What is TikTok’s Viral ‘Sandwich Rule’? Stylist Reveals All…

By now, we’re no stranger to some pretty random TikTok trends – we’re looking at you sardinecore – but every once in a while a trend comes around that can *actually* elevate our wardrobes.

‘Sandwich dressing’ or the ‘sandwich rule’ is a straightforward concept – think of your top and your shoes as the bread and your bottoms/skirt as the filling and match them accordingly.

The hashtags #sandwichrule and #sandwichdressing have over 239.8 billion views combined with many users swearing by this hack and showing other users how they make it work for their personal style. Although this idea has been subconsciously in our minds and on the pages of fashion magazines for a long time, the term was first coined by Instagram fashion influencer Lydia Tomlinson, who shares helpful styling tips and tricks on her aesthetic IG feed. 

You can also make this rule fit your personal style too. For example, this TikTok-er explains how she likes to use neutral colours in her sandwich dressing, whilst this user shows us how sandwich dressing works for statement pieces that have lots of different colours and prints in them.

In order to get to the bottom of this trend and save us some scrolling time, we’ve asked Megan Watkins, Head Stylist of online fashion destination SilkFred, to give us the rundown on ‘sandwich dressing’ and let us in on how we can pull this look off for ourselves.

1. What is the ‘sandwich’ rule?

Megan says: “First popularised by Instagram fashion guru, Lydia Tomlinson, and since popularised by viral TikTok clips such as this one, ‘sandwich dressing’ is a sure-fire way to create a killer outfit that will make you look put together with very little effort.”

“When it comes to styling, the ‘sandwich’ rule is all about colour and balance. If you think about a sandwich – bread on top, filling in the middle and bread on the bottom – the symmetry of the bread is what ties your sandwich together. This rule also applies to the colours and accents in your outfit.”

2. Why does ‘sandwich dressing’ work?

Megan reveals: “’Sandwich dressing’ has proven to be such a popular formula because it’s easy to pull off & always looks good. An outfit all in one colour – let’s say grey – can look a little boring and one-note – whereas if you simply swap out your grey knit for a white sweater and pull on some white trainers your outfit becomes seamlessly balanced and super stylish.”

3. How can I nail ‘sandwich dressing’?

Megan recommends: “The best thing about ‘sandwich dressing’ is that it’s so easy. Just like your favourite sub, you need to build your outfit from the top down. Pick a colour for your top, find a ‘filling’, AKA trousers or a skirt, and match the colour of your top to your shoes.”

“As this TikTok-er shows us, you can also start with statement trousers and pick out colour accents in those trousers for the other parts of your outfit. The best thing about sandwich dressing is that you can play around with your filling, for example, with an interesting fabric such as silk – which you can match with a silk headscarf or headband.”

“You can also pull this look off by matching accessories – for example, a black hat with black boots or a grey blazer with grey socks. ‘Sandwich dressing’ is all about picking key colours from your outfit and creating symmetry.”

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.