The third piece rule is a buzz-phrase in the fashion world right now about a simple way to complete any outfit, making it look thoughtful and stylish. It basically states that outfits need to be comprised of more than a bottom (piece 1) and a top (piece 2). Two pieces, even if they're very nice pieces, can make for a pretty underwhelming look, so it's good to take a look in the mirror and determine what third piece you can add to take your look to the next level.
According to the "rule," shoes don't count in this equation, though I would argue that if you have on a killer pair of shoes, maybe making everything else simple will suffice. Nevertheless, here are some examples of how I've added third pieces to my clients' wardrobes and to my own:
JACKETS AND CARDIGANS
STATEMENT JEWELRY AND BELTS
SCARVES AND HATS
There's nothing at all stopping you from adding a fourth or fifth piece to the mix (as seen in some of the above pictures), but the idea is that jeans and a t-shirt are plain. Jeans, a t-shirt and a structured blazer are noteworthy. A pencil skirt and blouse are average. Add a statement necklace, and you've got yourself a look worthy of an Instagram post!
Next time you leave the house, will you add a third piece?
As a personal stylist in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another. Let's connect!