our everyday life

Ways to Wear Zebra Stripes

by Jennifer Blair

Animal prints always add a little spice to an outfit, but when you wear zebra stripes, you get maximum impact. The sharp contrast between the white and black instantly helps you stand out in a crowd, but its boldness can be difficult to style. Pair zebra stripes with everything from understated neutrals to vivid brights to feel comfortable in any occasion.

Keep It Neutral

Since zebra stripes are bold on their own, pairing them with neutral pieces is many times the safest option. Wear a zebra V-neck sweater with a black pencil skirt and pumps, or rock a white button-down blouse with a zebra-print A-line skirt and simple black pumps when you’re headed to work. For a casual look, wear a zebra-striped T-shirt with gray skinny jeans and knee high boots. Since denim works as a neutral, you can also pair a sequin zebra-stripe tank with your favorite dark-wash jeans and black stilettos for a sexy evening ensemble.

Add Color

Typical black and white zebra stripes may make an eye-catching pattern, but they're also the kind of neutral color combo that can work with virtually any shade in your wardrobe. For a bold look, pair your zebra stripes with more colorful brights. When you’re going out for the night, wear a fitted zebra skirt with a red satin blouse and black stiletto heels for a sultry vibe. For a casual weekend outfit, slip on a zebra-stripe sweater with cobalt skinny jeans and black ballet flats. If you’re wearing a zebra-stripe maxi dress, add turquoise or lime green wedges to spice it up. You can also pair zebra stripes with softer colors like pastels -- try zebra shorts with a mint green tank and metallic gladiator sandals for a stylish summer look.

Mix Patterns

When you're looking to turn heads, try mixing zebra stripes with another pattern. To keep your outfit from appearing too busy, choose a small-scale pattern that features black or white so there’s a common color palette. Pair a swingy zebra-stripe skirt with a black and white polka-dot tank and black sandals for a fun, flirty look, or top a zebra-stripe column dress with a delicate red and white floral cardigan to jazz it up.

Go Subtle

If you’re feeling a little self-conscious in a bold zebra-stripe dress or blouse, opt for small doses of the print instead by incorporating zebra accessories. Jazz up a plain black blouse with a zebra scarf or carry a zebra-print handbag with a red shift dress. When you’re wearing a simple emerald sweater with dark wash jeans, give your outfit some personality by adding zebra-stripe pumps. Enamel jewelry that features zebra stripes like earrings or bangle bracelets are also subtle ways to spice up a plain outfit.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images