Rule of Thirds in Fashion

You must probably be thinking that fashion is complicated — but before you make this conclusion, here me out. Raise your hand if one too many times you have got dressed, looked in the mirror and said “Something looks ‘off’ here” but you simply can’t put a finger on it. You may have the right colour combinations and dressed your body type well, but do you know that proportions play a big role in how well-put-together your outfit looks? This is the rule of thirds in fashion. Basically, what the rule of thirds revolves around how proportionate your outfit looks. Proportions in fashion matter because no matter how cute the individual pieces are, if the proportion of your outfit is off, it may look frumpy or unflattering.

The 1/3 to 2/3 ratio

A balanced one to one ratio looks boring whereas unbalanced proportions are interesting and pleasing to look at. Therefore, a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing division when it comes to putting together an outfit. Odd numbers generally look more natural in fashion. Basically, the rule of thirds says that when putting together an outfit, you should stick to odd numbers. This way, you get away from looking like you tried too hard to put an outfit together. In short, you look more natural! Here is how the rule of thirds works in individual pieces:


When pairing your pants with tops, make sure the rule of thirds applies here. If you are wearing high waisted pants, make sure you wear a shorter top or blouse that won’t go past your hips. Any top that goes beyond the hips will create a 50:50 ratio which is unflattering and boring. Instead, pair your pants with a top that stops right at the waist of the jeans and if it’s longer than that, you can tuck in the front to give it an edge.

If you choose to wear a jacket over your outfit, make sure that the jacket either stops at the waist or goes past hips to achieve the rule of thirds. Anything in between will look boxy and unflattering.


Achieving the rule of thirds with skirts is harder because finding the right length of a skirt is almost impossible. However, whatever the length of the skirt, getting a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio is achievable.

If you have a skirt that ends just before your knees, you can pair it with a jacket that goes past the hips such that the jacket is 2/3 of the outfit while the skirt is 1/3 of it. If the skirt is high-waisted and ends below the knee going downwards, make sure to pair this with a top that’s either tucked in or ends at the waist of the skirt. If you do decide to throw on a jacket to this outfit, make sure it also ends right at the waist.


To get the rule of thirds in dresses, you can either buy a dress that comes with a belt, or use your own belt to accentuate your waist. Additionally, you can use a jacket to achieve the 1/3 to 2/3 rule.

The rule of thirds is not an absolute but it’s a guideline that, when combined with a knowledge of how to dress for your body type, can help you dress your best.

Now if you are still fretting in front of the mirror, contact me for an in-person consultation on how to polish your style and dress your best. I look forward to helping you! Call 0715315960 or email

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