Lou Stokes giving a workshop to a group of women

Turn morning chaos into serenity with these wardrobe detox tips

Are you feeling stressed out, chaotic and confused every morning when you open your wardrobe?  Do you have a wardrobe bursting with clothes, yet you have ‘nothing to wear’?  

Imagine how it would feel to wake up, open your wardrobe to find not only that you have plenty of clothes, but also that you love everything you have in there.

Getting dressed doesn’t have to be a stressful process – in fact your mornings can become a sacred time for you. 

What’s going on?

Most women wear only  20% of their clothes, 80% of the time.  

So what’s that other 80% made up of?   


  • Items with the tags still attached
  • Jeans that are two sizes too small 
  • A gorgeous dress given to you by a friend but you don’t feel right in it

Sound familiar?  It could be time for a detox. 

Taking decisive action

If you don’t love something, why have it in your wardrobe? If something doesn’t fit you properly or suit your lifestyle then get rid of it, it has no use in your wardrobe or in your life.

To put things in order means to put your past in order too.

Marie Kondo

I used to wake up every morning feeling somewhat anxious about having to get dressed and what to wear. Apart from my wardrobe being a complete mess, my thoughts were flooded with negativity about myself.  I never felt empowered in anything I tried on, constantly late for work and nevering feeling my best self, which ultimately had an effect on my overall wellbeing and productivity at work.

Our wardrobe is a reflection of our inner world, yes, it really is! How you treat your clothes is a reflection of how you treat yourself,  just like everything else.

Before you start the process of a wardrobe detox, it’s worth recognising the 3 values of clothes:   

1 – Function

The most obvious function of clothes is to improve the comfort of the wearer. They are used to keep us warm or cool depending on the climate. 

Similar to Maslow’s theory, this is the first level in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ of clothes.

2 – Information

Clothes are an expression of personal taste or style and express a lot about the individual. The clothes we wear communicate to others without us even speaking.

They also store information. Have you ever noticed that when you wear a certain item you feel a certain way? This is due to the information stored. 

For example, a piece of clothing you wore on your first date with your partner or to a special event. When you wear that item again you will sense the same feeling as that first time. The same way a song or a smell can transport us back to a certain moment. It happens with the clothes we wear too. 

The field of research in psychology called ‘enclothed cognition’ looks at how clothes systematically influence wearers’ psychological processes. Our clothes give us information that actually influences our behaviour and attitudes and even the way we interact with people.

3 – Emotional attachment

This is an interesting one!  Our attachment to clothing is as specific as our own memories and the items in question; almost everyone has a story about an item in their closet. They  recognise it has no useful application anymore but still find it difficult to part with.  

Often it’s the sentimental value, a reminder of special moments. Equally, clothes can be kept as a reminder of sad ones. Something from an ex, for example, that brings back painful memories can be a culprit of wardrobe chaos too.

Then there’s wishful thinking – when you frequently try something on in the hope that it fits this time.

It’s a spiritual process

Recognizing the  powerful attachment that clothes hold over us is important when detoxing your wardrobe and when you are shopping.

Detoxing your wardrobe is a spiritual process and an act of letting go. It is not just getting rid of things that you no longer wear.  You’ll need to be honest with yourself and ask whether these items serve you and make you happy, and looking at why you want to keep them or throw them away. 

It’s digging deep – and worth doing. 

Create a wardrobe you love and that loves you back

Before you can really create your own unique style story you need to have a handle on your current wardrobe, only then can you relinquish the urge to impulse-buy. You need to know what you’ve got, what you actually wear and what your key pieces are.

Here are some actionable steps from my method to help you with your wardrobe detox:

  • Open up your wardrobe and ask yourself if it is working for you. Does it represent who you are today?  
  • Take everything out of your wardrobe and draws and create three piles for your clothes; Love, Giveaway/sell, Alterations/dry cleaning.
  • Pick up each item up and ask yourself if it makes you happy – or ‘sparks joy’ as Marie Kondo would say! Then place it in the right pile.
  • Let go of things that have completed their function and thank them. Often we hold on to so much stuff and find it hard to let go. Our wardrobes become bogged down with clothes we never wear.  It is important to recognise when things have served their purpose whether it be a relationship, a job or a piece of clothing. Be grateful, let it go and move on. 
  • Create your wardrobe like a sanctuary, so apart from having it in orderly manner and only with the things you love, use good quality hangers and scented sachets or essential oils to infuse your clothes to keep them smelling fresh.   

So there you have it. Some of my tips for creating a closet that you’ll greet with a smile every morning.

In my She’s Magnetic program, you will get rid of everything that no longer serves in your life from toxic thoughts to clothes that you no longer love or inspire you and don’t represent who you really are. 

If you have no idea of where to start or feel overwhelmed then let’s have a chat. Book a call with me here.

Lou Stokes
Verified Coach
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Lou Stokes is a style consultant from London based in Madrid. With online coaching, she helps women around the world cultivate confidence by developing their own, empowering style. Email lou@loustokes.com or visit loustokes.com to find out more or book a call with Lou right now.


  • Hi Lou,
    Thanks so much for sharing. I really love how you illustrated how our wardrobe is a reflection of our inner world. When I think about 50% of what’s in my closet not fitting (yet) I can see what a powerful message this is telling me over and over again. It’s time to detox, embrace the present moment, and love myself as I am right now. <3

    • Hi Kc, You are so welcome, I hope it has gone a bit deeper into what we were discussing the other day. And yes embrace the moment and love yourself for who you are right now is the key, it’s great to have goals to work towards as well! Check out my video in the group as I talk more about this and how it is a process, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Lots of love, Lou


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