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How To Layer Clothes Using A "Third Piece"? Fashion Tips And Advice

Updated on November 18, 2014

What Is A “Third Piece”?

A “third piece” is a piece of clothing or an accessory which can be worn with your existing outfit to enhance its overall look. I would call it a piece of layering garment or accessory. If you do not understand what I mean by "layering" then read my hub on Layering Clothes first.

It cannot be called a new concept in the world of fashion but just another fancy name to define a fashion trend. So what are the garments and accessories which fall under the category of the “third piece”? Read on to find out...

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Blazers

Blazers can act as the perfect third piece when you are dressing to look casual and yet you want that slight touch of a semi-formal look.

Add in a blazer when you are getting ready for work on a casual Friday with a pair of jeans, t-shirt and jeweled flats OR wear it even when you are out shopping or lounging with friends. It is a very classy piece for layering and instantly transforms a casual outfit into a semi-formal one.

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Mena Suvari Wearing A Blazer With Jeans And A Simple White T-Shirt

Mena Suvari: A blazer and a statement necklace instantly transforms this simple outfit into an eye catcher. Oh yes! Don't miss out on that gorgeous handbag to go with your outfit.
Mena Suvari: A blazer and a statement necklace instantly transforms this simple outfit into an eye catcher. Oh yes! Don't miss out on that gorgeous handbag to go with your outfit.

How To Style A Blazer? 11 Gorgeous Outfits With Blazers!

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The Classic Cardigan From J. Crew

Classic cardigans in solid colors are more suitable for work. Prints and patterns are more casual and can be matched with various outfits in your wardrobe.
Classic cardigans in solid colors are more suitable for work. Prints and patterns are more casual and can be matched with various outfits in your wardrobe. | Source

Classic Cardigans

A classic cardigan is the traditional, plain ole' cardigan with a crew neck!

At first glance they may seem to look old fashioned and suitable only for the older generation but they can serve as the perfect third piece for the office ensemble. Leading brands such as J. Crew, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor always have the classic cardigan in a variety of colors and patterns every season.

You can wear the cardigan with a button down shirt and a pair of black pants for work OR a tank and jeans for a more casual outing.


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Long Cardigans

Long cardigans can serve as an excellent third piece with casual outfits. The beauty of the long cardigan is that it makes you look effortlessly chic and I simply love that slouchy, yet fashionable look!

They are extremely versatile and can be worn with jeans or leggings during the winter or with a pair of shorts in the summer.

Take a long cardigan, pair it with a plain solid tank, skinny jeans (or leggings or shorts) and flats or heels and you are good to go! And because the look is so easy and effortless to achieve, I would give it the maximum points for simplicity in fashion.

If you have more time at hand, the long cardigan look can be made more stylish by adding on accessories such as a bold colored scarf or jewelry such as a long, chunky necklace, bracelet or earrings.

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Megan Fox Sizzles In Leggings And A Long Cardigan

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Megan Fox: Simple and effortlessly chic!Megan Fox: Love the slouchy look! The patterned legging  adds an element of style.
Megan Fox: Simple and effortlessly chic!
Megan Fox: Simple and effortlessly chic!
Megan Fox: Love the slouchy look! The patterned legging  adds an element of style.
Megan Fox: Love the slouchy look! The patterned legging adds an element of style.
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The Knitted Shrug

Let you shrug complement your top or dress! Don't be afraid to experiment with colors.
Let you shrug complement your top or dress! Don't be afraid to experiment with colors. | Source

Shrugs

Shrugs are cute little pieces of attire which can be used as third pieces with casual wear as well as evening gowns and dresses.

When the weather is slightly chilly and yet you want to wear that sexy halter neck dress of yours, pair it with a sequined or a velvet shrug and you wouldn’t have to worry about the weather any longer!

There are a whole bunch of other ways in which you can wear a shrug. Some examples are;

Wearing a knitted shrug over a knitted skirt and stockings OR

A lacy one with a short dress OR

Teaming them up with other winter clothing such as shawls and scarves.

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Scarves

What more can I say about scarves? They are most versatile fashion accessory ever invented! They can be worn with almost any piece of clothing and will certainly never go out of style. And yes, they are one of the most affordable fashion items in the market today.

A must for any woman’s wardrobe, they are an excellent choice for a third piece in itself or when teamed up with other pieces.

These days, the variety of scarves available are myriad and if you want to know all about how you can tie a scarf in different ways, do read my hub on Different Ways To Wear A Scarf.

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Isla Fisher's Monochromatic Style, Matching Scarf, Cardigan And Sunglasses

Isla Fisher: Monochromatic is not always boring!
Isla Fisher: Monochromatic is not always boring!
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Shawls And Wraps

Shawls and wraps work well as a third piece with an evening dress.

They can be used both for warmth and as a fashion accessory. They add elegance to your attire and can be made up of sheer, lacy fabrics or expensive silks and brocades.

You can either drape the shawl/wrap loosely below your shoulders and tuck in the loose ends around your elbows OR cover your shoulders if it gets chilly when you are outside. Either way, it adds class and style to your ensemble.

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Photo Credit: Stephan Geyer
Photo Credit: Stephan Geyer

Different Ways To Wear Your Pashmina Wrap With A Bridesmaid Dress


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Chunky Necklaces

A chunky necklace is an accessory which works well as a single piece of jewelry. Hence it can be used as a great third piece with a plain outfit. Here are some ideas;

Wear a colorful long necklace with a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt to transform your outfit from casual to dressy.

Chunky necklaces made up of colorful plastic, natural stones or shells are a perfect add on for the summer with a strapless dress or a sundress.

For a more formal occasion you can wear a choker style chunky necklace made up of semi precious or precious stones with a sexy evening dress.

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Olivia Palermo Layers Her Outfit With A Chunky Bib Necklace

Olivia Palermo: Chunky necklaces are AMAZING third pieces which can turn your outfit from casual to dressy by themselves. But remember, don't over accessorize when you wear a chunky necklace else things might look too bulky.
Olivia Palermo: Chunky necklaces are AMAZING third pieces which can turn your outfit from casual to dressy by themselves. But remember, don't over accessorize when you wear a chunky necklace else things might look too bulky.
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If you enjoyed reading my hub, DO NOT forget to share your views in the comments section below! I would appreciate it.

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Comments

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    • ponx profile imageAUTHOR

      Ponx 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thanks Faith!

    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 

      5 years ago

      Great hub! I love blazers and cardigans. Can I also just say, Olivio Palermo's shoes in your last pic are awesome!

    • ponx profile imageAUTHOR

      Ponx 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thank you yenajeon. My favorites are blazers and scarves. No matter what your body shape or size is they add glamour to your overall outfit.

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      7 years ago from California

      I absolutely love blazers, I have a gazillion. Okay like 15 not a gazillion, but they are my favorite piece to layer with! Rated Up and useful!

    • ponx profile imageAUTHOR

      Ponx 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thank you breakfastpop.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the great fashion advice. I love and appreciate the photos.

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