How to Apply The Rule of Thirds

Woman posing in front of a clothing rack while holding a black hat; she's wearing long sleeve graphic tee, boyfriend cut jacket, gray skinny jeans

When it comes to style rules, we are firm believers that a few should be thrown out the window. For instance, the rule that you should always dress according to your age. We believe in wearing what feels YOU appropriate, not age appropriate. But because fashion is a visual medium, there’s one particular rule we love, and that’s the rule of thirds.

What is the rule of thirds? Simply put, it’s a guideline to create more proportionate looks that flatter your body. Because this is a visual rule, check out these ways to apply the rule of thirds when wearing leggings, pants and midi/maxi dresses.

rule of thirds for leggings

When it comes to leggings, the rule of thirds is all about choosing the right top. If you’re wearing printed leggings, pair them with a solid top in a complementary color. If your leggings are solid, look for a top with some visual interest like ruffles or a print. And if you want to go for a monochromatic look, choose leggings and a top in the same color family.

rule of thirds for pants

Pants are probably the easiest clothing item to style with the rule of thirds. If you’re wearing wide-leg pants, pair them with a fitted top or sweater. If you’re wearing skinny jeans, look for a top that’s looser and more relaxed. And if you want to go for a cropped pant, choose a top with some volume like a peplum blouse or billowy sleeves.

rule of thirds for midi/maxi dresses

Midi and maxi dresses are also great for styling with the rule of thirds. If you’re wearing a fitted dress, pair it with a jacket or cardigan that hits at the hip. If you’re wearing a loose-fitting dress, choose a belt to cinch in your waist and create some visual interest. And if you want to go for an ultra-relaxed look, layer your dress over pants or leggings.

So there you have it, a few ways to apply the rule of thirds to your everyday outfits. We hope you found this helpful and that you’ll start experimenting with this style rule the next time you get dressed!

Do you have any other tips for how to style leggings, pants or dresses using the rule of thirds? Share them with us in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more outfit inspiration, be sure to check out Outfit Formulas for inspiration for stylish everyday looks. Happy styling!

February 11, 2022
by outfitformulas

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