The Law of Three: Why Every Item in My Closet Must Make 3 outfits (or more)

I have talked about my law of three many times on this blog but today I thought I would show you the process in real life.  What is the law of three?  Every new piece I add to my wardrobe must be able to create three looks.  It’s a simple rule but you would be amazed how many pieces don’t make the cut.  The rule initially started because my closet is tiny!  #VeryTiny When I started traveling more, though, it became a great rule to help make packing easier.  If every piece in your wardrobe can create multiple looks … you need less pieces (both in your closet and suitcase).

As I have been cleaning out my closet, I’ve also used the law of three to determine the fate of a piece I’m on the fence about.  If I can’t multitask it … it definitely isn’t staying!  One of the items in this post was actually listed on eBay but the pants may have just saved it!!  #MakesThreeNow

The Law of Three Process

So how do I implement the Law of Three?  First I pull everything out of my closet that I think I could possible wear with the new item.  I typically avoid testing white or black, however.  For the most part, those two colors will work with anything so it isn’t really a fair test.  I then start trying on all the possible looks.  Sometimes what looks good in my head doesn’t work and sometimes what I am skeptical will look good actually works great.  #NeverKnow

Image of Rebecca Taylor Suiting Flare Pants

A note about the pants used for this demonstration … I have been looking for a pair of clay/rose colored pants for awhile.  Last weekend I found a pair at Nordstrom Rack – they have some sizes online.  In looking for them online, I did find another Rebecca Taylor pair the same color but different style.  I also found two other pairs in a similar style and color. Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative).  This post is not really about the pants, though.  It’s about the process of making a closet multitask!!  Many of my pieces are older but whenever possible I did provide a link or a similar alternative.   These lovely pants do also come in black and navy if you do want to make it all about the pants.  #AlsoOrderedNavy  

The Law of Three with Blazers

Once all the potential coordinating pieces are identified, the first thing I do is confirm that it works with a suit jacket or blazer.  Since most of my working days are spent wearing one … this is often the highest criteria on my list.  If I can’t make a jacket work … there is a high likelihood that it will not end up staying!  I usually try several different colors and cuts to get a feel for what is going to work and what isn’t.  For these pants I ended up trying six jackets.  I assume navy and black will also work but I didn’t pull those out.  Below are the pictures with the six jackets I tried.  A few of them I like way better than others but all of these looks could got to the office!  #JacketWinner

First up was this plaid blazer I recently grabbed from Target.  You cannot tell from the picture but there is pink stripes throughout the blazer.

Target Blazer | Target Blouse (similar) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

Next up, this Veronica Beard Blazer that I LOVE but struggle to make multitask.  The stripes on the blazer are really red and blue but I think this works.  If I was wearing this for real I would likely change out my heels for navy to better coordinate with the blazer.

Veronica Beard Blazer (old) | Philosophy Blouse (alternative or similar) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

Up next, one of my favorite blazers … this floral jacquard beauty from Theory.  I love the way this one looks with these pants and I’m always looking for a good excuse to wear this blazer!

Theory Blazer (alternative) | MM.Lafleur Top | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

Having confirmed that traditional blazers look great with the pants, I decided to try a couple of different cuts to make sure the pants can truly multitask!!  This draped moto is from Zara and is something I frequently toss on with dresses but I love that it works here!

Zara Faux Moto (VERY similar and similar in blue) | Halogen  Top | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

Next up a long line blazer.  I love that this looks great as well.  You cannot tell but the blazer actually does have pink in the houndstooth pattern.

Veronica Beard Blazer (VERY similar) | MM.Lafleur Blouse | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Reiss Heels

Lastly, I did try these pants with a white jacket simply to confirm that I could wear them year round.  #SpringFever

Veronica Beard Blazer (alternative) | Alice + Olivia Blouse (current version) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Reiss Heels

The Law of Three with Solid Blouses

Now for the business casual looks.  You saw a few of the the blouses that I tossed blazers over above.  Below area all the blouses I tried with the pants.  Many of these have been in my closet for awhile but I did try and find similar pieces.  Again, this is really about stretching the looks for each piece in your closet.  Ignore my crazy-I’ve changed shirts-how-many-times-at-this-point-hair in a few of these pictures.

This first look proves that navy is an excellent choice for these pants which is a good thing because I have a closet full of it!!

MM.Lafleur Top | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

My love for monotone looks means that I always try pieces with a similar color.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

This lighter pink is a great hue for theses pants and it was really fun with the draped moto over (see above).

Halogen  Top | | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

This is one that surprised me.  I did not like the two pieces when I held them up together but once I put them on, they work.  This sweater is very orange compared to the pants but they are on the same side of the color wheel and it works.  If I needed a blazer here, I would probably opt for navy and I would add a scarf or a statement necklace to pull everything together.

Asos Top | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

The Law of Three with Patterned Blouses

With three solid options that work, I also like to try different patterns.  This first blouse is not my favorite pairing on it’s own but it did look okay once I added the blazer (see above).

Philosophy Blouse (alternative or similar) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

This next blouse is one of my favorites with the pants.  I could add a navy or pink blazer if required.  I love the mixed print and the details of the blouse though!  My blouse is VERY old Boden and I couldn’t really find anything similar but I did find a good alternative that is now in my cart.  #Happens

Boden (alternative) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

This top was actually listed on eBay last week.  I pulled the listing when I saw how great it looked with these pants!  It literally saved itself !!  I love the contrasting green and pink.  I typically pair this blouse with my camel colored blazer.  It’s old and there is NOTHING like it!  #Sorry

Very Old Top | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

I always have to try stripes!!  Again, this wasn’t my favorite look by itself but the shirt did look nice with the blazer over (see above).

Target Blouse (Currently In Store) | Rebecca Taylor Pants (Same Color, Alternative or Alternative) | Ted Baker Heels

Hopefully that gives you more insight into the Law of Three that I am constantly mentioning.  With these steps you can apply the same rule to pieces in your closet (or your shopping bags).

These pants clearly earned their hanger!!  Look for them on the feed soon as they get to make a real OOTD debut!!

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