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. 

personal style profile bullet journal

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!


One LBD, Two Looks

I always had the same problem when getting ready. I'd stand in my closet feeling like a hot confused mess. In my frustrated state with a closet full of clothes, I always felt like I had nothing to wear.  You can relate, right?

 Photography by  Rachel Radcliffe

Photography by Rachel Radcliffe

Finally, I figured out the problem

When picking out new clothes, I never looked at my closet as one big collection... I only saw each piece individually. Eventually, that leads to chaos. It's like having a 1000 piece puzzle, but none of the pieces fit together.

Soon after, I began to shop with intention and became very selective before bringing new clothes home. I only purchased my favorite styles, textures, patterns and kept to a very neutral color palette. If it didn't fit the guideline, it was out. ✂️ Over several months, styling looks became much easier, and all my little puzzle pieces of clothing began to form a clearer picture in my closet.

In a few weeks, we'll talk more about wardrobe planning and personal style, but for now, here's one of the many benefits of my closet glow up. 


How to create two looks with one little black dress.

Keep reading to find out how I switched up looks from cozy + cute to city chic in a few easy steps.

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Start with good quality basics

First things first, invest in good closet essentials. Basic colored tops, 1-3 solid pairs of denim jeans, a little black dress, etc. We can go deeper this in a future post, but in short... like I said, the basics are not at all basic. Here, I'm wearing a velvet turtleneck long-sleeved dress that I randomly picked up from Forever 21.

With a closet of strong essential items, you will have an arsenal of clothes that can easily be paired with other outfit items. This is the ice cream and everything else in your look is what turns it into a sundae. Two more steps, and you'll be lookin' like a snack. 🍦

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Make a statement and layer up with outerwear

Once you've got on that LBD that fits like a glove, time to sprinkle in your personal style. Once you decide on the kind of look you're going for, you can pick your outerwear accordingly. For example, my long multi-slit cardigan and big fuzzy coat makes all the world's difference between the two looks. The outerwear serves as a statement piece which draws attention away from your LBD.

In a season or a city that's too hot for outerwear? No problem, I still got you. Alternatively, switch up the shoes. For the record, I'm wearing the same Charlotte Russe thigh high peep-toe boots in both looks, but you can still diversify your look even more by playing around with different shoe styles. If you're up for the challenge play around with both: different combos of shoes and outerwear.

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Last but not least, add in your accessories 

So you're half way there, and here is where you bring it all together. Pick 1-2 accessories to top it all off. Anything more than that, and it might distract from everything else going on in the outfit. For me to go from cozy + cute to city chic, I ditched the floppy knit hat for a pair of Quay x Desi sunnies to edge out my look. 

Once you throw on those accessories, you are good to slay for the rest of the day!

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For my short attention span friends out there 😜 | TL;RD version  

  • Start with strong basic closet essentials

  • make it your own with statement outerwear or shoes

  • top it off with 1-2 accessories

Play around with it, there's no right or wrong way to do it, and that's the best part! Most importantly, remember style is very personal to you and have fun with it!

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Outfit deets

Photography: Rachel Radcliffe

LOOK I COZY + CUTE

Black winter coat with fleece trim: Zara
Floppy knit hat: Forever 21

the basics

Velvet turtleneck black dress: Forever 21
Thigh high peep-toe boots: Charlotte Russe

LOOK II City Chic

Olive green long knit cardigan: Cotton On
OTL II Sunnies: Quay x Desi
Olive wristlet: Target Style (2016)

 

Ethereal Ear Crawlers

Inspiration comes from many places. One of the things I've been star strucked for lately, is well... stars! Dreamy night skies, the milky way, and constellations to be exact. This mental mood board has started to translate through new pieces I've been picking up from clothes to jewelry. To my surprise, I found these constellation inspired ear crawlers during one of my routine Target runs. 

sugarfix by baublebar star ear crawler earrings

ear crawlers? what's to love?

I love ear crawlers because unlike regular ear cuffs, this type of earring has a standard post with secure backing, and cuffs at the top.  I lose ear cuffs all the damn time, and with these I never have to worry. For the record, I've been wearing them on repeat with just about any outfit.

sugarfix by baublebar star ear crawler earrings

How do you style them?

Jewelry

My favorite way to style these babies are pairing them with minimal gold necklaces and rings.

Hair

With these beauties hugging my ears, I either wear my hair in a slick low pony. If I keep my hair down, I make sure to pull my hair back, because we all know these need to be star of the show.

You can find these through the Sugarfix by Baublebar line at Target

sugarfix by baublebar star ear crawler earrings
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