Rule Of Thirds


Saturday was a beautiful fall day, so we took a short drive up to Abingdon, Virginia to shop, go for a walk and enjoy a light dinner at Figaredos. We appreciate this place so much because the small servings of food are all excellent and the service is top notch. It offers a unique menu with classic Spanish tapas, brick oven pizza and selected wines. We always sit in the comfortable club chairs by the window and watch people while we unwind after spending the afternoon exploring, shopping, and looking at all the beautiful old buildings.


















































This combination of a short Clara Sunwoo biker jacket and full-length slim fit Sheri style jeans by NYDJ is a good look for me because it visually breaks my body into thirds. The top part is seen as one-third of my body, and the lower part appears as two-thirds of my body which makes me look more tall and slender.






Architecture is always more pleasing to the eye with structural balance, harmonious elements, and proper proportion. The human body also appears more attractive in certain combinations of styles and accessories over other options. When I wear a longer top, it cuts my body in half visually making me look shorter and wider so it can be tricky to get this combination to work on my 5′ 6″ frame. If you are tall and slim, with long legs, you can wear those longer tops and jackets with great success.


The biker style jacket was purchased from ShopMyFairLady.com. The jeans are from NYDJ.com. The tank top was from Chico’s a few years ago. The Calvin Klein bag was purchased at T.J.Maxx about four years ago. The shoes are by Marc Fisher from last year. The large face watch is by Michael Kors.


I do not accept paid advertising banners or popups, participate in collaborations, or do reviews of products or services. All opinions and insights shared here are my own.

Susan Street

Blogger for SusanAfter60.com

42 Comments
  1. You are an inspiration to older women. I just found your blog and FB a few months ago. I have been going through a rough time and have decided to take control of my life again. Instead of being frumpy I am changing my diet and attitude. I am 63 years old. I love that you posted about Abingdon Va. We are searching for places to move after Hubby retires and that is one City we are thinking about. The pictures look beautiful.

  2. You look great & what a beautiful town. Love the photos of the fall scenery, older buildings & mossy stones. Gorgeous! Appreciate the 1/3 top 2/3 bottom demo photo as well…was very helpful. Big thanks for no annoying banners & pop ups! Great post.

  3. I, too, am 5’6″ and have to admit I never thought about shorter top making my legs look longer. I’ve always bought longer tops to cover my waist and hips. I’ve already started following your tip about wearing shoes the same tone as my pants. I’ll have to think about the shorter tops but I do wonder if you would think they would draw attention to my heavier waist and hip area rather than camouflaging it?

    Your look is great and the town looks like it would be such fun to explore. I think it is sad how political correctness is trying to destroy the heritage of these southern cities.

  4. I enjoy your blog and especially appreciate being able to read your posts without two or three banners popping up and interfering with being able to see the page. I have stopped reading some bloggers who accept so much advertising that you can’t see THEIR content. I also appreciate that you wear your clothes over and over. Most of us can’t buy a new piece of clothing every day and only wear it once or twice. Thank you for the lovely fall pictures as well!

  5. I love the pictures. What a lovely town! I also love that jacket. What fabric is it? You look beautiful, as always

  6. Just want to let you know I appreciate your “clean” blog site. When I click on your email, I know I can get to your site, read today’s article and click on any links I’m interested in. I know everything will work. Other sites with a million ads, banners and images take forever to load and I often give up and just hit delete. Keep up the great job!

  7. Such a lovely town – you must take photos early to avoid people milling around. It has been so crowded in NYC lately (although it is always crowded!) that I never see any street at any time without people on it.

    I always think of proportion when dressing and totally agree that the silhouette and as they call it “the golden ratio” is so important in creating a flattering look.

  8. Thank you for the pictures showing your snazzy outfits and how beautiful you look in them. I am struggling for the proper lengths, looks, and items for petite size women. I am 5′ and would love to know what is best for me.

    1. Always make sure your clothing fits you well. Show ankles and wristbones often. Keep handbags and other accessories in proportion. Wear one color from top to bottom so that you don’t have too many horizontal breaks on your body. Find a petite style icon who you admire and study what makes her looks successful. I searched “petite style” on Pinterest and found more than 140 suggestions and links to articles that might be helpful to you.

      1. Thank you for your much appreciated fashion advice! I wish I could take you shopping with me!!! Living in Pennsylvania provides us with 4 seasons for acquiring appropriate clothing. All seasons offer beautiful scenery. You are so inspiring and look awesome in whatever you wear.

  9. Could you advise what material the tank from Chicos is made of. I have browsed their site but there are several. Thanks!!! Love this look on you!!!

    1. I would make sure that my jackets stopped at the most slender part of my hips. Never created a horizontal line across your widest portion. A long top that hugs a part you may consider large, might be showcasing that part of you instead of hiding it.

  10. Is there a Code for My Fair Lady this month? I tried Nov17 and it didn’t work. Thanks Susan. I should have ordered that jacket when you first showcased it.

  11. Hi Susan,
    Another post with great ideas, stunning pictures, and you looking great.
    We travel to NH in the summer from Texas and stop in Abingdon. Because we have our dog we have to have takeout from the Tavern…They always include real silverware and napkins, and we leave them at their front door the next morning. Their weinerschnitzel is the best! One of our favorite towns. Hope to be back this summer, but we were flooded in Houston, so we are hoping for the best. Thanks for memories of our last few summers better days.
    Holly Rigby

  12. This is such a flattering outfit on you Susan – you always look great, but even more so in this. I love that the jacket has a slight peplum look and defines and slims the waistline and the shades of grey are perfect colours on you.

  13. I love this outfit. Thank you for sharing pictures of this lovely town.
    I’m 5’4″ and your formula of thirds works best for me as you have shown it. However, I did succumb to leggings and therefore have several tunics.

  14. What a beautiful place to visit. Great photographs of the scenery, including you, Susan! The jacket and jeans are so good looking.

  15. Wow! The photos are gorgeous, but you are even more so! If only I could look that good in a pair of jeans. Sigh. If only I had those genes! Hahahaha! Can’t wait to try Figaredo’s. The menu looks delish. Thanks for the wonderful fashion advice. Time to rethink my “thirds”!

  16. Susan, I’ve just come across your page and can’t say thank you enough.
    I live in Australia and getting proper advice on clothes and how to wear them and with what is great and you look fabulous!Marie

  17. What beautiful pictures of both you and Abingdon. Thank you again for continuing to educate us without all those pop ups and ads. Your illustration of the thirds principle has certainly got me thinking again.

  18. Hi Susan, What do you say about women who are short. I am barely 5 feet and weigh 120. My bone structure is average and I have a straighter figure, not curvy. What would you recommend for me with regard to proportion?

  19. Susan, I have followed you for some years and I have learned so much. I appreciate all you share to help the rest of us learn what you have figured out on your journey. By, the way, I think your outfit today is one of your best ever — I really like the short jacket on you!
    I have a question and I hope you have some insight for me.
    I am 5 feet 4 inches, have full bust (but not huge), a short waist and a tummy, but I do have a waist and hips. Legs and arms are thin. I weight about 144. I really love the look of scarves, especially the longer, rectangular ones looped around the neck and tied in various clever ways. They are such attractive accents on most people. But, they look horrible on me! They seem to just add weight to my chest and leave me looking cluttered. They don’t do anything to give a longer, leaner look.
    Am I choosing the wrong scarves, the wrong fabric or shape, using the wrong knot? Or is it me and my build? Is this something I need to accept as just not a look that will work for me?
    Your thoughts would me most appreciated!
    Susan (in Texas, where we don’t wear scarves too often anyway!)

    1. I have a very full bust so avoid scarves although I love the chic look they can create and the color/style they add to an outfit. I also find the lighter weight the scarf the better for this middle age woman, even in Chicago! I did a quick search for styling scarves for full busts and there were multiple videos out there. Good luck!

  20. Lovely look — clean and classic with a bit of edge! What do you think of shorter jackets for women with fuller busts and bellies? I’ve heard to avoid them so the jacket doesn’t break at the fullest point — the belly. Do you think this rule of thirds is for all shapes/sizes? Curious. Thanks! I am delighted to follow along and learn more.

    1. My best jacket style has one button which I rarely close. It ends where my legs bend or mid-behind. I often push up the sleeves. Showing the full length of my leg works best for me with low heel shoes.

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am sixty, I am honoring this new decade with a great new website SusanAfter60.com

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