third piece rule  

The third piece rule transforms your outfit and elevates your style.  Your pants and top are the first and second piece.  The third piece is an extra outfit element such as a blazer or a statement accessory.

Blazer / Vest / Cardigan / Jacket

These pieces elevate a basic t-shirt or blouse.


knit blazer

Old Navy ($40) – this burgundy knit blazer totally pulls this outfit together.  It could also be worn over a blouse for work.  I bought a similar version at the Nordstrom anniversary sale and love it.


faux suede vest

Nordstrom ($170) – this vest is pricey but I think it will instantly make an outfit look cooler and more put together.  It can be worn over a sweater, blouse, or tee.  I might have to put this one in the cart.


open front cardigan

Gap (on sale now for $49) – I love this cardigan.  The color is beautiful and it upgrades your outfit from a basic t-shirt and jeans.  Also going in the cart!


duster coat

Misguided ($60) – Duster coats can upgrade any outfit.  They can be worn with anything from jeans to dresses and make your look pulled together and fashionable.


Scarf / Wrap

Scarves add a pop of pizzaz to your outfit.


paisley scarf

Nordstrom ($29) – this scarf adds so much color to your face and interest to a plain white tee or blouse.


fringe wrap

Nordstrom ($39) – this can be worn as a wrap or a scarf.  The neutral color will go with so much and will look especially great with a cream sweater or long sleeve t-shirt and tall boots.


Bold Accessory

A bold accessory is something that draws your eye to it like a statement necklace or a bold cuff.


tassel pendant necklace

BaubleBar ($42) – I love this necklace.  It adds a lot of interest to your outfit and can be worn with a lot.

Vera cuff

Nordstrom ($78) – this cuff is so cool and different.  It will definitely draw the eye and add impact to your look.



A hat is another item that can add a ton of interest to your outfit.  Pairing a floppy hot with tall boots, especially OTK ones, is a great look.


floppy hat

Target ($25)


I hope this helped explain the third piece rule and inspires you to make amazing outfits.

XOXO Michelle

Shop ROMWE for the lastest in Spring and Summer fashion


I've been obsessed with fashion and beauty since I was a little girl. I have always loved to help my friends shop and to give them beauty tips. I am so excited to have this platform to share my love for fashion and beauty with more people. I hope you enjoy this and get some great information at the same time. XOXO Michelle


  1. To be honest, to me the outfit isn’t put together until you have a third piece, it could be a purse, a nice pair of shoes, jacket, scarf. that piece has the power of elevating the entire ensembles.

  2. I really like that top blazer. This is an interesting idea. I don’t accessorize or layer much, but this might be a good way to start.

  3. I feel like this is something I always forget to do but it really does make a big difference! I will try incorporating the third piece rule into my style more often 🙂

  4. This is such a great tip! I love adding a statement piece onto what starts off as a basic outfit. My third piece would be my many, many cardigans 🙂

  5. Excellent tip! I did a post about putting outfits together and had no idea it had the name third piece rule. Now that you’ve mentioned it, it makes sense. Excellent post!

  6. Kelly Peters Reply

    Love this – lots of easy to follow advice and a simple rule of three – I’ll remember that! Thanks.

  7. Great tips! From now on when I get ready to go out, I’ll be thinking about my ‘third piece.’

  8. Love the bisguided duster coat! That color is perfect. I’m going to have to buy it now 🙂

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