Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Third Piece

The piece is not The Third Piece

Too young to have seen "The Third Man" at its 1949 release, I do remember before that time no one had heard of the zither. After "The Third Man" no one wanted to hear zither music ever again. I finally got around to watching this film noir classic but haven't quite determined what it was about.

In the fashion lexicon "the third piece" is infinitely easier to understand. This is what makes a look, creates an outfit, ties it together, makes it zing. It's what you add when you feel something's missing.

What the third piece can be:

> Jacket— not one that matches your skirt or pants (then it's a suit). This jacket has its own personality.

> Cardigan— A simpler, sophisticated one perhaps. Holiday sweaters need not apply.

> Vest— Watch it as vests go in and out of fashion. Sometimes it's a man's vest, sometimes a bolero. Today's vest is of the giant Sherpa variety that can make one look like a Yeti.

> Belt— a statement belt, not a flimsy little thing that disappears at twenty paces

> Scarf— of noticeable size, color and/or pattern. The male equivalent of this would be his tie.

> Chunky necklace— or necklaces— that are a focal point, not a trinket

What the third piece can't be:

> Shoes— No matter how wonderful on their own, it takes too long to process shoes as an essential component of your look. Besides, there are two of them.

> Leg wear— Tres important but can't stand on its own (pun intended).

> Handbag— too peripheral. Besides, unless you're the Queen you put it down sometimes.

Coco: Which was the last to go?

One needn't stop at three, but you do have to know when to stop. Coco Chanel believed in taking the last piece off; Iris Apfel says she adds one more.

Iris: Room for one more?

1 comment:

  1. Love this post! I think I finally found one of those vests that do not make one look like a behemoth! Banana Republic's version!