Dressing Consciously - sustainable fashion - The Creative Curator

Dressing Consciously

November 3, 2016Eve Tokens

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Dressing Consciously

Two weekends back, having decided I would be dressing consciously in 2017, I decided to have a sort out. My life felt cluttered since I had moved out of my work studio. The move meant I now had A LOT of fabric and sewing tools stashed randomly around our small flat, along with a wardrobe filled with many unworn clothes.

I figured that the best way to get organised and be able to crack on with work was to have a complete sort out.

Luckily David was out with a friend for the day…

The wardrobe and chest of drawers were hastily emptied onto our bed. I haven’t shopped in a while, yet have still managed to accumulate a lot of clothes over the last couple of years.

I then unloaded all the bags and boxes of fabric onto our big couch to be sorted through afterwards.

Finally, the mass amount of paperwork and numerous folders of patterns stared back at me from two of the big cupboards. I ignored them – they can be sorted another day!

From the wardrobe I succeeded in throwing out an awful lot of jersey tops, dresses and tee’s that don’t flatter my body shape at all. Part of my dressing consciously plan for 2017 was to actually only wear clothes that flatter my shape or my design taste.

Today for instance, I’m wearing scruffy old man-boots (they actually are; I’m a UK9.5 and struggle to find women’s shoes to fit!), black casual jogger style trousers, a laser cut leather jumper (from my graduate collection) and an 80s black leather jacket from charity shop in Clapham Junction, with a black and white scarf. Together it’s a hodgepodge of something delicious. It’s an unconventional look, and with my tired glazed eyes, and hair drawn back off my face, I’m definitely rocking the ‘exhausted designer’ look! 😉

Eve Tokens - The Creative Curator - Dressing Consciously

Tomorrow I may wear a fitted black jersey dress, tights and gold sneakers, with my tailored jacket for a sharper look. We’ll see…

My Two Dressing Consciously Criteria

You see, its about working with what I have – both the wardrobe and the body.

So it’s important to only keep things in the wardrobe that fit those two criteria:

  1. The garment or outfit needs to look good on my body shape
  2. It also needs to appeal to me design wise

I succeeded in cutting the wardrobe down considerably by about 50%. Quite an achievement! 😮 There were some pieces that I wouldn’t wear as they were, but would if they were fixed up. Like a lovely Joseph dress I’d gotten in a charity shop when I was a skinny size 10, which no longer fit me as a dress, due to shrinkage – you know that knit shrinkage situation? The one that happens when we get older (and wider) around the body, forcing the knit to shrink upwards? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. My lovely secondhand Joseph dress was like an exceptionally indecent short dress on me now that I am a size UK12/14!

I took to it with scissors and using my recently revived overlocker, fixed the hem so it was wearable as a sexy black top. Sorted.

Wardrobe Post Purge

The wardrobe I ended up with after my purge

Dressing Consciously - Wardrobe Purge - The Creative Curator

You can see from the image that there are several pieces missing from the kist below…

Jackets and Coats:

Parka - Me Made - GFW - Eve Tokens - The Creative Curator


Oversized bonded parka – me made 2012

Vintage Burberry rain mac – eBay 2011

Purple Oska Coat – New from Selfridges 2007

Orange leather jacket – from Sophie 2015

Checkered Blazer – charity shop Glastonbury 2016

Smart black Jacket – new 2016

Sheepskin gillet – From Sophie 2011

White Faux Fur Jkt – me made 2014

1980s Leather Blazer – charity shop Clapham Junction 2014

Denim Levis – Pa’s old one

*Black raincoat – new 2014



Laser Cut Leather Jumper - Eve Tokens GFW - The Creative Curator

Laser cut Leather front jumper – me made 2012 (My current favourite, it’s so SLOUCHY and COMFY!)

Miyake Gold Knit – charity shop Jul 2014

Christmas jumper – new Dec 2015

Black sweater – Max’s 2015

Green baggy sweater – Pa’s hand knitted

Arran Cardi – Ma’s hand knitted

Short sleeved cashmere cardigan – from Sophie 2015



Pa Bubble Shirt from 70s - The Creative Curator - Dressing Consciously

Blue and pink bubble bursts shirt (photo above) – My Pa’s from circa 70s

White FC split back shirt – Wachman

Pink shirt dress – me made 2012

Cropped denim shirt – Max’s reformed 2015


Tops & Tees:

Black sleeveless tank – new Georgia 2016

Grey veiny top – me made Aug 2015

Basic white / black organic Tees – new 2015

Draped racer backs (brown and snakes) – new July 2016

Alexander wang Tee – new 2011

White floral tank – new July 2016

Dark floral pink tee – new July 2016

Orange silky tee – new July 2016

Red silky & leather top – me made 2014

Red silk tie top – me made 2016

Dressing Consciously - Empty Drawers -Eve Tokens Wardrobe - The Creative Curator


Dresses and Skirts:

Issey Miyake - Gold Foil Cardigan - Eve Tokens - The Creative Curator

Draped black dress – new Feb 2016 *Birthday dress* (dress worn by me in photo above)

Joseph dress to become top – charity shop 2014

Super glitter dress – new Dec 2014

Green Cos dress – new July 2016 *holiday buy*

Black knit miniskirt – new 2015


Sleep / Lounge wear:

White Kaftan - The Creative Curator - Dressing Consciously

Red silk nightie – from 1999!

White draped kaftan – me made 2015 (at Brighton Fashion Week above)

Pink silk dressing gown – NYC 2004

White embroidered kaftan – Ibiza 2006

White Pintuckes kaftan – Ibiza 2007

Navy Blue shirt – Sophie 2015


Trousers / Shorts:

Leather Shorts - Eleanor Blackwood - The Creative Curator - Dressing Consciously

Silver leather shorts – me made 2012 (Photo above modelled by El Blackwood! Originally from my GFW collection)

Black cigarette jeans – new Oct 2015

Blue cigarette jeans – new July 2016

*High waisted blk jeans (unworn) – new 2014

*Low waisted wht jeans – new 2013

*Dark Grey high waisted jeans (unworn) – new 2014

~White linen shorts – new 2011



Grey Cashmere – present Dec 2010

Black / white checkered – present Dec 2015

Matthew Williamson – present Feb 2012

2x silky purple scarves – presents Dec 2015

1x silky white scarf – new Georgia July 2016

1x pink sparkle scarf – new present Oct 2016



Green wool cable knit – new July 2016

Grey / pink spot – present 2015


*Items bought when size 10

~ Items bought when size 16

A Smaller Wardrobe

You see, it’s is achievable. I now have a wardrobe which is considerably smaller, which means two things.

  1. I now look better when I am running behind and randomly throw something on in the morning
  2. I have space in my wardrobe for more me made items.

And that can never be a bad thing right? 😉

Future Dressing Consciously Plans

My plan is to spend 2017 forming a new habit – a dressing consciously habit.

I plan to use only what is in my wardrobe – listed above – or new items that I have made myself. Socks, bras and panties are the only exceptions, BUT I have invested in a ‘making lingerie’ book, so watch this space!

Secrets of Sewing Lingerie Book - Dressing Consciously - The Creative Curator

If I do have to buy something other than underwear, I’ll be sure to use the amazing options in the local charity shops, and will upcycle when possible. This is going to be fun!

Dressing Consciously Challenge

So, are YOU interested in a Dressing Consciously Challenge? Are you frustrated by the random collection of clothes taking up space in your closet? Are you ready to rock it out in 2017 with me? Let me know in the comments below!

Til next time…

RECOMMENDED READING: You love fashion, and want to be more conscious? Get on board and start learning to sew your own clothes! This post will teach you about the history of sewing. This post teaches you the basic seams to stop your sewing looking home made. And these posts [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3] will teach you the fundamentals of the fashion design process!

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Comments (5)

  • sonja

    November 5, 2016 at 7:24 am

    What a day ending in great results. I try to clear out my wardrobe twice a year (at the end of spring/summer and autumn/winter). Starting well organised always gives better results. Love to hear what you will be doing with your paperwork, folders of patterns from two cupboards.

    1. Eve Tokens

      November 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Sonja.. Thanks for your comment! I only just saw it, so I am sorry for the delay in replying! 🙂
      I think I’m going to tackle all the patterns right before Christmas. I’ll be sure to take photos – I have HUNDREDS of plastic wallets of patterns I have developed myself, probably too many to ever do anything with. They will certainly take a lot longer to go through than the closet did! 😉

  • Carlita

    March 14, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I happened on this via Pinterest today. Awesome timing! I’m making a list of gifts to give myself this year for my birthday (Giving myself a new start). Learning to dress my new curvy shape instead of whining about nothing size 1 in the closet fitting any more, learning to sew my favorite Four Corners styles, and enjoy getting dressed for the day in clothes that fit my size 18 bod instead of opting out for my fellas sweatpants.
    I’m in recovery and need to really show myself some love. Can’t think of a better change in my routine than making the outside match the inside cheer. I just joined your mailing list and face book last week lol. I’m so glad I did. I’m going to start the Saucy skirt sew along this week.
    And clean out my closet! Thank you, I needed this . It was just perfect for this moment in my life.

  • debbie mayo

    May 21, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    So, re reading your article I definitely rose to the challenge – my local charity shop wont know what’s hit them: 3 cardigans, 2 tee shirts, a jumper, 20 tops, 3 dresses and a skirt! On top of that im re purposing 3 items for the fabric and have 3 dresses to adapt (2 into tops and one to shape more) plus a jean skirt to chop up…. the clothes left in my wardrobe now have space to move (but not that much!!) I have masses of empty hangers …. and its quite pleasing to see that a good part of what ive kept is me-made….. give it some more time and I’ll have to re review what ive got… would be good to whittle it down a bit more.
    Thanks for the inspirsation, Eve.

    1. Eve Tokens

      May 24, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      I am so proud of you Debbie! And I don’t mean that in any patronising way! It is quite a challenge to have such a clean out – I know many people that have put it off, fearing the work involved, along with the dilemma of what should be kept and what should be disposed of. How amazing that so much of what you do have left is actually ‘me-made’! THAT is an achievement! 🙂

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