The Rule of 3

You may be thinking, “Which Rule of 3?”  There are so many – the rule of 3 that says –


  • An outfit should have at least 3 pieces
  • Think about your body in thirds
  • If you see or hear about something 3 times, it’s a trend
  • Never wear more than 3 colors at a time
  • Describe your style in 3 words


But the Rule of 3 that I’m thinking about is centered around whether you should keep something in your wardrobe.  Specifically, the rule is: if you can’t wear something more than 3 ways, maybe it’s time to part ways.


The past few months I’ve been thinking very critically about my closet, primarily driven by 3 things (see, there it is again!):


  • A desire to trim down my closet, because that is the responsible thing to do.  So says my husband.  Plus, we’re running out of hangers.
  • A desire to create a functional wardrobe.  I’ve really been drawn to this concept of a capsule wardrobe – 40ish pieces that can be mixed and matched to make it feel like I have a closet full of clothes.  So I’m really trying to shift my philosophy to “Buy Better, Buy Less”.
  • A desire to generate lots of style and outfit inspiration for social media without having to go broke doing it.


So I’ve sort of challenged myself to consider each article of clothing I have and whether I can create at least 3 different outfits with that piece.  If I can, then it’s probably a keeper.  But if I can’t, then I need to be objective about whether I really need to keep it.  Maybe there’s an emotional attachment, or maybe it’s an investment piece, or a statement piece where I can justify keeping it, but otherwise, out it goes.


It’s only been a couple of weeks since I started doing this, and it’s going to take me some time to get through my entire wardrobe, but I’m already seeing the benefits.  One, it feels SO GOOD to thin out my closet to things I actually want to wear, and not just skip past and think ‘someday’.  Second, I’m rediscovering how many great things I already have in my closet.  I really don’t need to be spending a bunch of money to have a new outfit for every thing that comes up.  My husband is so proud.  (That said, I am now focused on developing my own framework for what pieces you should have in a capsule wardrobe.  So it’s not like I won’t be buying anything.  Rather I’ll be buying high quality, foundational pieces that are versatile and will have longevity – ie, aren’t too trendy.  Stay tuned for future blog posts as a I develop this framework!)


Below are a few recent examples of me taking pieces from my closet and creating 3 different looks.

Zara Asymmetrical Button Down

ba&sh Embellished Hoodie

Zara Menswear Trousers

ba&sh Puff Sleeve Sweater

Madewell White Button Down

Now I can’t take all the credit for this philosophy.  I picked this up from stylist Natalie Tincher, founder of BU Style.  But it’s really resonated with me, and I hope it does for you as well.  If you’re in need of a closet consultation, let me know!