Fashion / Style

Why is everyone on TikTok talking about the ‘Three Word Method’?

three word method personal style

Fashion TikTok can be a haven for upcycling ideas, thrifting re-works and trend analysis ideal for on the go consumption. The latest exploit of the social media community is the idea of the three word method, to help streamline personal style. Amongst the new trends cropping up each week (hello kidcore, balletcore and twee style) it can be easy to lose our own essence in the chaos. Read on as we learn more about the three word method and what it means for personal style. 

What is the three word method? 

As it sounds, the three word method is employing three words to describe your personal style, placing a definition on it to make it clear and concise for yourself when shopping and styling yourself in a look. The term was created by New York stylist Allison Bornstein and quickly spread across TikTok. 

The adjectives used can also be aspirational to define your dream garments or style, something we are all familiar with. Words don’t need to be coherent and can juxtapose one another, something which may prove beneficial in helping keep your style fresh yet true to yourself. 

Think of three celebrities whose style transcends time, and define it with three words that spring to mind. For the sake examples, we’ve chosen Alexa Chung, Lady Gaga and PJ Harvey. 


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A post shared by Alexa Chung (@alexachung)


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A post shared by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)


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A post shared by PJ Harvey (@pjharveyofficial)

Alexa Chung can easily be described as preppy, twee and retro, whereas Mother Monster is experimental, raw and timeless. With PJ Harvey, we see androgyny, grunge and eclecticism pepper looks throughout her style. Not all words used to describe the three are synonymous, yet are applicable to elements of their style. 

Why should I be using the three word method? 

When we define our personal style, we are clearly breaking down the garments and accessories we feel most comfortable in. In turn, this can help reduce unnecessary, on-a-whim purchases that don’t make sense your wardrobe, and will likely only be worn a handful of times. This can help curb buyers regret, unnecessary waste and save you money in the process. 

The three word method also leans into the idea curating a capsule wardrobe based on your personal style. Capsule wardrobes are a popular method whereby a selection of staple items in your wardrobe are paired interchangeably with one another on high rotation, streamlining your outfit choices and making dressing a more efficient task. 

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Image: Instagram