Happy New York Fashion Week everyone!
The featured Houston shop on the blog this week is Wardrobe boutique. I first learned about Wardrobe at a holiday event held at Esperson Gallery in December 2014. Owner and creative genius of Wardrobe, Claire Carmichael was showcasing some of her edgiest must have pieces and of course I gravitated towards this beautiful leather vest. We started talking about what Wardrobe is all about and she invited me to come check out the shop sometime. I went by a couple of weeks ago and spent an afternoon with Claire who shared her inspiration and vision behind Wardrobe.
When did you open?
August 2nd, 2014
What motivated you to open your own store?
I couldn’t find anywhere in Houston that I wanted to shop that had anything unique,
individual or fashion forward. I’m not a fan of going into boutiques or stores like Nordstroms and Saks and seeing things that everyone else has. Being from England, I prefer boutique shopping knowing that 10, 20 or even 30 people are going to have the same thing as me.
What has been the most surprising thing about having your own business?
The business becomes like a child. You develop it, open it, watch it grow and give it TLC. I’ve helped open many businesses but this one is truly my baby.
Describe your everyday customer.
I haven’t got one. It’s so broad. We have customers between ages 20 to 60 years old who tend to be true boutique shoppers. Many of them have scouted us out while looking for a new boutique.
What can your customers look forward to when they walk into your store?
First and foremost, fashion they won’t find in other places. Wardrobe is spacious and bright with very large changing rooms that are separate from the store. We got open windows that offer a lot of natural lighting and have a helpful and informative staff. You’re just going to have to come check it out!
Name some items in your store you would recommend to your customers.
Siwy Denim, known for the quilted pockets and contoured design that creates the illusion of a full bum. Catherine Page Jewelry, all handmade and known for re-constructing classic Chanel pieces while using all real geodes (amethyst, moonstone, etc.). Cleobella leather jackets, especially the Wild Thing which is perfect for rodeo. Handmade in Bali and made from lambskin, this jacket feels like butter and is so comfortable.
What brands do you carry?
Flynn Skye, Cleobella, SoLow, Waverly Grey, Nation LTD, Toupy Paris… just to name a few. Now you’ve got to come in and see the others!
What does style mean to you?
Confidence, elegance and feeling good in your own skin. Having your own individuality and rocking it. Not following what’s necessarily popular, but knowing what fits your silhouette and feeling good in it.
Who is your favorite fashion icon?
Pharrell, Gwen Stefani and Carrie Bradshaw.
What is your favorite item in your closet right now?
That’s a tough question. It’s hard to pick one but I’m leaning towards my Cleobella Violet lambskin jacket, which I sell here at the store. Really anything from Wardrobe becomes an instant favorite.
What I enjoy the most about Wardrobe is that from the moment you walk in, there is a unique vibe not typical of your usual boutique set up. It’s more airy and spacious and kinda leads you into being more open with your personal style. The words I use to describe the pieces at Wardrobe boutique would be edgy, conversation pieces, bold, rock ‘n’ roll chic. I’m very happy I came across Wardrobe and grateful to Claire Carmichael who was so gracious to spend some time with this Houston newbie and share her vision with me. Thank you Claire for being so sweet, I really appreciate it. Glad we got some time to chat, get to know each other and learn about all things Wardrobe!
I must remind you that Rodeo is around the corner here in Houston so head over to Wardrobe and stock up on your leather everything! Don’t forget to tell them Patty sent you!
Keeping it Confident – Patty