After years of struggling to find my own unique style, I’ve finally found my wardrobe identity. There was no epiphany or “a-ha” moment, I simply got to a point where I didn’t want to be a carbon copy of my closest friends, no matter how fly they were.

My inspiration stems from tons of research. I’m not delving into Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar because my wallet would laugh at me, but I do find little gems in everything from home décor magazines (I have an affinity for prints) to other fashion bloggers.

Here are 4 tips that may prove helpful to defining your personal style:

1. Create A Lookbook

 

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Fill a large notebook with various sources of inspiration. The obvious would be cut outs of clothes that appeal to you, but don’t stop there. Include pictures that make you happy and colors that bring a smile to your face. Copy quotes from anyone whose style you admire. Research current/past trends and find ways to incorporate them into your daily wardrobe. If it doesn’t work with your personal truth, skip it and move on. Trends change like the wind so don’t beat yourself (and your wallet) up trying to stay on the pulse of fashion.

2. Take Daily Photos

 

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 Don’t always rely on mirrors. We’ve all had those moments when the that was cute at home in the full length mirror just didn’t translate on camera. Even if it doesn’t work, make a mental note of what was good, what wasn’t and what you’d change if you wore it again. You’ll notice a huge difference in the way you dress yourself and learn a lot about your shape and proportions.

3. Come Up With A Style Concept

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Come up with a rough concept of what you’re into at the moment. Right now I’m really into lace and leather. So I’m immediately drawn to anything that captures that lady-like, demure essence, but add leather to create a look that’s polar opposite. Whatever it is, allow your imagination to roam.

4. Take Your Time

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Usually the most stylish people don’t just magically come up with their looks. Often times it’s a result of list-making, hunting and being inspired by different things, colors and patterns. It’s okay to make fashion mistakes so don’t be afraid to redefine your style concept to make it more wearable for you.

How do you define your personal style?