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Getting dressed in the morning can be such a time-consuming and frustrating process. That’s why we’re all for the three-piece outfit. Just as the name implies, it’s a foolproof combo of three pieces: a top, a bottom and a special third element (like a sharp blazer or a pair of statement shoes) that ties the whole look together and adds a bit of flair to an otherwise basic ensemble. Here, 16 examples of this magical formula in action to inspire your week of dressing ahead.

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Graphic Sweatshirt + Fitted Skirt + Pointy Flats

Casual and cozy up top but all business on the bottom. (For the winter, you can swap in tights and boots with ease.)

midi skirt
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Cropped Jacket + Crop Top + Statement Skirt

Minor differences—say, the skirt silhouette or jacket type—allow you to adapt this formula to your preferred style, the current season or the occasion.

fitted sweated
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Fitted Sweater + Wide-Leg Pants + Long-Strap Purse

The snug sweater on top balances the generous fit on the bottom, while the swinging (but structured) purse adds a touch of polish to the entire ensemble.

printed blouse
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Embellished Blouse + Relaxed Jeans + Statement Purse

Further proof that a good bag can dress up even the most casual of outfits. Also note how the small graphic pattern and fringe details on the blouse make the whole look more interesting.

RELATED: 6 Handbag Trends That Are Taking Over This Fall

tri color
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Silk Blouse + Silk Trousers + Large Clutch

Or you can keep all of the details very simple and let the color-blocking do the talking.

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Blazer + Henley Shirt + Wrap Skirt

Get a much more subtle (but no less striking) effect by wearing variants of the same shade.

sheer blouse
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Sheer Blouse + Black Pants + Colorful Bag

The transparency of the blouse and pop of color from the purse keep this look from coming off as stodgy. (Layer a camisole underneath or a blazer on top to make it more work appropriate.)

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Printed Dress + Ankle Boots + Top-Handle Bag

The greatest thing about a dress is that it’s already a complete outfit on its own. Just add a few complimentary accessories and you’re ready to roll.

track jacket
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Athletic Jacket + T-Shirt + Pleated Midi Skirt

Take your dressiest skirt and make it more wearable for everyday occasions by keeping the top casual.

long coat
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Duster Coat + Printed Dress + Strappy Heels

Just make sure the hemlines of your coat and dress are roughly the same length and you’re golden.

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trench coat
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Trench Coat + Skinny Jeans + Statement Heels

Sure, this outfit involves a few more than three pieces. But the focus is on your ankles: the long coat, the peg-leg pants and the vibrant heels. Think about how you can play with different color combinations to elevate the simplest pieces in your wardrobe.

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Double-Breasted Blazer + Straight-Leg Jeans + Loafers

A sliver of skin up top and around the ankles make this buttoned-up look anything but.

oversized sweater
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Turtleneck + Oversize Sweater + Flared Trousers

Fact: An oversize (or, ahem, stretched-out) sweater makes for an excellent outer layer because of its roomy shape.

RELATED: Proof That Men’s Clothes Look Better on Women

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Fitted Sweater + Striped Culottes + Sneakers

A fitted sweater adds shape to your silhouette when you’re rocking billowy pants.

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Turtleneck + Patterned Sweater + Midi Skirt

A tissue-thin turtleneck adds an unexpected pop of color to the mix, not to mention additional warmth. (Tip: Use it as a layering piece under any crewneck sweater.)

crop top
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Crewneck Sweater + Crop Top + Pencil Skirt

Don’t put away those summery crop tops just yet. Try wearing one over a fitted sweater to add some texture to your outfit.

RELATED: 13 Unexpected Ways to Layer Fall Clothes

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