by admin on May 13, 2012

just two are fine but blah (even though the dog likes it!)

most of us can sense intuitively that there is something special about the number three.  in writing, a list of two feels incomplete, a list of four feels clunky, while a list of three feels…….just right.  in the visual arts, groupings of three are said to be pleasing to the eye.  when it comes to families, the noirs have found three to be an ideal number as well.  (there, that’s three!)  esme can imagine that three has special properties in mathematics, physics, and the biological sciences (there’s that 3 again) but she will rely on her sciencey readers (are you listening phashion plate?) to fill her in on this one.

esme has recently had an astonishing insight about the role of three in fashion.  how to explain?  employing the principles learned in her fashion class, she has been paying particular attention to the way different pieces in her closet or in the stores combine to create a complete outfit.  esme tends to think of an outfit as a top and a bottom (usually a tee shirt or blouse and jeans or pants).  at the most basic level, these 2 pieces must harmonized with each other in color, shape, and texture (3 ha ha!).

so esme put on her light khaki pants and her teal linen sweater and took a look at herself in the mirror.  she looked fine, but kind of blah.  and then it struck her like a lightening bold (a coup de foudre if you will):  she needed a third piece to tie the teal and the khaki together! something that would include both colors, or at least their relations.  a scarf.  a jacket.  just the right shoes.

esme searched frantically through her closet and drawers.  she was on a mission and even the need to get to the pool before the sun was high could not deter her.  she found a wonderful blue/cream/and yellow scarf that she had bought years ago in santa fe.  the blue was just off, but it would be perfect if she switched the teal sweater for a recently purchased blue t.  she tried her fawn-colored leather jacket—naah.  finally she emerged with a very old multi-colored cotton jacket in a sort of indian print with blues and browns and tans and reds (oops that’s 4): now the outfit popped!

a third piece ties it all together (photos courtesy of mr. noir)

i know that many of you have known how to make your garments speak to each other for years.  many of esme’s friends and family seem to understand this intuitively.  but for esme, who is not a primarily visual person, it has taken 58 years to truly “get” the rule of three. indeed, esme has been so thrilled by this insight that she is lying awake at night putting together outfits in her head!

truly, one is never too old to learn,





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