank. The celeb holds little back: First her body broke, then her relationship broke, then she found out she was going broke. Everything came crashing down on Dec. 13, she writes. It was exactly a year after she had a much-needed spinal surgery to try to put an end to her back pain. She was anticipating a six-week recovery—something she thought she could weather both physically and financially. It turned out to be much longer. Out of a job and stuck at home recovering, she started blowing through cash: on a "full-time driver I couldn't take anywhere" and "giant vintage sterling chandelier earrings by some fancy Italian designer that were so heavy my lobes literally rejected them."
"This sounds almost ridiculous as I type it," she writes, "I consider myself to be a smart person. Smart people don’t spend money recklessly." By July she was well enough to go on a trip, and thought a blowout vacation could fix what was wrong with her rocky relationship. She booked a path through Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Mallorca. She paid for extravagant hotel rooms and packed an entire suitcase full of "dope" items specifically to wear while taking "art-y" photos. But along the way, she realized the relationship couldn't be saved. And after deciding not to go to Bruges—and forfeiting the entire cost of the hotel there—she started feeling uneasy about money ... but kept spending. Then came Dec. 13, where her accountant informed her she was "not, in any way, as solvent as I thought I was." And so she woke "the f--- up." Read her full story here. (Read more Longform stories.)