Getting dressed in the morning can be such a time-consuming and frustrating process. That’s why we’re all for the three-piece outfit. Just as the name implies, it’s a foolproof combo of three pieces: a top, a bottom and a special third element (like a sharp blazer or a pair of statement shoes) that ties the whole look together and adds a bit of flair to an otherwise basic ensemble. Here, 16 examples of this magical formula in action to inspire your week of dressing ahead.
GRAPHIC SWEATSHIRT + FITTED SKIRT + POINTY FLATS
Casual and cozy up top but all business on the bottom. (For the winter, you can swap in tights and boots with ease.)
CROPPED JACKET + CROP TOP + STATEMENT SKIRT
Minor differences—say, the skirt silhouette or jacket type—allow you to adapt this formula to your preferred style, the current season or the occasion.
FITTED SWEATER + WIDE-LEG PANTS + LONG-STRAP PURSE
The snug sweater on top balances the generous fit on the bottom, while the swinging (but structured) purse adds a touch of polish to the entire ensemble.
SILK BLOUSE + SILK TROUSERS + LARGE CLUTCH
Or you can keep all of the details very simple and let the color-blocking do the talking.
BLAZER + HENLEY SHIRT + WRAP SKIRT
Get a much more subtle (but no less striking) effect by wearing variants of the same shade.
PRINTED DRESS + ANKLE BOOTS + TOP-HANDLE BAG
The greatest thing about a dress is that it’s already a complete outfit on its own. Just add a few complimentary accessories and you’re ready to roll.
ATHLETIC JACKET + T-SHIRT + PLEATED MIDI SKIRT
Take your dressiest skirt and make it more wearable for everyday occasions by keeping the top casual.
TRENCH COAT + SKINNY JEANS + STATEMENT HEELS
Sure, this outfit involves a few more than three pieces. But the focus is on your ankles: the long coat, the peg-leg pants and the vibrant heels. Think about how you can play with different color combinations to elevate the simplest pieces in your wardrobe.
DOUBLE-BREASTED BLAZER + STRAIGHT-LEG JEANS + LOAFERS
A sliver of skin up top and around the ankles make this buttoned-up look anything but.
TURTLENECK + OVERSIZE SWEATER + FLARED TROUSERS
Fact: An oversize (or, ahem, stretched-out) sweater makes for an excellent outer layer because of its roomy shape.
FITTED SWEATER + STRIPED CULOTTES + SNEAKERS
A fitted sweater adds shape to your silhouette when you’re rocking billowy pants.
TURTLENECK + PATTERNED SWEATER + MIDI SKIRT
A tissue-thin turtleneck adds an unexpected pop of color to the mix, not to mention additional warmth. (Tip: Use it as a layering piece under any crewneck sweater.)
CREWNECK SWEATER + CROP TOP + PENCIL SKIRT
Don’t put away those summery crop tops just yet. Try wearing one over a fitted sweater to add some texture to your outfit.