Style: From the Inside Out
By: Sharon Mosley
Bobbi Thomas does not believe that “fashion” and “style” are interchangeable. As a frequent contributor to NBC’s “Today” show and author of the new book, “The Power of Style: Everything You Need to Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow” (24.99, Harper One), Thomas believes that true beauty comes from the inside.
“Fashion alone is an external thing, not a way to identify you,” she says. “Style, however, is about being whole and balanced.”
Thomas started her professional life as a rape crisis center counselor, so she knows how much self-esteem can affect how we view our own sense of style.
“Whether I’m on NBC’s ‘Today’ show talking about the latest trends or hosting events at JCPenney or Gucci, I believe in leading a woman toward discovering her authentic self — her personality, her essence — on the inside and then reflecting that self on the outside through style. My ‘makeovers’ are more about self discovery and reinvention than overhauls and major transformations.”
And Thomas admits that she “loves a hot shoe or stunning gown as much as the next girl,” but she likes to delve deeper. “Style is about a lot more than stuff.”
Here are Thomas’s 10 steps to “Matching the Outside to the Inside” from “The Power of Style:”
1. See Yourself. First, work on developing a healthy image. Thomas suggests getting serious about using “mirrors” around you like your friends and home to reflect your best qualities.
2. Act the Part. Be aware of your body language and check out what verbal and non-verbal messages you are sending. Pay attention to how people react to you. Remember appearances do matter.
3. Speak Up. Appearances do matter and conveys a “language” that you communicate to others. Thomas suggests thinking of your style as a “brand” to promote who you are and what you want to say.
4. Know Your Worth. Acceptance of yourself is key and worth whatever effort it takes. Invest in yourself and your “packaging.”
5. Put a Plan into Practice. “Input equals output,” says Thomas, who urges women to keep a style journey, set a budget and find time for fittings to find the perfect outfits.
6. Learn Your Colors. In order to choose the most flattering style statements, Thomas encourages women to study their “colors,” and find out whether a “warm” or “cool” palette best suits your skin tone. Hues from red to yellow, including brown are considered warm, while hues from blue-green through blue-violet, including gray, are considered cool.
7. Balance Your Body. Know what silhouettes of clothes work best on your own particular body shape. Thomas identifies several “X factors” that will help you determine which clothes will flatter your unique shape.
8. Perform A Closet Cleanse. Yes, a clutter-free closet is one of the keys to enjoying getting dressed everyday, according to Thomas.
9. Make a Most-Wanted List. Think about the items in your closet that you wear the most and make a list. There is a reason that you like certain clothes. But by making a list, you become more aware of what kinds of clothes you are attracted to. Then before you buy anything new, you will know automatically know what kinds of clothes you love to wear.
10. Time to Go Shopping! Of course, this one is the most fun. Thomas has lots of tips about shopping — one of the best — “Shop with friends, but buy alone.”