October 12, 2022

Julie Cobbe

3 little things that are big for our style


I really mulled over the thoughts I first wanted to share in this new space. Knowing it would be the first post you might read, the first place you might land when you find The Style Retreat.

I want it to be helpful, honest, real and not too daunting. Little steps.

This is where I landed. Our morning style habits. 

We all have them. Whether we put thought into what they look like or not. The truth is I have created The Style Retreat to help you see your style in a completely fresh way but most of all to see yourself differently and find a renewed inner confidence in who you are through what you wear.

So what better place to begin, than at the start of a brand new day with 3 things you can do, right now, this week that can help us to see our style through a fresh lens.

Wear your ‘good’ items

Your clothes can only change how you feel when you actually wear them, right!? Keeping our favourite items from our wardrobe as our ‘good’ clothes is something I have seen so much. Isn’t today special enough? Don’t you need to feel their benefit now? Most especially if you are here, on a website created to help you create new, and powerful ways to change things up through your clothes.

Try this out and it can have a big impact on what you buy in the future because you are learning what it is about this item that gives you this sense of ‘this is a good item’. Don’t we need more of that in our wardrobe?

You are also getting out of the habit of seeing this item in only one way and actually playing with styling it different ways, getting enjoyment from it now.

How will it change how I feel? 

Have you read Martha Beck’s book ‘The Way of Integrity’? – one of my favourites. She says the root of all learning is in moving towards what feels warm. I could not agree more. If you wear what you love from your wardrobe more than wearing items only because you feel you should, so much learning about ourselves comes from taking this approach. 

Experiment with your proportions

Proportions are used to play with how our body looks and feels to us. The ‘ultimate’ proportions, or so we are told in the world of fashion is the perfect figure of 8, hourglass proportions where your shoulders and hips are in line and you go in on the waist. But not so long into my life as a stylist and teacher, I realised this was one of the ultimates to also have some fun with and learn so much from. One that can literally change how you see your body and yourself.

What do I really mean? 

Well, try a higher than normal waisted trousers (something like a paperbag waist) so they come up high, and tuck in a top. See how your legs look longer, your top half is minimised and your eye is drawn upwards? 

Likewise, if you feel you are top heavy (bigger bust or tummy), use longer lines on the top half with a longer jacket, longer tops, less fuss around the waist to create simplicity and length on the top half and to draw the eye downwards, away from a part you are more conscious of.

How will it change how I feel? 

You can literally change how you feel in an instant by changing where the emphasis is put on the body. It is based on the simple fact that the eye is drawn to all the lines created in an outfit. If you choose to go high waisted (line higher up) or longer with a top or jacket (line below the hip), these lines all draw the eye and ultimately will change how you see and feel about what’s possible for your style. 

Repeat outfits to figure out what you love

Think of the most stylish person you know. Chances are they have some kind of outfit formula that works for them that they repeat. Even if it feels they have a really creative flare with accessories. This is a repeated habit!

So, how can you figure this out for you?

Simply by repeating outfits you feel happy in. Experiment with some looks you own until you feel things are feeling warmer! That’s not to say your general formula can’t stray or evolve either but if you have a starting point, you have a heart centre, a feeling of ease and understanding from which to give you confidence to move around.

It can be more general than you think.

My core outfit formula looks like this:

High waisted trousers

2 Top styles – Tuck in Top or Oversized & baggy (fully in or fully oversized and long!)

Modern, comfy shoes and bag.

Gold hoops.

Oversized glasses.

Oversized cocoon coat.

How will it change how I feel? 

Giving yourself time to consider how a particular style aesthetic really feels for you is enough to make you feel more in control of how your style is evolving and how much more in control you are of the process. 

And to be honest just the simplicity of not having to think too much but stick to something that works, ultimately gives you a feeling of understanding yourself and confidence that you have the power to create a style you love.


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