Let's Talk About the 'Third Piece Rule'

Okay, guys. You've probably all heard about the 'Third Piece' rule by now. The 'third piece' rule is basically just that there always needs to be a third piece to your outfit. So if you're wearing a shirt and pants, you have to add a scarf, or a piece of statement jewelry, or a jacket, etc.
Let me just start by saying that I really like this rule. I think it's a good way to elevate your outfit from being just a cute outfit, to truly being stylish. Mastering this trick (which I still haven't done yet) is kind of a goal for me; being able to find the perfect third piece that works with your outfit instead of ruining it and making it too much is, to me, a sign of being truly stylish. For example, if your style is more boho, and you're wearing your third piece, someone else who's style is more classic would even have to admit that your outfit is stylish (even if they'd never wear it themselves). The third piece is what shows that you know how to put pieces together and make it work. It's what shows you're truly stylish.
But is that true?
I don't always follow this rule. Well, actually I hardly ever follow this rule, because most of the time off-the-blog you'll find me in jeans in a t-shirt, or some outfit like that that is simple yet cute. The outfits I display on the blog are the ones that I think are actually stylish, and worthy of being shared with you guys. I try to always make sure that my hair is decent and my nails look nice and my makeup is done whenever I take pictures; I want the look to be complete. However, only about half or maybe less than half of the outfits I've posted on Thrifty Toppings have a third piece. Take these two outfits as examples:

Like I said, I am far from having mastered the art of the third piece; a lot of my outfits I can't actually think of one that would go with my outfit. Well, that's not true- a statement necklace would go with either of these outfits. But I don't always like statement necklaces and I don't always want to wear them. Even if I think they would go with my outfit and be a good third piece, I don't always want to wear one because it brings my outfit in a direction that I didn't want to go. It just doesn't fit with the type of style that I was going for. Does that mean I have to force myself to wear one if I want to be seen as stylish?
But then that contradicts what I was saying earlier, about the third piece rule being a way for all different styles to look stylish. If I'm forcing myself to wear something that doesn't go with the style I was trying to encapsulate that day, then I'm fitting myself into a box to be stylish, which I think no one should ever do. I firmly believe that you should wear whatever you like with confidence. And I think one of the main things that help a person to be considered stylish by other people is actually just that the person is confident in what they're wearing.
And I'm not sure what all counts as a third piece. In the first picture in this post I'm wearing a cardigan with a dress. Does that make the cardigan a second piece or a third piece? In the second picture of this post I'm wearing a belt. Does that count as a third piece? What about sunglasses? Do they count?
So, anyway. This post has no conclusion I guess, it was just kind of for me to share my thoughts on this. Again, I really do like this rule, but I don't think it's necessary to follow it all the time. Of course it's not- if you take anything away from this post take this: wear what you like with confidence, because you are fabulous. What do you guys think about the third piece rule? Let me know in the comments, I wanna hear some opinions!


  1. Hey!

    I just found your blog and I can't wait to see more content! I love the pictures in this post!!


    1. Thank you Katie, you just made my day!