There is a certain harmony to nature, and we would do well to learn it. Even better, as we emulate it in our daily lives, we usually find that life becomes much easier.
Your sense of fashion is a slave to nature as well. One of the most effective rules to follow, especially if you are in fashion rut, is the incredible Rule of Thirds.
The Rule of Thirds is an unofficial axiom that seems to work everywhere that it is seen. There is a reason that the most famous stories in our literature refer constantly to thirds – the Holy Trinity of the Church, the three little pigs in the children’s tale or the Three Musketeers of Alexandre Dumas. The Chinese culture considers 3 the perfect number, it is the sacred number of Mayan women and 3 represents the number of the cosmos – sky, earth and limbo.
Let’s pivot this idea to fashion. It is probably not a coincidence that there are three primary colors – red, blue and yellow. Mixing red, blue and yellow in various forms can lead you to nearly every other color in the visible spectrum. If you want to know the nuances of fashion, the first thing to master is the use of primary colors. (Topic to a soon to come post: What are the real primary colors?)
One of the best ways to get a great color scheme going is to pick one of the primary colors and “split” it into 1/3 and 2/3 among your basic clothing elements. For instance, if you are wearing a light blue top, go with pants that have a dark blue hue. Better yet, go with a color such as green (a secondary color if you are dealing with paint but truly one of the primary colors of light as far as biology goes. I will explain that notion in my future post mention above).
The magic of the Golden Ratio
If you are feeling lazy (but you still need to look good in public), one of the easiest ways to cultivate a great look is to use the Rule of Thirds. Create a look with 3 pieces. Your shirt and pants count as 2 of those pieces, so all you really need to choose is one more! The extra element, which may be a blazer, belt, scarf or vest, gives life to the outfit without overplaying your hand.
Odd numbers generally look more natural in fashion. Contrary to popular belief, nature does not always occur in balance – even identical twins have small differences in their looks and personalities. When you stick to odd numbers, you get away from looking like you tried too hard to put an outfit together. In short, you look more natural.
Look to the Golden Ratio for more evidence of the Rule of Thirds and ideas for your next fashion statement. The Golden Ratio states that a ratio of 1/3 or 2/3 is the most artistically pleasing division of a space. This works with any space, and this is why you will never see any famous artist or photograph who places a central element in a painting or photo in the exact center of the easel.
The three items that you have chosen for your new look should be divided by the Rule of Thirds as well. Unbalance the proportion instead of trying to make your upper body look the exact same length as your lower body. For instance, when you wear a skirt with a high waist, tuck in your shirt so that your legs look like they take up 2/3 of your body. If you are wearing a longer shirt, leave only 1/3 of your legs showing. Try it in the mirror compared to a 1/2 ratio and see how much the Golden Ratio works to your favor!
Photography by Marie-Claude Viola Make-up by Geneviève Lacelle MUA
Coat & Bag – m0851 Scarf – Frank And Oak Gloves – H&M (old)
There is a reason that I use the Rule of Thirds in the title of my blog 3C Style – the 3Cs stand for Classic, Contemporary and Chic. How is it that those three words seem to summarize everything that I am talking about here? Stop fighting it – build your fashion sense this season with an attitude of submitting to nature, and you will be cultivating unique, beautiful looks in no time.
Lastly, if you cannot quite get your look right the first time using these new rules of nature that you have learned, don’t give up on it the first try. Give it a second chance, and even a third. The third time is the charm, right? Remember – use nature to your advantage instead of fighting it!