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Video: Real style seen on the streets

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    NATALIE MORALES, anchor: This morning on BOBBIE'S STYLE BUZZ , street style inspired by modern women everywhere. TODAY'S style editor and bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas hit the streets in search of stylish everyday looks to show us what real women are doing right. Bobbie , good morning.

    Ms. BOBBIE THOMAS: Yes. Good morning.

    MORALES: How refreshing that we're celebrating what when -- usually, you know, when we do these segments, it's always like, enh, what not to wear or these.

    Ms. THOMAS: Mm-hmm.

    MORALES: But you're showing us that there are a lot of women out there who are doing the right thing for them.

    Ms. THOMAS: Absolutely. You know, fashion magazines and runways are great places for inspiration.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: But my favorite source are all the women around me, including you and Ann and Hoda and Kathie , everybody here. And all of the ladies I get to meet.

    MORALES: And you travel a lot, so you get out there quite a bit.

    Ms. THOMAS: Yes. I've been crisscrossing the country. This weekend I was in three states alone.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: And I decided to start popping out my camera. I can't tell you how many times, even here in New York City in the cab, I look out the window and I thought, that's how I can wear that. Or...

    MORALES: Perfect.

    Ms. THOMAS: ...that's a great idea. So the cooler message is not only are women really dressing great...

    MORALES: Yeah.

    Ms. THOMAS: ...but they're breaking the rules and they can inspire all of us. So I wanted to show some of those.

    MORALES: Fantastic. OK, let's take a look. And a lot of times women ask that question, can you mix black and brown ? It -- does it clash or not? And you have a couple of examples, some women you found are doing just the right thing.

    Ms. THOMAS: Yeah. This is one of the most common questions I get. I met Nana , who's a blogger in Boston . And what I really liked is that she paired this really great brown bag, you see...

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. THOMAS: ...with the black boots. And you can see that you can mix the black and the brown together. It actually adds a little bit of a softness. She could have worn a black bag with this.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: It just gave her a little bit more of a way to tie in this brick red appeal -- whoops, I should have done the blue line -- this brick red to her bag.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: And it adds another visual layer.

    MORALES: And it just softens up the look, adds more warmth, right?

    Ms. THOMAS: I also found -- yeah, more warmth. I also found Kadesia here, a student in New York City . Now, look at how great she looks.

    MORALES: That's great.

    Ms. THOMAS: Kadesia , if you're watching. She doesn't even really know because we didn't tell everybody if they were in the final photos. She's on trend with this cape.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: And you'll see that it's a really great trend, but -- and the black is underneath, but the interesting part is this belt.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: It's a brown belt that she mixed in. Had she worn the black belt ...

    MORALES: Black belt , maybe too much.

    Ms. THOMAS: ...it might have been a little costume-y.

    MORALES: Yeah.

    Ms. THOMAS: But she really added an unexpected twist.

    MORALES: She looks great. Wonderful. OK, let's talk about some women that you found who are embracing color .

    Ms. THOMAS: Yes.

    MORALES: And starting off with Brenda from Houston , Texas .

    Ms. THOMAS: Now I love Brenda . Brenda was actually a model in my Simon Fashion Now show. I've been popping up at malls. And in between, she dressed herself in this. And what I like is that she's got this great, vibrant red hair .

    MORALES: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. THOMAS: And she doesn't use that as something that she stays away from color . She embraces the bold color . But what's great is you see the turquoise blue top with this Kelly green houndstooth skirt.

    MORALES: She looks great. Beautiful.

    Ms. THOMAS: Some people might have tried to put a black top .

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: But it actually would have cut her off. And I like that if you play with different colors in the same family, this is a great example. And even if you don't have red hair , you should try that at home.

    MORALES: Right. And it makes her eyes and her hair color really pop. OK, and then you have Ebony , a makeup artist from Atlanta . And tell us about her look.

    Ms. THOMAS: OK. I was so excited when I saw Ebony . I ran across this ballroom and said, wait, wait. And the first thing she said to me, 'My dress is $2.50 from a thrift store.' And I love this.

    MORALES: Wow.

    Ms. THOMAS: She really proves that, you know, curves can handle color and pattern and look beautiful.

    MORALES: Right.

    Ms. THOMAS: And I love that on top, you see right here, she didn't button it all the way and she added this camisole.

    MORALES: Right. Kind of breaks it up a little bit.

    Ms. THOMAS: It breaks the pattern up from your face. And of course, you know, this great belt gives her that ladylike hourglass shape.

    MORALES: OK. And we're running a little bit out of time.

    Ms. THOMAS: OK.

    MORALES: So let's quickly look at two sisters, Betty and Sarah , and you met them in Georgia .

    Ms. THOMAS: Yes. I love that...

    MORALES: And you loved their color .

    Ms. THOMAS: They embrace color , and, you know, such a great tip for someone with silver-gray hair and fair complexion. This is such a cool way to add a pop of color without a lot of makeup. And one other really great thing, I loved the neutral pants. They didn't go with black or brown , they stayed with the lighter neutral.

    MORALES: Very nice.

    Ms. THOMAS: They look great.

    MORALES: They look wonderful.

    Ms. THOMAS: We have more pictures online, too.

    MORALES: OK, and by the -- just really quickly...

    Ms. THOMAS: Yeah.

    MORALES: ...just show us -- you were able to -- you stopped some women , you added a couple of things to their wardrobe.

    Ms. THOMAS: I did.

    MORALES: And show us what they're doing here to make it better.

    Ms. THOMAS: I literally stalked people in Union Square here in New York . And I loved her bold green bag.

    MORALES: Right, OK.

    Ms. THOMAS: This was such a great idea. But I thought, hey, why not elevate the look. I showed her what it would look like if you added this signature print. So a bold bag can really work with a signature print.

    MORALES: It looks great. Very nice. Bobbie Thomas , that's all we have time for today, but more on our Web site , todayshow.com.

TODAY contributor
updated 10/7/2010 10:23:30 AM ET 2010-10-07T14:23:30

Runways and fashion magazines are great places to search for style inspiration, but my favorite source is all around me — in my fellow females. I often find myself “checking out” other women on the street, while I'm passing by in a cab, or eating lunch in a restaurant.

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It's a great way to get a fresh perspective and see that there really is more than one way to wear something. I love to see women boldly “break the rules.” And while the much-loved "makeover" is a relevant way to learn along with the brave subject, I instead wanted to celebrate everyday women with great personal style (no glam squad needed).

We often focus on what needs improvement, but not often enough on what’s already great. So with camera in hand, I took to the streets in search of new friends to inspire us all.

Mix neutrals
One of my favorite things to spot is a blend of neutrals in one ensemble. And yes, it’s OK to mix black and brown! (In fact, TODAY’s own Matt Lauer loves to wear brown shoes with his black suits.) This is one of the most common questions I’m asked about in terms of color. Naina, a blogger from Boston, grabbed my eye with her chic black boots and brown bag combo. While a black bag would have worked as well, the chocolate brown added another element, softening her look. Khadija, a student from New York, layered basic black underneath her on-trend camel cape, but didn’t go with the obvious — a black belt. Rather, she not only cinched her waist, but tied the outfit together in less contrived way with a brown belt.

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Embrace color
Black and brown are the popular go-to colors in most wardrobes, but bright hues are an easy way to update or refresh your look. Brenda, a model from Houston, proves you can be a chameleon — even with her red hair. Although you may expect her to avoid contrasting colors, she not only wears bold brights but combines unexpected hues. When you don’t know what to wear with a vibrant top or skirt, try a similar but different shade (e.g., green-blue and kelly green). And for all those who have ever worried that your curves can’t handle color or patterns, Ebony, a makeup artist from Atlanta, shows us all that you can break free from hiding in the dark. She flaunted her fabulous figure in a punchy plaid belted shirtdress (a $2 thrift store find!) that she unbuttoned at the top to allow a blue cami to peek through and separate the pattern from her face. Color can also do wonders for women with fair complexions and silver-gray hair. Stylish sisters Betty and Sarah from Atlanta paired their sunny top layers with lighter neutrals on the bottom.

Add extras
When I saw Deirdra from New York walking by with her bold green bag, I thought she looked fantastic. A pop of color paired with a solid suit is always a great idea; however, a vivid accessory has much more versatility than most may expect. Sometimes a strong print needs an equally shocking partner, so don’t be afraid to mix statement pieces together. And don’t forget the small extras. A headband or simple stud can pull your look together without fuss. I met Milis, a fresh-faced tourist from Stockholm, and loved her carefree style of a tank, shorts and cross-body bag. While this was great for sightseeing, a quick switch from her ponytail to a royal blue headband was all she needed to add a little color and look ready for lunch with the girls without worrying about makeup.

If you have a stylish sister, modern mom or fashionable friend you admire — send me a picture and I could be talking about their look on air! And beware, I may stop you on the street next!

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