Being stuck indoors has left us feeling stuffy and with A LOT of extra time on our hands. We had a chat with the wonderful Charlie, founder of Creative Wardrobe and an expert at helping women find real joy in their wardrobes by making space and falling in love with pieces they already own again.
Creative Wardrobe’s unique three-hour wardrobe appointments cover everything from magic mood boards, to wardrobe cleanses, restyling older pieces, creative curation and practical solutions for extending the lifecycle of unwanted items. Creative Wardrobe also offers pre-owned, online, personal shopping for clients, with their bespoke digital Treasure Boards. Fancy a shopping trip? Charlie will take you to London’s best vintage and second-hand haunts to find your dream pieces.
You can shop Creative Wardrobe’s unique selection of pre-owned treasures on Instagram or sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear about the next pop-up event. Charlie is also now taking bookings via a waiting list for when we can all get out and about again.
The Creative Wardrobe Method
Below you will learn Charlies simple six-step Creative Wardrobe Cleanse so you can carry out a Spring clean of your wardrobe on your own from home. Let’s begin!
What you’ll need
An A2 foam board
Pile of old/new fashion magazines
Set the scene
Play your favourite music
Light a candle
Diffuse some essential oils or any scent that makes you feel happy
Option to open with some calming breathing or a meditation
Step One: Create your Magic Mood Board
Every Creative Wardrobe appointment starts with an hour of magic mood boarding. The board represents everything you want to bring into your life, from outfits, to colours, shapes and even words that resonate with you. It is a chance for you to visually manifest your style dreams. The art of manifestation is always intention, so as you tear out the images that inspire you, remember you are laying out your dreams on paper and grounding them in reality. You will be amazed at the results!
Take your magazines, start flicking through and begin tearing out anything that catches your eye. Go bold with your vision. This is your sacred space to dream up a new look and feel. Cut out enough images, words etc to fill your board and begin to organise your board into areas such as "dream style", "work looks”, "weekend moods", "colours I love" etc.
In the top right-hand corner, turn your desire for your upcoming wardrobe cleanse into a succinct Mission Statement. What is it you really want to achieve? Is it to make space? Is it to be bolder with your style? To look more grown up and refined? How do you want to feel going forward? Clarifying this part is really important as it allows you to focus on one outcome as you go about your cleanse. Beneath this, write out all the specific items you’ve found that you would love to bring into your life i.e "work bag”, “70s blouse" etc. Leave space to add in more pieces as you work out what you need during your wardrobe cleanse.
Now it’s time to stick everything down with intention. Survey your beautiful mood board as a whole creation and start to consciously bring in everything you see in front you with some nice deep breaths.
Step Two: The Creative Wardrobe Cleanse
Now it’s time for your Wardrobe Cleanse!
Bring your magic mood board with you to your bedroom and position it somewhere visible. Find a ‘sorting area’ – this can be on top of your bed, on the floor, using a rail etc. In my one-to-one appointments I use my branded pop cards, but you can quite easily create your own. Just grab some A4 paper and write one of the below titles on each them. These will serve as your action cards to help you structure your Creative Wardrobe Cleanse.
Love: You don’t even have to think. You just LOVE. Brings joy. Brings energy.
Think: You can’t make up your mind about this one. You need some more time to think.
Restyle: You like this piece but you’re not wearing it. You need to see it in a new light.
Sell: This piece could make a bit of money back on a resale site.
Chuck: No, no, no! This piece MUST go!
Donate: You’d love to give this piece away to your favourite charity.
Fix: You’ve left this piece to be dry cleaned, altered or repaired for way too long!
Store: You’re not wearing it now but you might next season.
Swap: You want to give this beauty to a friend… in exchange for something of hers of course!
Rent: You want to recoup some money by renting this cult piece.
Always start with your wardrobe and then you can move on to other areas such as drawers, storage boxes etc. Pick up the ‘Love’ card. Start identifying the pieces you truly love that you are certain you want to keep. Lift these pieces out of your wardrobe one at a time and move them in the ‘Love’ area; consciously connecting with those pieces and giving them your good thoughts.
Move on to ‘Chuck.’ You probably already know which pieces just need to go. Here's a clue: if you feel a nagging feeling when you look at a piece or your energy feels depleted by it, it’s time for it to go. Start to build this pile up. If you have resistance to letting something go, then move it to ‘Think.’
Work through your entire wardrobe in this way, using the rest of the action cards as your guide and building up the areas accordingly. Don’t be overwhelmed! You can do this slowly over a whole weekend. Just focus on one action card at a time.
Step Three: Get restyling
This bit is so fun! Go to your ‘Restyle’ pile and have a look at the items. Ask yourself; how could I wear this piece differently? What could I style it with so it feels new and fresh again?
It’s great to draw on your Magic Mood Board at this point and have a look at the images you found so inspiring during this process. Is there a way to channel those vibes with your pieces? Layering is a great way to change up individual pieces and create new vibes from the overall look. Try an old leather jacket with a roomy overcoat on top and enjoy the new shape with layers. Take one of your unused, vintage blouses and try it under a pair of dungarees. This part is all about creative experimentation! I get my clients to take photos of themselves in their newly created looks so they have it on file for days where they lack inspiration.
Step Four: Review your action piles
Now that you’ve had a go at restyling old pieces and learning to love them again, it’s time to review your action piles and make the final call on whether pieces stay or go.
In my appointments, I am there to guide my clients at decision-making time, however, as you're doing this on your own, why not message a friend if you’re unsure about whether to keep a piece or not? Always remember you are here to make space so your new creative vision can shine through. Ask yourself this question when you're stuck: Will I really miss this item once it’s gone? You'll have to employ some tough love as I’m not there to do it for you.
Step Five: Conscious Curation
We’ve reached the final step of the wardrobe cleanse! You can now put your chosen pieces back into your wardrobe and drawers with Creative Wardrobe’s method of Conscious Curation.
As before, we always start with ‘Love.’ Take the items you love most of all and display them in clever ways as though they are little works of art. Try hanging your favourite dress on the front of your wardrobe on a pretty hanger so you can enjoy it every day. I encourage my clients to invest in nice hangers, which are a permanent fixture in our daily dressing ritual and so I think, have every right to be beautiful! Check out Ebay or Etsy for vintage bamboo hangers or 70s crochet beauties.
Just as you did with your mood board, you can curate your wardrobe and drawers in any way that works for you. I love to organise my own wardrobe by colour stories, grouping similar colours together across categories as I find it easier to visualise looks this way. For clients that have an office job that requires smart clothing, I’ll help them put together up to 5 looks and curate these together in a “workwear” area within the wardrobe. If my client has space, I might encourage them to order a small rail to curate five weekday looks on. This can be done on a Sunday with a cup of coffee in hand - the joy! Next, you can have a good tidy up of your newly-slimmed-down drawers and storage boxes and get clear on why each piece is staying. Even with the more practical items, it’s good to show them appreciation and understand why they are in your life. You can affirm each piece out loud if that works for you.
Once you’re finished, take a look around your dressing space. You should see the items you most love easily now. You should feel a renewed sense of order. Acknowledge that this is your creation and you have now invited every single piece in it to be here. It is now a place to feel calm and joyful in.
Step 6 : Extend the lifecycle of your unwanted items
It’s time to start thinking about the next steps for your action piles and your unwanted items. Take a notepad and pen and start to jot down your plan for each pile. Have a look at reselling platforms, your favourite charities, upcycling initiatives or recycling clothing in a local material bank. There are plenty of sustainable solutions for every item which means your pieces won’t end up in landfill.
Good luck with your Creative Wardrobe Cleanses! Please take pictures of your magic mood boards, action piles and your newly curated Creative Wardrobe’s and share them with me on Instagram with the hashtags #CreativeWardrobe #MakeSpaceThenCreate. I can’t wait to see how you get on!