Have you ever wondered why, exactly, high-waist jeans are so flattering? Or why knee-high boots feel much easier to style than booties or thigh-high boots? The reason has a lot to do with the Rule of Thirds, and even if you’re not planning on wearing jeans or boots, it’s an incredibly important fashion hack to know if you want to transform your outfits from merely cute to completely fabulous.
What’s the Rule of Thirds, you ask? It’s actually a term borrowed from the art world. It refers to a theory of composition (i.e., how you frame a painting or photograph) that suggests the most interesting images have their focal points anywhere but the middle of the frame. Specifically, it posits that the most compelling images can be broken into thirds, either vertically or horizontally, rather than cut in half. Steven Spielberg actually dedicated an entire scene of his 2022 hit The Fabelmans to explaining the Rule of Thirds. In the scene, John Ford (played by David Lynch) tells a young Spielberg, “When the horizon’s at the bottom, it’s interesting. When the horizon’s at the top, it’s interesting. When the horizon’s in the middle, it’s boring as shit.”