The Third Piece

the third piece how to give your outfit personalityBetween the frigid cold, the non-stop snow (#CLEisfrozen) and my sore legs (two consecutive days of intense spin classes will do that to you!), I spent a good amount of my weekend catching up on my reading. Bookmarked news articles, online blog posts, magazines, even a parenting book (I can use all of the help I can get these days)… you name it, and I’ve probably read it. In full disclosure, I binge watched some trash reality TV, too.

One of the perks of these intense reading sessions, is that I get some great ideas for blog posts in addition to a sh*t ton of useless pop-culture. That ugly dress is totally blue and black, by the way. Anyway… one of the more notable things I read focused on the retail side of fashion and the specific dress codes that dictate how various retailers’ employees should dress for work. Small variations and nuances aside, the one consistent theme across all the dress codes (stores like Madewell, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, etc. were referenced) is that “a third piece” should always be included.

So, what’s a third piece?

Consider you shirt piece #1 and your pants/skirt piece #2… the third piece is the extra that brings personality and actual style into an outfit. It’s that special something that takes something very plain and utilitarian and makes it unique to the wearer. The third piece can take the same 1 + 2 combination and switch up the look completely.


Guess what else?

It’s your lucky day! You already own a number of third piece items: a jacket, a scarf, a statement necklace, or shoe. When styled well, these assorted clothes/accessories can work magic in your wardrobe.

Downtown Edge: SHIRT // PANTS // JACKET // LOAFERS (these loafers have been in my shopping cart all weekend… pull the trigger, or no?) // CLUTCH

Uptown Girl: SHIRT // PANTS // VEST // HAT // FLATS // BAG

Off-Duty Cool: SHIRT // PANTS // SWEATSHIRT // SNEAKERS // BAG (just as cool as the 3x as expensive MANSUR GAVRIEL I’ve been coveting for months!)

While the outfits above are more transitional looks for spring, the third piece is not just for cooler climates. The third piece can (and should) also be incorporated in the summer using lightweight layers and bold accessories. A well-fitted DENIM JACKET is probably my most utilized third piece once the summer rolls around.

How do YOU incorporate a third piece into your daily looks?



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