“How a capsule wardrobe stylist repaired my relationship with getting dressed”

Written by Morgan Fargo

Charlotte Warburton, founder of personal styling service To Be Created, helped me rethink the relationship I have with my clothes.

I know I’m not the only one with a fear of getting dressed for events. When it comes to schlubbing around at home, I’m a pro. If you need a safe (but ultimately boring) jeans and jumper combination – again, come to me. 

Usually, when I have an event to go to I faff around with the parts of getting ready I enjoy: doing my hair, playing with make-up, flicking through Spotify and painting my nails. I tend to leave five minutes to pick an outfit, get dressed and get out the door, resulting in an almost guaranteed meltdown. A non-shopper, I don’t tend to update what’s in my wardrobe – even though I don’t actually love what’s in there. It’s not a fun cycle and yet I do it every time. 

Wearing: Pangaia 365 track pants and sweatshirt in sand.

Charlotte Warburton, a personal stylist and founder of styling service To Be Created, champions a different dressing ideal – one that encompasses a circular mindset to dressing. 

Clothes should be intentionally multi-purpose; rather than have a hodge-podge of items that work well once and then never again, each item you possess should work with multiple others. A classic leather jacket or overcoat can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, a pair of well-fitting blue jeans will never go out of style, and minimalist loungewear can take you almost anywhere now. Therein lies the promise of To Be Created: chic, capsule minimalism. 

Wearing: & Other Stories Favourite cut jeans, half-zip sweater in brown, shell button shirt in white.

Referred by a friend who had used To Be Created to update her aesthetic, I was intrigued by the concept: how could I benefit from a wardrobe of only 27 items? Clearly, it would streamline my style, creating the coherence I felt I deeply lacked, as well as minimise the feeling of staring into a cacophony of clothes, knowing there’s nothing in there that makes me feel good. 

Initially, Charlotte asked me to list the things I don’t like to wear. On the verboten list: midi and maxi skirts, skinny jeans (on which she concurred), anything A-line and shirts with puff or cap sleeves. From that, Charlotte sent through a digital mood board, listing the colour scheme and items I would need to build my hardworking closet following a natural, pared-back ideal.

To Be Created champions a circular mindset to dressing that saves money and stress.

Featuring timeless items such as an overcoat, a puffer jacket, a blazer, a loungewear set, basic tops and shirts, and multiple fits of trouser, there was something relaxing about a list that pared getting dressed back to the essentials only. For the last five years, I have had “going out” tops sit aimlessly on my shelves, the one festival or party I wore them to a distant memory. As someone who doesn’t enjoy shopping, they never get replaced; instead, lying sad and useless until they eventually make their way to a charity shop and the cycle begins again.

A few more emails exchanged with Charlotte and we were set for the fun bit: personalised recommendations for each of the 27 items, ranging from lower budget to higher end. Ever the economist, Charlotte sent through three options per piece, giving her insight to which were best to invest in (blue jeans, always) and which were better to stick to the basic and more budget-friendly option. 

Wearing: & Other Stories straight wool blazer in black.

The beauty of having a comprehensive list of products sent over is that it takes the stress out of knowing the nuances between brands. Some size up, some cut smaller, some are cut for a curvier body type, others for an athletic build – these slight variations can make all the difference in being satisfied with a purchase or feeling further disheartened and not finding things that suit. Plus, as a bespoke service, I could ask Charlotte specific questions about pieces that she could advise me on: what’s best to buy now and what’s best to wait until payday (or even a few paydays’ time)? These considerations are taken into account, creating a reciprocal system of trust. 

As an anxious, unsure and often impulsive shopper, the experience was invaluable. I might not be down to quite 27 items yet, but bear with me; finally finding the joy in getting dressed feels priceless.

Find out more about Charlotte and To Be Created on Instagram.

Images: Frankie Hill

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