My Dresscapades
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Raiding Zoey Johnson’s Closet

Along with her A Different World-esque Black-ish spinoff, it’s only right that Zoey Johnson’s wardrobe rise to the standard set by its predecessor. Not only did we look to Denise Huxtable for inspiration during her tenure on The Cosby Show but once on A Different World, we also got Whitley and her “bad and bougie” outfits, Dwayne’s African touches, and—let’s admit it—Ron’s bright silk shirts even captured our attention.

Grown-ish ushers in a new class of trendsetters and I feel comfortable speaking for us all in stating that we can’t get enough of Zoey Johnson’s threads, in particular. But honestly: the mixed prints, the bright colors, the statement pieces… I for one don’t have the Zoey-brand chutzpah it takes to carry such dynamic attire. However, I’m a quick study and I’ve managed to whittle  Zoey’s haute magic down to 5 pieces around which to build a Zoey Johnson look. Walk with me, won’t you?

Statement Jackets

The easiest (and safest) way to Zoey-up your look is with a bold jacket—a blazer, a bomber, a kimono. The wonderful thing about a statement jacket is that you don’t have to invest too much thought into the rest of your look. A graphic tee and a pair of jeans or black twill pants will pair nicely with any of the options below.

Keep scrolling for the Whitney Houston tee!

Find it at ASOS

Find it at TOPSHOP

Find it at Nordstrom Rack


Sweatshirts and Graphic Tees

Graphic tees and sweatshirts are another staple in Zoey’s closet that give her style voice and intrigue. Unlike the most of us, however, Zoey doesn’t always go the easy route and wear her graphic tees with plain old jeans. 

A graphic tee with an animal print pencil skirt or window pane slacks—this could be a surefire way to pull of the daunting mixed-print look. (Oh, we’re going to address it). But, fine, these graphic tees and sweatshirts will look great with jeans, too.

Try this sweatshirt with a chambray button down underneath and statement earrings.

Find it at Grass-Fields

Pair this graphic tee with a camouflage bomber and black twill pants. 

Find it at Mess in a Bottle

Wear this over-sized with black athletic-striped tights and sneakers.

Find it ASOS

Take a page right out of Zoey’s look book and wear this with the denim jacket above.

Find it at Nasty Gal


Stripes… Going Every Which Way

Look, I know stripes aren’t for every body but because you don’t need to add much else to the look when you’re wearing a garment with intriguing stripes—this is the go-to pattern when your closet’s got you fatigued. (RAISES HAND! Me every night before work, though.) Zoey’s not shy about rocking any kind of stripe she so pleases: vertical, horizontal, multi-directional, two-tone, multi-colored. You pick the adventure.

Keep it stupid simple or do that crazy pattern-mixing thing. But please don’t be shy about  adding these stripes to your wardrobe.

I just bought this and plan on wearing it with a blazer and mules. Give your outfit a nod to Zoey with a colored or graphic tee underneath and platform sneakers.

Find it at Target

There are matching pants to go with this striped and fringe pajama top. Not much to think about here.

Find it at MANGO

This is a look in and of itself. But I see Zoey owning this dress with large earrings and covetable hair-do.

Find it at TOPSHOP


Bold Prints and Textures

(And then Mix and Match ‘Em)

We’re here. Are you ready?

Zoey mixes prints like a pro and I’m still struggling to catch up. Though her tricks are not always apparent to the untrained eye, the “2-fer deal” dress above is a safe place for novices to start. When it comes to mixing, Zoey approaches the task with no fear. For the fearful, you could always pair a print with a one-tone texture like lace or wear, say, a floral print with a “neutral” print like leopard or stripes or keep your two prints in the same color family.  I, personally, don’t mix and match myself but I’ve been known to love a bold print and you still get points for that. Whether or not you’re up for the task, these bold prints have Zoey’s name written all over them and are primed for mingling.

Try this top with a denim pencil skirt and fringe boots. Or with red window-pane pants.

Find it at TOPSHOP

When in doubt, a graphic tee-shirt will do. But you could also spring for a cream and black striped top.

Find it at BERIQISU

I’m telling you, graphic tee-shirts make the world go round. Though a striped jersey column dress works too.

Find it at TOPSHOP


Turban Headbands

Ever notice how Zoey finishes off some of her looks with a knotted or turban headband? Lucky for us, they’re not hard to find and can complete any look. 

Find it at Fanm Djanm

Find it at Forever 21

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