Building A Wardrobe for Your Signature Style

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I'm coming into the new year with a fresh mindset and closet to match. Last year, I challenged myself to focus on transformation. I said goodbye to my old ways, and promised to level up while remaining intentional in all areas of life. Growing up in a filipino household I was always taught to save everything in case it will "come in handy one day". Those days rarely come along lol. After moving several times during college, my belongings had a good purge every now and then... but my wardrobe was a whole different monster. A stuffed closet with a bunch of random pieces I couldn't style together. Every time I needed something to wear for a special occasion, I went shopping and added to the crowded wardrobe which only added to the problem of clothes hoarding and spending unneccessary money in the process. 

san francisco style self-care blog personal style
san francisco style blogger

I knew something had to change, so I gravitated toward minimalism. The need to simplify down to the essentials. My first big step: to curate a more versatile closet that was full of clothes that I loved, not what the current trend was. I think it's intimidating coming into a space with many fashion bloggers, thinking there's only one way to do things. In reality, style is based on personal taste and learned that along the way.

This closet transformation didn't happen overnight either... in fact, it took all year. I was also approaching a point in life where I outgrew what was in my wardrobe and it wasn't a reflection of who I was becoming. How I accomplished this is a modge podge of several important resources (all linked at the bottom of the post).  My post is a short summary of those inspirational reads and the action steps I learned from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and The Curated Closet. Here's how I took the leap.

san francisco style self-care blog
san francisco style self-care blog

steps that helped me define my personal style and rebuild my wardrobe

STEP ONE: Start with a Pinterest Board

Once you've created a board filled with your favorite styles, look for repetition on the board. What are you constantly gravitating towards? Look for similarities in silhouettes, fabrics, textures and color palettes. Whatever it may be, take note. 

For me, I quickly noticed I loved dressed up denim, leather jackets, oversized sunglasses usually paired with heels or boots. I also love statement outerwear and unique open back or flowy tops. My color palette is very neutral featuring black, grey, white and beige and a few pops of colors like olive green, burgandy and vary rarely, a few other jewel tones. 

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STEP TWO: GIVE IT A NAME 🖤

One of the most helpful resources I read during this transitional time was The Curated Closet. It's a must-read guide that will walk you through defining your style and building your dream wardrobe! An important step from this book was to actually define your personal style profile. I wrote mine in my bullet journal per usual, but excuse my messy notes. 

You don't need to fit inside a box and fall under a popular category like "bohemian chic" or "modern classic". Make it unique to you. I went through a few rounds of names, and several layers of white out after the above picture. It became "city sleek + chic" sometimes maybe even "minimally edgy", a reflection of my dressed up casual looks that are perfect for exploring the city, brunch or happy hour. 🖤

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STEP THREE: THE CLOSET PURGE

The key during this step is to stay true to the style profile you have just defined. Remember those silhouettes, patterns, textures and colors we talked about earlier? Stick to those. This purge will cleanse you from the past and allow you to move forward into what you want your new wardrobe to become.

This part took me a full day. I put all my clothes in one giant pile then one-by-one categorized each piece in three piles: love it, like it, or toss it. The rules: keep what I love, find homes for what I liked but didn't need and simply donate what I haven't worn or was planning to wear anymore.

At first, this was hard...but then I realized much of what I was holding onto was less of the item itself and more of the memories and feelings that each piece reminded me of. I knew I'd always have those memories with me, so I thanked each piece I donated and let it go. I found it difficult to separate myself from festival style pieces and greek letters that were with me during some major life milestones, but I had to be realistic about how much stuff I could have and where I was headed in life. Don't worry, any extra special pieces found new homes. ☺️

self care and style blogger san francisco
san francisco style self-care blog

STEP FOUR: Time to build the dream wardrobe! TAKE YOUR TIME AND BE SELECTIVE

Now that you've overcome the difficult part of getting rid of clothes you no longer need, we break the cycle and change those compulsive shopping habits moving forward. To make sure I didn't fill my closet back up, a good rule of thumb I try to follow is for every one piece I bring home, I donate three. That way, as I'm bringing new stuff in, I'm still minimalizing as I move forward. 

I also now try to shop with a new mindset: quality over quantity. I no longer settle when it comes to buying clothes that may rip easily, or don't fit right, even if the sale is good. If you walk away from it and are still thinking about it 3 days later, go back for it. Otherwise, let it go, Be picky, it's not bougie, it's intentional. Build a strong artillery of clothes that you love and fit you like a glove. Take your time rebuilding, like I said... it took me all year and the journey still continues. Best of luck!

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Now, it's your turn! How would you define your personal style? Let me know in the comments below!


My Bullet Journal Set Up and Essential Tools

If you're new here, you must know I'm a journal junkie. There is nothing like collecting ideas and solidifying them through ink on a paper. I'm an on-the-go, get shit done kinda woman and I need a planner to organize my thoughts and master plan... or else I'm just a hot a** mess.  Though I love experimenting with different planners, soon enough I came across Ryder Carrol's bullet journal system (bujo) and it's been love ever since.

The bullet journal grows as I do, and evolves as my lifestyle does. It is complex when I need to buckle down on planning logistics and simply a safe home for my creativity when I need to vent or doodle it out. That's the beauty of bujo, you can create it to be customized to your wants and needs. Planners are fantastic for structured routines, but with bullet journals you create your own path.

I've been using this system for over a year now, and am thrilled to share my favorite essential tools and set up when starting a fresh bullet journal.


The Essential Tools

bullet journal san francisco blog

A medium, hard covered dotted notebook.

First off, you can start a bullet journal in any notebook! Don’t think you can’t try it out unless you have “the right” one. But, there are so many reasons why this one is worth the buy.

  • My absolute go-to is a Leuchtturm1917 medium notebook, and can easily be found on Amazon or local art stores. They come with a index and numbered pages. For me, lined pages are limiting and grids are too bold. I left gridded paper back in high school geometry. Dotted notebooks are perfect to guide your lines... no ruler needed! Also, the weight of the paper in these notebooks are thick, and don't have issues with ink bleeding through pages. 
  • Leuchtturm1917 also creates an official bullet journal notebook, which you can find online here. Essentially, it is the same as their best selling hardcover notebooks, but with the bujo directions listed inside... a great place to start for beginners! 
  • Alternatively, Moleskines hardcover notebooks make a great alternative.
bullet journal bujo san francisco blog

Favorite black ink pens

  • Pigma Micron Fine Line Set | meant for drawing and doodles, but perfect fine tips for tiny notes. These can be found at art stores like Michael's or online on Amazon
  • Papermate Inkjoy Gel | These retractable gel pens can easily found at Target or local office supply stores
  • Papermate Flair Medium | This this like the felt-tip cousin to the Inkjoy gel pens. These can also easily be found at Target or local office supply stores.
bullet journal bujo ideas san francisco blog

My go-to accent pens                                                                                     

Accent pens are perfect for adding block letters, coloring doodles or highlighting section subtitles. Here are my favorite brands to use for this:

  • Mildliners are a real game changer! I love highlighters, but don't like how vibrant the neon colors are. Mildliners provide the same stand out effect, but with softer hues and unique shades. My favorite essential: the grey highlighter. I've never seen anything like it! Bold, but easy on the eyes.

  • I know I just said these above, but any of the papermate inkjoy gel pens or papermate flair medium pens work wonders because they come in plenty of colors! For me, I love a minimal bujo look; mostly with black ink. For those that desire colorful planners pages, I love using these papermate pens for many reasons, especially because they are easy to find, write smoothly, and don't bleed.

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My 2018 Bullet Journal Set Up

When starting a fresh bullet journal, it's not usual to jump right in. You want to set up several important pages before going into your monthly, weekly or even daily pages. These pages set a strong foundation for tracking big events, goals and intentions to guide you as you fill the pages. 

There are many ideas online and it's easy to fall into the pinterest frenzy, but my biggest tip is to start small! Add what you need as you go. Remember, it's meant to make your life easier, so don't get too caught up in trying to make it pretty.  No ripping pages out! Just move forward when you don’t like something and keep going. 😜

bullet journal bujo ideas san francisco blog

Future Log

Here, I did a simple vertical calendar layout for January-December over four pages. This is place to plan important dates and events for the year. As the year goes on, I track my monthly milestones on these pages, so at the end of the year I can easily reflect back.

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Intention of the year

Every year I select an intention to carry out as an annual theme. Usually, it's a verb... an annual call to action for me to make [money] moves.

 Essentially, after reflecting on the past year, now is the time to identify an area of focus, feeling or state that may have taken the back burner the previous year. It could be one word or a few, but the intention should motivate you to elevate your life throughout the year, in more than one area of life.  To learn more about intention setting, read my post on Setting New Year Intentions.

I created this two-page spread as a bold reminder to follow through with my intention all year long, and to always keep it in front of me.

bullet journal bujo ideas goal setting san francisco blog

Goals for A Thriving Life

Now that I have my heart set out on an intention, I write out goals on how to carry this intention through different areas of life: mind, body, soul, career, finance, family & friends, love and any other commitments that fall into separate categories from the above. For me, I added home and blog since I will commit a lot of energy and time into those areas in 2018.

This is a fantastic way to create a one-pager and define what your successful year looks like. Too often we chase success, but never know when we reach it... we just keep desiring more, without realizing how far we've come. With a page of your holistic goals, by the end of 2019, you'll know what you were able to accomplish, and what you will need to bring focus on the following year.

Most importantly, this page should answer one question... What does an ideal thriving life look like to me?

bullet journal bujo ideas san francisco blog

Wheel of Balance

I found this idea on pinterest, and now it's the 2nd year in a row I've added it in! This is an illustrated reminder that life will never solely be about one area of life, but how all the areas work cohesively to build a thriving, balanced lifestyle. 

These initial pages are all migrated from my 2017 bullet journal. (Migrating is a term used by the bujo community, and refers to moving the contents from an old page to a new page or journal)

Now that I've gotten my bujo all set up, I jump into my collections and weekly layouts in the next pages to come!

Are you a bullet journalist or want to be? Questions on how to start? Let me know in the comments below!

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If you're loving the bullet journal content, please tap the heart below and let me know you like it!

If this is the stuff you enjoy, I'll create more upcoming content on my monthly and weekly layouts and favorite bullet journal inspos!

Creating New Intentions for a New Year

New year, new theme. 

Happy New Year all! New year, new me...right? We know there are many resolutions that have been set coming into this new year. However, the word resolution is defined as "the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter."

Maybe, what you want to achieve isn't a problem in your life. Maybe, it's something you are already doing wonderful at, but you want to create more focus around something and step it up a bit. By setting an intention for the year, you are able to have a loose structured guide to stay focused, yet remain flexible no matter what twist or turn occurs all year long. 

Planning a better self for the new year is more about sitting yourself down to reflect. Think about where you're currently at in your life, and where you want to be one year from now. Then it's about naming the habits that will help you get there.

For example, my 2016 was a year of growth and learning, and now it's about putting that new knowledge into action. I've chosen to focus on "TRANSFORMATION" for 2017!

Grab a cup of coffee, your favorite mug and planner and plan out your year!

1. Choose Your 2017 Intention

Your intention of the year is essentially a theme.


This could be a mantra, phrase or word. With your intention always in mind, it will help guide you when faced with decisions throughout the year.

Example: my intention for 2017 is about transformation. For me, this means creating habits that will help me blossom and transform my life into who I want to become. This includes transforming my body, transforming my home, transforming our brand, even transforming my mind to learn to relax.

2. Create Goals Around Your Intention

Now that you have a goal, it's about creating habit goals that will help you achieve this intention all year long. To be well rounded, I like to select a habit for each of the following categories: mind, body, spirit, heart, work, and home. Here are mine to kickstart ideas for your own!

2017:  The year of transformation

  • Mind | Take classes, watch videos or read books once a month to learn more about growing social media platforms, creative communication and visual marketing.
  • Body | track my macronutrients daily, and exercise 3-5 times a week
  • Spirit | spend 10 minutes everyday to meditate to relax and ground myself
  • Heart | fill out my daily gratitude log in my bullet journal
  • Work | continue to build the brand and post daily for Victoria and Marie
  • Home | complete the konmari method for tidying up my belongings before the end of the year

It's important to create habits that lead to the goal, but are also realistic! 

3. Last but most importantly, take action.

Now, keep that phrase somewhere with you where you'll always be reminded. In your phone's notes, or even write it in your planner. Better yet, make it your phone's wallpaper. Wherever it is, make sure it's somewhere that will keep you aware of it. As the year progresses, take time to check in with yourself and ask "have I been living intentionally?

Happy New Year!
Wish you all the best in an intentional 2017 life!