Ask a Stylist: What is a Third-Piece?

If you’ve come across the fashion phrase ‘Third-Piece’ recently and have been wondering what it means, you’ve come to the right place. Short answer: It’s the cleverest styling trick. Read on to find out how you can use it to your advantage. 

What is a Third-Piece?
Think of a Third-Piece as that piece of clothing or accessory that not only completes your outfit, but also has the potential of taking your look to the next level of chic. A Third-Piece can be a jacket, vest or a piece of jewelry. 

I’ve heard about the Third-Piece Rule. What is that about?
As the story goes, the Third-Piece Rule started off as a suggested outfit guideline at Nordstrom. Store employees were often encouraged to complete their outfit with a Third-Piece because it made the outfit look more put together. It’s hard to contain a clever styling trick like this so it quickly made its way out of the department store and right into an it girl’s handbook. 

How can I use this rule to be more stylish?
It’s easy! The Third-Piece Rule is the one-step upgrade even for the most basic outfit. Think of your jeans as your first piece and your tee as a second piece. Now take it up a notch by adding a statement vest, staple blazer or even simple yet glam gold hoops. Remember not to confuse a Third-Piece as a statement layer or accessory. It can even be a classic black jacket that pulls your look together, it doesn’t have to be a fringe cape. Think of it as that something extra to help transform your basic outfit to basically fabulous. 


 

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