The Power of the Third Piece: Look #1


This week is all about the power that happens in a wardrobe when style for women over 50 is focused around adding a third piece.  One of the ways I keep my clothing youthful, approachable, and current is to use a third piece to reflect who I am and send the messages I desire to send with my choices.  Our clothing always says something about us and if we take the time to look in the mirror and ask WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT ME then we are in control of the clothes and not the other way around.

First, I have great basics and have purposefully worked to obtain workhorse items that serve many roles.  The majority of my pants and tops are strong neutrals with an occasional color (like the tank I am wearing today) that will work for many outfits.

Of course, I wear printed pants and you have seen me in them often.  But, I feel most like me when I am wearing the solids and allow the third piece to have the fun and do the talking.

My husband and I have begun a Friday night dinner out tradition.  We start our weekend with a fun meal and a place we like.  At dinner on Friday, we found ourselves once again discussing how boring our names are…Pam and Bill.  You don’t get more basic than that.  Since I went through my makeover at 50, I started to use Pamela more often…because I just liked it better.

We laughed on Friday and picked names we would go by if we could change them.  We became Kathryn and Thomas!  Kathryn and Thomas kind of took on their own personalities over the weekend!!  It took 24 hours for me to decide that I was a Kat and not a Katies for a nickname!  But, Mr. B only wanted Thomas …absolutely no Tom or Tommy for him!  It was fun…but, let’s face it, it is not us.  And sometimes it is fun to wear clothing that is not you for certain occasions, however, I rarely do it.  I feel most confident when I wear something that I know is Pam-style.

Pam-style most often includes the third piece.  The third -piece- power is that it can give me confidence, polish, strength, and joy all at the same time.  How casual or creative I want to be in the moment is up to the third piece and the accessories.  This outfit is all about the colors of autumn.  The third piece Taos Cardi is from Soft Surroundings and has a touch of wool in it though if feels very lightweight.  I have this piece and what is left of the Metro Leggings in the slide show below (since I am wearing them today)  I also found some fun third pieces for you.  The long tank is Eileen Fisher and I purchased it on clearance a couple of years ago.

One of the readers asked last week what I am looking at when I look to the side.  It is usually something in the dresses or landscaping which catches my attention.  At this shoot, it was the morning sun peeking in the trees.  Sometimes it is the neighbors walking by with pets.

More about the third-piece later in the week.  I want every one of you to know I appreciate this audience very much.  You honor and humble me by being here.  So, have an amazing beginning to your week and


Disclaimer:  The cardi was gifted to me but the words are my own.


  1. I always wear a third/completer piece, even in the heat of summer. However, as an introvert I wear pattern as a base layer with a solid jacket. I think bold prints suit you and your style well, but I need them to whisper, not shout.

    1. Good way to describe the whisper and the shout! Believe it or not, there are days I whisper! Thanks for being here!

  2. I’m definitely a “third piece” dresser other than casual, at home chores kind of day. Whether at the office or out and about casual, I like that third piece to give me the look I’m feeling for the day. I wear both a whisper and shout (I like that phrase).

  3. I really like your outfit. You have a wonderful smile and I appreciate all of your suggestions. Have a nice week.

  4. Lovely outfit, Pam! I laughed when I read your name choices — my best friend’s name is Kathryn and my son-in-law is Thomas. Neither use nicknames! Your use of the third piece is so timely right now as temperatures allow more layers. Thanks for th einspiration.

  5. I think we always feel our best when we stay true to our personal style. More than once I have purchased something because of how it looked on someone else, only to feel as if I were wearing someone else’s clothes when I tried to wear it.
    I got a chuckle out of your story about your names. My friends & I have discussed what we would be named it we had chosen our own names. My choices would have been Amanda or Candace, though I’m not sure why.

    1. I have no idea why I love Kathryn, Becky! Maybe I will write a novel about a Kathryn!! Thanks for sharing your names.

  6. What a fun way to start a weekend! I can just imagine how you look forward to that! Now you’ve got me thinking of a fun tradition to incorporate into my routine. The third, or completer, piece is a perfect way to add interest to an outfit. It’s easy to see how it’s done in your outfit shown here. It really does make a difference! Glad for you that you enjoyed some cooler breezes today!

  7. Pretty topper! I find myself leaning more toward pretty prints/colors, and a topper fits the bill. If I get too uncomfortable with “my look”, I can easily change it. Lol. – …Love your name, Pam! I’ve never been particularly fond of mine, but I guess it fits me! ?

  8. It’s funny how we feel about our name. I never liked Sharon……would have preferred something a little more romantic like Meredith or Lauren. Kathryn is also lovely also! I really like some of the third pieces that you highlighted in your slide show. It’s fun to be able to dress them up or down with different accessories and bottoms. You look terrific!

    1. Thanks Sharon! I love to dress this way and one of my best friends in high school was named Sharon! Always loved that name!

  9. Dear Pamela: I love your blog! You look great in these pictures — the tank is an especially good fall color for you. I just wanted to write to express my gratitude for your blog work — I really enjoy your posts.

    When you take pictures, I hope you will consider looking into the camera more often, rather than off to the side for many pictures. You have a natural, engaging smile which adds to your presence. Just a thought, like the difference between an A and an A+. While that may sound like criticism, I don’t mean it to be. Thank you for your hard work!

  10. I’m not sure why, but I think Kathryn suits you! I’ve always thought that if I had to change my name, I’d probably choose Danielle. My mother always said that if she’d had another daughter she would have named her Danielle, so maybe that’s where the idea originated.

    I do like wearing a third piece if for no other reason that it adds warmth which we need much of the year here in Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.