Bobbie Thomas’ Favorite Books on Fashion

Bobbie Thomas’ Favorite Books on Fashion

As the style editor for NBC’s “Today Show,” Bobbie Thomas has a sixth sense for trends and timeless style tactics. In her new book, “The Power of Style,” she offers advice on cultivating your individual taste, with tips on identifying your best colors, complementing your figure and being a shrewd shopper. But Thomas wasn’t born a style authority—sartorial self-expression was something she had to craft for herself. In this exclusive list for Bookish, Thomas names the designers and photographers whose books influenced her own knowledge of style. Read on to learn how Herb Ritts, Kevyn Aucoin and more played roles in the making of a contemporary force in fashion.


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    1. 100 Years of Fashion Illustration

    My earliest memories of “fashion”—aside from watching my mother dress—are of playing with “Erte Fashion Paper Dolls of the Twenties.” I would drape scarves, tablecloths, sheets—anything I could find—to try and recreate the dramatic elegance of those illustrations. So, I was eager to collect Cally Blackman’s book: With over 400 images of fashion illustration spanning a century of work, it gives readers a new perspective on style. Long before the era of Photoshop, these artists were able to emphasize or exaggerate styles as they wished.

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    2. Making Faces

    Kevyn Aucoin is an absolute master of makeup and a technical trailblazer. I will forever respect his talent, but I most cherish his ability to see the many sides of beauty. Each of his books offers new and insightful tips that are still relevant today.

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    3. Costume Design in the Movies

    More so than runways, music and movies have inspired my sense of self-expression. The costume designers who bring beloved movie characters to life are fascinating, and exemplify my book’s message. This book credits those responsible for transforming thousands of films.

  4. 4. Herb Ritts

    Growing up in L.A. as a young girl in the 80’s and a teen in the 90’s, I adored Herb Ritts and the effortless glamour he conveyed with his photos. Herb’s women were sexy, strong and striking. His pictures felt so easy and carefree, inspiring a new kind of “casual” for fashion. Vintage jeans and a white tank top were instantly cool and chic.

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    5. Advanced Style

    From my mother to my teachers, my icons to those who have passed me by on the street—women have most influenced my view of fashion. That is why Ari Seth Cohen’s “Advanced Style” is so very special and inspiring. Although we’re living in a youth-obsessed culture, people are never “last season.” Ari celebrates the vibrant wisdom and wear of ladies loving their later years.

    Bobbie Thomas has shared advice in nearly 500 segments as style editor for NBC’s “Today” show since 2005, including her weekly “Bobbie’s Minute Buzz.” Watch the trailer for “The Power of Style” here


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