What to wear with zebra print

Back when I worked for Gap, our first fashion campaign of the year was always a neutral one. I think part of that strategy is that it’s in between seasons, so you don’t really need anything and aren’t looking to make a major statement, plus neutrals are a nice palate cleanser after all the rich colors and sparkle of the holidays. I also find myself gravitating more toward neutrals in general, although I do like a good strategically placed print or statement piece—and that’s what this look is, in a nutshell. You could wear it nearly any time of year (minus the heavier jacket) but the zebra print makes enough of a statement so that the outfit is memorable. Zebra will probably never replace leopard in everyone's hearts, but it's a fresh alternative. Here’s how to put it all together.

I bought this top a few months ago but I’m glad it’s still available in at least a few sizes. I like that it’s a zebra print that’s a bit abstract, both in its muted tones and subtlety of pattern. The shape itself is really flattering—the tie in front is adjustable, and it’s perfect for hiding a food baby. I am really short-waisted and have had trouble with peplum tops in the past, but this is just enough of a peplum to work. My one quibble with this top is that it’s polyester (it was advertised as viscose), but it actually feels nice and silky, and it (so far) doesn’t make me sweat. I usually size up with Topshop but found this one to be a bit generously cut.

I hope by now that you’re all ignoring the no-white-after-Labor-Day rule, because I sure am. (And anyway, it’s a “rule” that department stores made up to sell fall clothes while it was still hot outside.) Granted, white jeans are not a good idea when it’s snowing or raining, but it was thankfully clear in late December when we shot these. Old Navy is mostly sold out of these jeans (the power straight), but I’m hoping they bring them back in the spring, because they’re the best white jeans ever, and they run true to size.

This coat was one of my favorite purchases of last year, and it’s great for San Francisco, because it’s somewhere between a sweater and a coat—for the rest of you, it’s a solid option for spring, fall, and transitional weather in general. The sleeves are knit like a sweater and the body is woven like a coat, so it keeps out the wind when you need it to; it’s almost like wearing a vest with a sweater underneath. You last saw it with all black; I like how it ties the print to the white denim. Oh, and it runs a big large—I’m in a small.

It’s funny that I’ve featured my Gucci Brixton loafers (with tie-dye) and Allsaints tote (with a leopard skirt) once before, because I carry the latter every day to work and wear the former at least a couple times a week. The bag is so practical—it fits a laptop and I’ve even used it as a travel carry-on—although one could argue it gets a little lost against my black coat. Black shoes with white pants is also kind of a bold choice and not one I’d necessarily make in the past, but in cooler weather, it works. Also, these shoes are so freaking comfy. The leather is buttery soft and molds to your feet. They are so worth the investment. Just remember to go a half size down, as they run super big. Oh, and for the eagle-eyed, yes, I did get a new watch for Christmas. ;)

OUTFIT DETAILS: Kenneth Cole coat | Topshop blouse | Old Navy jeans | Allsaints Voltaire tote | Gucci Brixton loafers (also here)


eva @StyleMyThrift said...

I'm drawn to zebra print, but it's a tough one.....but when you paired it up with a really updated loafer, that makes all the difference! and btw, since when did they put fake grass on Maiden Lane?

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

Yes when I worked in fashion we called the first collection the transition collection. Mostly basics. And neutrals. Your top is very nice and the shoes are perfect with the outfit!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, there is always something so special and striking about a black and white look that incorporates a bit of print. This top is gorgeous and I agree that the abstract zebra print is really interesting and fun. Gorgeous outfit! Thanks for linking up.


Jessica Jannenga said...

I was looking at an olive and black zebra print sweater over the Holiday but it sold out. I really like your top, it is classy and the peplum is great for a different style. I have been wearing my white jeans too, it has been mild here in NC. Love the black textured coat with it.
jess xx

Michelle said...

Cheryl, what a great look! It skirts the border of casual and a bit dressy. You look fantastic!


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Shannon at Gamine and Stripes said...

I love this outfit. The zebra top is super cute. I have similar shoes and a coat similar to what you have on. It's so fun to see how people style pieces you have in your closet! Have a wonderful Friday!!

Nicole of High Latitude Style said...

This zebra print is interesting. Nice pairing it with a needle stripe blazer in black and white. Black & White is such an eternal classic. Great look. Thanks for joining the Top of the World Style Linkup party.

the 4 M's said...

I love the black and white monochromatic look and I should try it more often. That shirt will work well throughout the year and make each outfit a statement outfit without being over the top. Great find!

stylesplash@live.co.uk said...

I love zebra print as an alternative to leopard and snake - it works well with both neutrals and bright colours. Those loafers look so comfortable and they're so stylish. Fabulous outfit! Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx

Nikki | The Ginger Diaries said...

I personally prefer leopard, but you pull this on off so well! I love how it makes you neutral outfit pop. And I'm secretly crushing on your loafers too!

Claire Justine said...

I love your zebra print top Cheryl and how you have styled it.

Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays :)

Hope you can join us today.

Mica said...

Such a great way to wear zebra print - I can never resist adding a little colour to a neutral outfit but having a fun animal print is a nice option instead! I don't actually have any zebra print in my wardrobe, quite a bit of leopard though!

Thanks so much for joining the #WeekdayWearLinkup! A new link up is live on my blog now, I'd love you to join again.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! We went to a theme park yesterday with family visiting from Western Australia and it was so fun :)

Away From Blue

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