The third piece is often the one that takes an outfit to the next level by making it look more finished, pulled together, fashionable and interesting. The most common third piece is a topper of sorts, but that’s not your only option. Take your pick depending on the outfit, weather, and your style preferences. Some third pieces are more subtle than others.
Topper: Cardigans, jackets, vests and coats are common third pieces. It’s amazing how a fun topper makes a simple top and bottom shine their brightest. Trendy cardigans are great to wear at home or when you’re after a topper with extra comfort. Vests are a super option for hot weather. And if you work in an air-conditioned office, jackets are often an insulating necessity.
Extra Top: Layering two tops over one another creates an interesting effect, like wearing a pullover or cropped top over a blouse or shirt. Or wearing a blouse over another blouse, leaving the layered blouse open. You can create a fun pattern mixed look this way.
Scarf: Adding a scarf to an outfit creates visual drama. Add one in a print or solid. Wear it large and voluminous over a top, or wear it small and tucked away like a cravat inside a shirt collar. Wear lightweight and gauzy cotton and linen scarves in Spring and Summer, and heavier weight scarves in Autumn and Winter.
There are also accessories that I wouldn’t refer to as a third piece, but that definitely have the potential to take an outfit to a completely different level. The most obvious examples here are handbags and footwear, but there are also other options.
Belt: A belt does a wonderful job of adding polish to an outfit. The oh-so-fashionable partial tucking of tops has made belts more popular than ever. Adding a waist cinching belt to a top or dress is just as fashionable these days, as is the low-slung hip belt.
Statement Necklace: Adding a large necklace, pendant necklace, or strand of chunky beads to an outfit definitely makes it more interesting. Feel free to layer a few at a time. Dainty necklaces are less visually impactful and don’t do quite as good a job as the only third piece. Dainty necklaces (and earrings) do a better job of complementing an outfit.
Statement Earrings: Like necklaces, bolder and bigger earrings make for a more impactful third piece. Blogger Kilee, who we featured a few months ago, is all about adding statement earrings to her outfits and the strategy is very successful.
Eyewear: Your glasses can add a dramatic effect, much like a statement necklace or pair of earrings. That’s why I often refer to specs as “my jewellery”.
I REALLY enjoy jackets and can wear them frequently in our mild climate, making toppers my most frequently sported third piece. Here is my Jacket Capsule, complete with custom finds.
I also enjoy my one and only vest and a few scarves from time to time. I often wear a belt. I used to wear statement pearl necklaces, but these days my style is jewellery-free (unless you count my specs as jewellery, which I wear each day and all day).
Which third pieces do you use to complete your outfits? And do you have favourite accessories that you use to elevate your outfits?