The Concept of the Third Piece

If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to add a third piece to a lot of my outfits. This, this and this look, are just some of the few. The concept of the third piece is simply adding one last item to your outfit to make it more complete.




This can be anything from vests, jackets, scarves, hats or statement pieces such as necklaces and earrings. For more on the Third Piece, see my blogger friend Erika’s post on it. She expertly styles this concept with finesse! olive-shein-long-line-vest-topshop-mini-skirt



Whew…did we have bad storms last night! There were tornado and thunderstorm warnings and watches everywhere. Yesterday was a beautiful day, but sure enough, it brought some nasty storms and hail along with it. If any of you experienced these, I hope you are all safe and sound!



Skirt: Topshop // T-shirt: Target (super old, similar) // Trench vest: Shein c/o (currently sold out, try this option, here, here, here + more linked below!) // Necklace: Baublebar // Watch: Michael Kors // Bracelets: Alex + Ani 1, 2; Baublebar (old, love this, this, this + especially this!)// Booties: French Connection (exact here, similar here, more options here, here, here + here) // Clutch: Forever 21 (sold out, similar here, love this!) // Sunnies: Karen Walker via DITTO c/o (a sunglasses subscription service, kinda like Netflix for your sunnies!, use code STYLEINASMALLTOWN to try it out + get your first month free!)

Howie was a special kind of looney during the storms last night. He’s a puggle, so half pug, half beagle and 100% energy! From what I’ve seen, most pugs like to take baths, get wet, etc. Not my Howie, he HATES getting wet. So when he had to go to the bathroom he’d run around the house like a crazy man and when he wasn’t doing that, he was hiding under the blanket on my lap. This did not make for very successful blogging last night, but oh well. I secretly loved it! #puppymommaproblems

For those of you who have pets, do they act crazy in storms too?

I can’t believe that we are half way through the week. I am taking a girl’s trip at the end of the week and those kinds of weeks usually seem to drag on. Follow me on Instagram to find out what I’m going to pack and where I’m going!

As always, thanks for reading!

xoxo, Hillary

Photography by: Tony Kerr

Shop the post:

Shop other vest + outerwear options:

This post contains affiliate links. As always, thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Style in a Small Town.

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  • Such a wonderful look! Head to toe perfection! I love how you matched your sunnies with this cool booties, and the third piece made a wonderful cornerstone for your outfit! Perfect! 🙂

    • Hillary

      Thank you so much Stella and thanks for reading! xx

  • This denim skirt is adorable! Xoxo Mindy

    • Hillary

      Thanks Mindy! It’s a recent addition and I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of it! xx

  • I love the thought of adding a third piece to outfits! It elevates the look, yet is so simple to implement.

    • Hillary

      It’s a very simple addition! Thank you for the sweet compliments! xx

  • Hey girl! Just wanted to let you know that I included this post in my “I Adore What I Click” series on my blog now! Check it out: Xox

    • Hillary

      That’s so cool! Thanks again, Dana, for including me your blog! It looks great! 🙂 xx

  • I’m all about the 3 Piece Rule!! Love this look! You look gorg!! XO

    • Hillary

      Right!? It’s one of the few fashion “rules” that I actually follow! You’re so sweet! Thank you so much, Jamie! 🙂 xx

  • LOVE the concept of a third piece!! It really adds an extra element to the outfit and makes it look completely done without being too much. Great post! Will definitely remember this when I am pulling looks 🙂


    • Hillary

      Thanks Lauren! I wish I could take credit for it! Lol It’s pretty ingenious! 😉 xx

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  • This has got to be one of my favorite looks you have worn so far! I love that you paired stripes and leopard and I would have never thought of pairing a trench vest with it. I have the same skirt and vest too.

    Amanda ||

    • Hillary

      That’s so sweet of you to say! I love discovering new ways to style items already in my closet. You can totally rock this look! xx

  • LOVE that trench! I like how you styled it.

    ∞ © ∞

    • Hillary

      Thank you Tanvi! xx

  • Loveee this trench vest!! Including in my series, I Adore What I Click, which will be posted on Monday!

    Xox Dana Ivy //

    • Hillary

      So cool! Thanks Dana, I can’t wait to check it out! xx

  • We have two cats and they just get scared & hide under the chairs and couch if they can. The loud sounds just scare them, but they don’t necessarily find comfort with us which is kind of funny. Cats are so independent lol, they refuse to come to us to comfort them in that time haha! I love this outfit & I was just thinking how cool this background is! xx

    • Hillary

      Thanks, the building actually belongs to a plumber, I think! Lol I’ve never had cats before, but I hear they are super independent! I love having a pet, they are so entertaining! 😉 xx

  • Love this outfit! You look fantastic! I’ve been toying with picking up a sleeveless trench, they are so versatile and fun to style!

    xoxo Bree

    • Hillary

      Thank you so much, Bree! You should totally get one, I love mine! xx

  • I gotta think about the concept of the third piece more often. It makes perfect sense and you do it pretty well!

    • Thanks lady! It’s not something that you really think too much about, but it really pulls a look together! xx

  • Love this look Hillary! You styled it to perfection. That vest is amazing and loving the necklace. 🙂

    • Hillary

      Thanks Kathrine, that’s so sweet of you to say! Hope you’re having a nice week! xx

  • Love this outfit so much and thanks for the shout out! I’ve been thinking about investing in a sleeveless trench, now I think I might have to! The army green is also great because its so versatile!

    • Hillary

      No, thank you for the inspiration! I totally forgot about this key styling concept, thank you so much for reminding me and for being the perfect example! I love army green – it’s become such a basic in my closet! xx