Some of the best outfits follow this quick formula.

By Samantha Sutton
Aug 11, 2020 @ 6:18 pm
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There have been plenty of mornings where I've examined my outfit in the mirror, only to realize it's missing...um...something. More often than not, the solution involves swapping out my shoes, or adding a few key accessories (and now, celebrities have convinced me it's worth coordinating my mask, too). Still, I've definitely gone overboard at time, adding one too many extras, causing me to wonder: is there a trick that ensures you'll always find that happy medium?

Looking at street style images, I discovered there was, indeed, a popular yet subtle fashion formula, which I've since named the 'Plus-3 Rule.' Unlike other hacks out there that count the exact number of pieces to add to your look, this one focuses only on the statement-making additions (accessories, shoes, and layers) that take your outfit to a whole new level.

For example, let's say you're wearing a basic black dress and simple black slides. Alone, that combo might seem unexciting. However, with the Plus-3 Rule, you could add a shiny pendant necklace, a belt, and floppy hat — three pieces that would all be eye-catching on their own. You could also take a different route. By following the same rule, you might trade out your slides, which otherwise blend in with your outfit, and wear red heels instead. In place of the belt and hat, a fuzzy cardigan and a silk scarf would have a similar, fashion-forward effect.

The way I describe the method in my head is 'Bam, bam, bam,' noting the three pieces that my eyes gravitate to first. But, it's best to explain it through photos. Ahead, take a look at some outfits that incorporate the Plus-3 Rule.

A Jacket + Drop Earrings + Silver Boots

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We already know that blazers have the power to transform a look, and in this case, the gold earrings really stand out against the dark colors. Black boots would have been the more predictable route, but instead, she opted for a metallic pair, providing that third and final statement.

With this rule, I also ignore the pieces that don't necessarily make or break the outfit. So, even though the bag and glasses are a nice touch, without them, it would still be just as fun.

A Bandana + Chain Necklace + Hoops

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Without accessories, this look is essentially a white button-d0wn, jeans, and sneakers — a tried and true classic. It's the three accessories that really turn it into something playful and modern.

Earrings + a Scarf + a Colorful Bag

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Normally, I wouldn't include a bag in this rule, since it's possible you won't be carrying it all day long. But, the green design does add that little splash of color and the scarf also adds a unique twist. The third 'bam' in this case are the earrings, which add the final, dainty touch.

A Beret + a Chain + Blue Platforms

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Despite the fact that this outfit includes more than three accessories, these are the pieces that immediately command your attention and pack a punch. The blue shoes also make it all the more special.

Glasses + Earrings + Red Sandals

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For me, it's always tricky to accessorize on warm days — less tends to be more, especially when you're trying to stay cool. But, a few small additions, like clear glasses (which can be worn indoors!), a bold earring, and a colorful shoe, makes all the difference.

An Orange Jacket + a Necklace + Blue Slides

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It's the colorful and shiny pieces that really wowed this time around, spicing up the basic t-shirt and skirt combo.

A Blazer + Pendant Necklace + Chunky Sandals

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Although these glasses really pop, once they come off indoors, the key pieces of this ensemble will be the necklace, the shoes, and the light pink blazer.

Necklaces + Earrings + a Vest

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The layered necklaces act as a single, attention-grabbing piece, so I'm counting them as one item. Plus, without the large earrings and the vest, the outfit would be rather simple.

A Hat + Necklace + Socks

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Here, it's about what you would notice from far away. The hat, of course, stands out, and the Y-necklace provides a nice contrast against the white shirt. The final detail is the ankle socks, which quickly change up the look and give it a 2020 spin.