What to Wear With a Black Zip-Up Sweater

Kristen Stewart stays casual in a vintage T-shirt and black zip sweater.

Photo: Matt Carr/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A basic black sweater is kind of like a blank canvas: You're pretty much free to add whatever your fashionista heart desires. You don't have to worry about matching or clashing, so your main style decision is what kind of vibe you want. Whether you want to look tough and cool or fun and feminine, your zippered companion will fit in just fine.

Dress Down

If you're a logical, no fuss kind of gal, then don't overthink this style conundrum. A zip-up sweater isn't haute couture, so there's no reason you have to put on airs. Just wear that baby with its typical partners: A comfortable pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Fashion doesn't always have to be tricky or fussy: Just take a look at Twilight babe Kristen Stewart and her casual, effortless style. If you want to amp up your casual vibe just a little, opt for skinny jeans and a slim white tee for a dressier, fitted look.

Dress Up

A zip-up sweater definitely isn't the dressiest piece in your wardrobe, but that doesn't mean you have to maintain that same low profile with your other pieces. Part of the fun of wearing something fancy with something casual is the contrast, so go ahead and glam up under that sweater. Slip on a sequined top and a shiny black satin skirt, or wear an always appropriate little black dress and your favorite fancy heels. Next, throw on some flashy jewelry to play off the metal zipper on your sweater, like some big silver earrings or a rhinestone brooch. If you want to tone it down just a tad, opt for some classic fitted black pants and a dressy black blouse.

Tough Looks

Channel your inner motorcycle goth by pairing your sweater with some tough accompaniments -- all in black, naturally. Slip on some tight stretchy black denim jeans and a fitted black T-shirt, or rock a vintage rock band shirt. Play off that tough metal zipper with a studded belt and some leather biker boots with zips or metal buckles. For just a hint of spice to go with this danger-babe ensemble, wear a coat of super-glam red lipstick.

Get Fun and Feminine

A black zippered sweater has a bit of a masculine vibe, so why not feminize it with some flirty, girly pieces? Wear a cute camisole-style tank with some lace detailing to take the edge off, or try a gauzy, ruffly blouse with plenty of softness and movement. Pair these with some cute capri pants or a bubble skirt. Also, don't be afraid to bring on the color. Bright florals and funky neons will totally spice up a sober black sweater.

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