How to organize & define your personal style

How to organize & define your personal style

Written by Maria Mesick 
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In this digital age, so much of our daily inspiration comes from the internet. Whether you’re an avid cook, decorator, crafter, entrepreneur, or parent, online sources are the ideal place to gather fresh ideas and how to’s.
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However, the endless sources can lead to total overwhelm when it comes to curating and referencing our inspiration.
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Since this month is all about cultivating your personal style at Simply Spaced, I’m sharing my favorite tools to help you organize and define it. Let’s dive in!

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Step 1: GET THE TOOLS 

Chances are, you’ve already started the process of gathering inspiration. You may already be using my go-to tools, Pinterest and Evernote. If you are, you’re already ahead of the game (skip to step 2).
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If you’re new to Pinterest Pinterest is an online inspiration board great for organizing your inspiration and gaining clarity around what you love. Once you’ve signed up for an account, create a personal style board. If you’re pinning from a computer, the quickest way to add images is to download the pin It button for your favorite browser. If you’re using a phone, I recommend downloading the highly addictive Pinterest App.
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If you’re new to Evernote Evernote is a digital notebook that captures pictures, notes, websites and documents in one convenient location. One of the great things about Evernote is that it syncs with all your devices so that the notes you take with your phone can be seen on your computer, vice versa. You can even share notes if you collaborate with a roommate or partner. To get an Evernote account, download the app on your phone or visit their website. Evernote has a great quick start guide that walks you through the basics of creating a notebook and taking notes
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Once you have these tools set up, here’s how you can use them to define your personal style.

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Step 2: GATHER YOUR INSPO  

Gather your online Inspo with Pinterest: The key is to gather any images that are visually appealing. Think spaces, outfits, colors, textures, posters, etc. Anything goes! Explore blogs like Remodelista and Domino, online shops like Food 52 and Anthropologie, or Instagram. I like to pull ideas from Simply Spaced and Nicole Franzen. If I’m looking for fresh resources, I use the keyword search in Google and/or Pinterest. I usually look at the images I’ve already collected to get ideas for a keyword search (ie. minimal white travel bags). When you come across an image that floats your boat, pin it to your board. PRO TIP: Pinterest shows you the boards that other people have pinned the same image. I always take a look to see if they have the same taste as I do (they usually do!). You can also see similar pins by scrolling down to the bottom of the page when you are looking at one of your pinned images.
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Gather your in real life (IRL) Inspo with Evernote: let’s not forget real life inspiration! I see a flood of inspiration on a daily basis. At first, I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do with it all. Now I capture it with Evernote. Think boutiques and shops like Anthropologie. They always have the best displays and have the most creative ideas. Other real-life inspiration can be found in cafes or during a walk through a pretty neighborhood, or from your favorite books and magazines. The possibilities are endless. With the Evernote app, you can take a picture within the note and add handy information such as pricing, location, notes, and measurements.

.How to organize & define your personal style

Step 2: EDIT 

After you’ve gathered a good amount of inspiration, it’s time to zoom out and pare down your selections. This process will help you hone in on your personal style and weed out things that don’t fit within the core aesthetic. To do this, delete things that don’t retain their appeal when compared to all your other selections. Eliminate images where you can’t pinpoint what you like about it. Here are a few other areas to eliminate:

  • Items that are not realistic to your lifestyle
  • Images that detract or distract from the overall image or just don’t fit in
  • Images that are redundant (e.g. multiple images with Smeg refrigerators)

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While you look through your images, make note of patterns. Do you notice a color story emerging? What types of feelings do these images evoke in you? Is there a texture you particularly love? Use these observations to arrange your pins and create sections within your board. This is an opportunity to prioritize your style goals.
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Remember to be ruthless, and hone in on only images you absolutely LOVE! The purpose of this exercise is to gain clarity, not to overwhelm you with ideas.
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How to organize & define your personal style

Step 3: REVIEW + ACTIVATE 

Note Gaps: After you’ve gone through your inspiration and edited ruthlessly, take a look through all that’s left. Make note of any gaps you find. For example, if you notice you don’t have any images for living room lighting or you don’t know what style you love, prioritize looking for some ideas. Once you’ve made a list of gaps that need filling, go back to step one and gather inspiration for those areas.
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This will be a continual process as your style and priorities evolve. Revisit your Pinterest board and Evernote notebook. Use it as a guide in making decisions on the objects you bring into your home and put on your body. Suddenly you’ll find that shopping for key pieces for your home and wardrobe become easier because you have clarity on what you like most.

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Happy hunting!

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