We all know the rule of the Third Piece, right? If not, it’s the styling guideline Nordstrom used to give to their employees to put together, well, a put-together look. It has since been popularized by blogs, style guides, and stylists like myself. The rule is simple: add a third piece to finish your look and up your style game. That can be a jacket, blazer, vest, or cardigan. It can also be an accessory like a hat, statement necklace, scarf, or belt.
But, hello, when it’s a sweltering summer day in the DMV, you are certainly not going to layer or scarf up your look. So, how do you cultivate style in the spring and summer with two pieces? Here are some easy ways to up your style as the temperatures rise by wearing only two pieces.
Adding an animal print shoe will always finish a look that is only two pieces. This leopard-print loafer is perfect for a non-layered, business casual look that is a long- or short-sleeve blouse with slim-fit ankle pants.
Look for tie details in either tops or trousers. This can be a blouse that ties at the hip and finishes your two-piece look without a jacket. Or, it can be a high-rise paper bag waist trouser like this Veronica Beard pair. Wear with a simple t-shirt or collared shirt and heels and your look feels finished without a third piece.
I have been talking about creating a “column of color” for a chic, polished look. A monochromatic look elongates the body line under a blazer, jacket, or cardigan. This works for two-piece dressing as well. Creating a one-color look mimics a dress or jumpsuit and automatically looks like a complete outfit.
You will think of blouses less as a base layer and more like a stand-alone. The tops that work best as stand-alone pieces have a shift-like shape, pleating or belting, or even details that mimic blazers like this double-breasted blouse.
I did this last post on my love of the wide-leg cropped silhouette. I am loving it this season for two-piece dressing. The trouser makes such a statement that keeping it sans third piece and just with a simple blouse works so perfectly.
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