15 Lessons We Learned from Obsessing Over Zendaya's Fiercely Cool Style
Zendaya is so cool, she doesn't even really need a last name (it's Coleman, FYI), a privilege earned by only a very select group of people (among them: Cher, Rihanna, Beyonce, Adele, Oprah, and Madonna). That means, at just 19 years old, Zendaya has, quite literally, made a name for herself. And she did it through her musical talent, her formidable sense of style, and her responsibility to be the perfect role model—by shutting down the haters, taking a stance against bullying, speaking out against sexism and racism, and partnering up with do-good causes.
Basically, Zendaya is an all-around awesome person. It's no wonder she runs in Queen Bey's circle (she made a cameo in her Lemonade visual album). Of course, that level of awesomeness would translate into a stellar fashion track record, featuring one incredibly strong look after another. Let's just say, there's a lot to learn here. The higher the fashion risk = the greater the pay off. And Zendaya is no stranger to taking a risk. From her penchant for tailored suit separates (some boldly saturated in surprising shades, others cut from unexpected fabrics) to edgy takes on girly dresses, find out how to sartorially channel Zendaya—and maybe shut down an Internet troll while you're at it.
Lesson: Master Monochromatism
Move over, Lupita Nyong'o, we found the next queen of monochrome—Zendaya struck bold in her fuchsia Christian Siriano suit separates and shirt. If a color as vibrant as fuchsia is just a touch too bright for your taste, try a softer, more approachable shade first, like dove gray or baby blue.
Lesson: Bring Foil Metallics Into Day
High-shine foil metallics in silver or gold are traditionally reserved for the evening. Take them into daytime territory with a slightly oversize, slouchy white button-down. Effortless, polished, and still glam.
Lesson: Embrace Volume
Crank up the drama with a ton of volume. Zendaya went with exaggerated wide-leg flares, courtesy of Rosie Assoulin, but balanced the sweeping silhouette with a fitted midriff-baring one-shoulder top.
Lesson: Lessen the Girliness
Got a too-girly dress? Zendaya gave her bow-adorned dress an edgy kick with killer open-toe cage booties.
Lesson: Sharpen Up Pastels
Sleek menswear separates instantly knocks down the sweetness factor that comes with pretty springtime pastels. But then Zendaya amped up the glam with a sexy silvery tank and mirrored pumps, which together, achieved a cool tonal effect.
Lesson: Do Stripe on Stripe
Stripes that all run in the same direction? Please. That's so elementary. Zendaya changed things up and mixed horizontal bands with vertical pleats, tying it all together with coordinated sandals that picked up one shade from the color scheme—scarlet red.
Lesson: Remember the Greats
The star paid homage to the legendary David Bowie with her 2016 Grammys look, but she did it in the chicest way possible. That means no over-the-top theatrics or obsenely costume-y elements. She took inspiration from his Thin White Duke persona and translated that into a sharp double-breasted blazer, a tailored pant, and a crisp shirt.
Lesson: Give Sweats Some Street-Chic Appeal
Zendaya's take on athleisure: A fitted one-piece (versus sweat separates or a tracksuit), round '70s-inspired sunnies, layered necklaces, and cool camo kicks.
Lesson: Harden a Delicate Slip
With its lingerie roots, a slinky lace-trimmed dress can seem too delicate and too sexy at once. Counter it with a black leather jacket and suede over-the-knee boots.
Lesson: Experiment with Texture
The starlet jumped ahead to next season when she walked the red carpet in a slim velvet suit. She further pushed the envelope by styling her plushy separates with nothing but a gunmetal bralet and boots.
Lesson: Show Off a Statement Piece
If you're like Zendaya and own a jaw-dropping pair of strappy sandals that buckle all the way up your thigh, then you best put them on display. She did it with a sheer black gown cut with a dangerously high slit.
Lesson: Break Up Too Much Denim
We're all for doubling up on denim, but too much of the same fabric in the same wash can seem flat. Zendaya added dimension and interest with a leopard-print topper and sleek boots (her destroyed denim helped, too).
Lesson: Max Out on Matched Sets
Be bold and play matchmaker with a coordinated set. Got evening plans? Find one that boasts a satiny pajama-y feel for an irresistibly alluring effect.
Lesson: Anchor with Black Accents
Zendaya played up the contrast from her pretty outlined graphic dress with a slew of black finishing touches, including a '90-inspired choker and bejeweled platform sandals.
Lesson: Color-Block with Coordinates
Zendaya achieved a pretty neat color-blocking effect when she layered a tweed lemon-yellow jacket with a matching bralet, and then pitted them against optic white skinnies and pumps. Also cool: mixing a ladylike textile with a utilitarian fabric like denim. (Sidenote: Baring your midriff, completely optional.)