Today's Everyday Fashion: The 5-Piece Rule

Be still my nerdy little heart. There is something about this buttoned-up preppy look that I absolutely love! I know I do the pencil skirt/cardigan/belt look often, but here is why: the 5-piece rule. I have no idea how I came up with this idea, but essentially in my head an outfit is not complete unless there are five pieces. That can be shoes, cardigan, skirt, shirt and belt (like today's look) and a statement necklace or a fun purse would also count. I think outfits with less pieces are less visually appealing for some reason. (And is a huge reason why I end up wearing a belt most days, I need my fifth piece of flare!) Art is certainly not scientific and I'm sure I could find plenty of outfits with less than five pieces that are amazing (evening wear being a good example) but on most days I follow this rule when getting dressed. Tell me - do you ever count the number of items in your outfit?

Inspiration photo: Snapped with my phone at J. Crew
Sweater: LOFT, $20
Shirt: Limited, really old
Belt: Urban Outfitters, $20
Skirt: Limited, $38
Shoes: Restricted via Endless, $40
Purse: River Island, $60
Earrings: c/o Mikel Maia
watch: Michael Kors, family gift

1. Nordstrom pea green cardigan, $46.90
2. Banana Republic leopard belt, $49.50
3. Rugby striped shirt, $37.49