When style savant Stacy London started writing her latest book, "The Truth About Style," she decided to take a new approach and throw out all the fashion cliches, such as the "must-have trench for spring" or the "three ways to rock a poncho."
"Let's be honest," says the co-host of TLC's long-running "What Not To Wear" series: "If 'how to' advice was that useful, you'd all be dressing well, and I'd be out of a job. The 'how to' approach is about changing your look. From years of working with women, I've discovered that that is only part of what they're really after."
Instead, London concentrates on why we often "don't" dress well. "We all put obstacles in our own path toward personal style, myself included. If we understood why we constructed these practical and emotional obstacles, we might move beyond them to healthier, happier perceptions of ourselves and, ideally, a better sense of self-esteem," admits London. "Style can change your look, certainly, but it can also change your life."
London picked nine "real" women - each of whom faces a particular issue when shopping and getting dressed, and then she leads them through "start-overs." London inspires them to celebrate their unique body types and personalities. From a 19-year-old pre-med major in Texas to a petite New Yorker who recently moved from Arkansas and a working mom who has a decade of oversized black clothing in her closet, London takes us on a fashion trip that is chock full of useful advice that all women can use to transform themselves and their wardrobes.
In a holiday season full of one style crisis after another, take a few cues from London's "start-overs" in "The Truth About Style" (You might want to put this one on your holiday wish list!).
-The process of creating an outfit allows you to see your present body more clearly. Give thought to the detail, and take time with it. It's the same process as painting a picture. Assemble your pieces and your color palette. Ask yourself whether you have filled the canvas properly.