Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

College Fashion Trend: Exposed Zippers


College Fashion Trend: Exposed Zippers

This semester I have definitely noticed a lot of exposed zippers, and at first, I felt uneasy about the trend. On the embarrassment scale, the idea of an exposed fly is right up there with parsley stuck in your teeth, right?

However, zippers have become an accessory- exposed and no longer hidden behind a flap of fabric. The zip-front style is one that I have noticed the most; however, asymmetrical zippers are also becoming widely popular!

Here are different examples of this evolving trend:


At first I thought this trend was a little trashy. I mean, when I think of exposed zippers I think of spandex stripper outfits…yikes! However, there are a variety of zipper dresses that range from cocktail attire to daytime sundresses.

College Fashion Trend: Exposed Zipper Dresses

Product Information (left-to-right): Black Zip Dress- Brown’s Fashion, Lace Zip Dress- TopShop, Light Denim Dress- missselfridge


Zipper tops are also very diverse. The most prevalent zipper style that I’ve seen is a fitted tank (such as the center tank below) tucked under a high-waisted skirt. See my example outfits below for some more ideas!


Product Information (left-to-right): Pink Zip Vest, Abstract Top, Floral Blouse- All TopShop


I recently bought a full zipped skirt from Urban Outfitters, and I love it! I’ve mostly seen full zip-front skirts, but if you spot any other varieties, post links in the comments!


Product Information (left-to-right): Denim Skirt- TopShop, Abstract Skirt- Lipsy, Ruffle Skirt- Maruione (Japan)

How to Wear Exposed Zippers:

* Avoid flashy belts! Exposed zippers should be the focal point of the dress, skirt, etc.

* Don’t go overboard on the grunge effect. If you add leather, studded cuffs, or other hardcore elements, proceed with caution! I would go for a leather strap bracelet, or something that has a hardcore, but quirky look.

* Take the time to find your zipper niche! Exposed zippers are also featured on ballet flats, leggings, and even on clutch bags!

Example Ensembles:

On a Date:


Product Information (clockwise from upper left): Gold Clutch- eBags, Black Dress- Brown’s Fashion, Coin Necklace- Banana Republic, Red Shoes- Windsor, Lip Gloss- Sephora

For a Long Day of Classes:

Outfit for a long day of classes

Product Information (clockwise from upper left): Floral Blouse- TopShop, Black Skinny Jeans- Kohl’s, Jacket- Debenhams, Nude Flats- Macy’s, Leather Cuff- Fossil

While You’re Out Shopping:


Product Information (clockwise from upper left): Tan Bag- Fred Flare, Black Tank- Forever 21, Headband- Kitson, Sandals- Old Navy, Ruffle Skirt- Maruione

Your Thoughts?

What do you think about this trend? Which style do you prefer, the asymmetrical or the zip-front?

Posted on on September 16, 2009 / Filed Under: Trends / Tags: , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

33 Responses to “College Fashion Trend: Exposed Zippers”

  1. 1
    September 16th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I love the exposed zipper trend! In fact, I’m actually wearing my shorts with exposed zippers on the sides right now. I wrote about this trend back in February.

  2. 2
    September 16th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    i’m in love with the exposed zippers. I especially like the abstract skirt you have presented from lipsy.

  3. 3
    September 16th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Do not like exposed zippers, I think it looks tooo metallic… nahhh

  4. 4
    September 16th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Love exposed zips. And the blue jacket from Debenhams is FAB. But I have too many blue coats.

  5. 5
    September 16th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I think they can look effective but only when paired with something quite feminine like ruffles, and only for an evening occasion and definately not for class. As for wearability, I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy anything with an exposed zipper anytime soon.

  6. 6
    September 16th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    im not a big fan of this trend, but i love the outfits you put together!
    amazing :)

  7. 7
    September 16th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    oh wow i absolutely love the first outfit.. i never thought I like this trend until i saw that dress!

  8. 8
    September 16th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I love this style! Coincidentally, I wore jean shorts with leggings with zippers on the side today. (:

  9. 9
    September 16th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I have just bought a gorgeous bodycon dress with a big zipper down the back. I got in in the sale real cheap too! Plus I bought my sister a skirt that zips diagonally down the front instead of buttons. The style rules!

  10. 10
    September 16th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I love exposed zippers, especially when they’re not overpowering, like in the back of this FCUK dress. It’s one of my favorites :)

  11. 11
    September 16th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I don’t like metallic zippers

  12. 12
    September 16th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I really don’t like this trend, at least not on the pieces in this post. The zippers are just too random; the clothes would be cuter without them. However, I do like the idea of a zipper on black (leggings, maybe?) like on one of the dresses you posted (but I don’t like that one because of its placement).

  13. 13
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I love this trend as well. But you forgot shoes( well if it counts lol) I have some black booties with a gold zippers in the front.

    Love the on a date outfit as well its way too cute

  14. 14
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    mmm i agree with jess, i love the zipper trend on shoes.
    I love some of the picks, but they are not so much in my price range.
    I’ve noticed a bunch of the writers have been using more expensive choices lately, which is fine for classic pieces like jeans or a good blazer, but i’d love to see more poor college kid friendly choices for all of the outfits.

  15. 15
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I’m over this trend, except on shoes. A lot of these pieces seem like the zipper is just slapped on, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. However, I love the contrast of girly, pale ruffles with a heavy-duty zipper on that Maruione skirt.

    For the most part, though….eh.

  16. 16
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    I like most of the zippers, actually. They have an understated funky vibe, especially if treated with otherwise conventional or ladylike pieces. I have a great 60’s style sheath in Black Watch plaid with little angled zipper pockets in the front and a long distressed silver zipper down the back and I love it. On the other hand, I tried on a skirt at Forever21 the other day that was super-shiny and super-clingy with a somewhat cheap looking zipper – did not love that one. I also have a pair of skinny jeans with ankle zips, which are very cute and versatile. So it depends on quality, but mostly I find my zipper items very wearable and unique.

  17. 17
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Love the lace zip dress and the blue jacket in the pictures, btw. Would totally wear them together with black tights and pumps, and maybe a black silk headband!

  18. 18
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Definitely prefer the asymmetrical zippers – though not the kind with 4 on a shirt. On a nice bomber jacket though – super cute!

  19. 19
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I’m not a fan of any exposed zipper. The only piece here I might like is the Denim Skirt- TopShop, but I just think how uncomfortable that zipper would be while sitting down

  20. 20
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I LOVE exposed zippers! I bought a pair of dark denim skinny’s with zippers on the bottom back, and they look awesome! I was totally surprised by all the compliments I got on them too, I didn’t realize people would notice them …

  21. 21
    September 17th, 2009 at 12:46 am

    i dont really like this trend but i bought a black mini skirt with an exposed zipper in the back halfway down the middle of the skirt. it’s cute i guess, but i think i like how the zipper’s in the back so it doesnt show in front.

    haha, my friend saw the middle floral zipper top and called it an “easy access” top.

  22. 22
    September 17th, 2009 at 2:29 am

    personally, i think the look is too unclassy. however, i also believe any trend/style can be worn and worked ;] depending on the person, outfit, etc. one thing that’s tricky is the color of the zipper — silver, gold, copper … you’d have to match your outfit accessories around that. i strongly feel that mixed metals isn’t a great idea in an outfit.

  23. 23
    September 17th, 2009 at 3:47 am

    I don’t really like this trend. It looks pretty nice on shoes (as someone mentioned before), but from the outfits presented above, the only one acceptable for me is the black dress. I especially hate the asimmetrical ones (third dress ans first top). Also, the black zipper on colorful fabric looks kinda trashy as well – but that’s just my opinion. And kate is right for sure – this trend can be worn and worked, it’s just i don’t think it would work for me.

  24. 24
    September 17th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Yeah, i agree: zippers only look nice on shoes. It’s really a bit in-your-face for the outfits, imo. That black dress just looks weird.

  25. 25
    September 17th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    This is my first visit to this site
    I LOVE exposed zippers!
    I love this trend
    oh wow i absolutely love the outfits….

  26. 26
    September 17th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    i love me a good exposed zipper! so cheeky ;) i love the asymmetrical look best like the red top pictured above!

  27. 27
    September 17th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I really love the Day of Classes and Out Shopping outfits!

  28. 28
    September 17th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Not a fan, exposed zippers look unfinished and not too classy. I like the idea of zippers anywhere below the knee – leggings, skinnys, booties – only. Cute outfits though

  29. 29
    September 24th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I love the exposed zipper style too… I’ve been looking everywhere for this shirt! I’ve only seen it in this picture though, does anyone know who makes it or where I can buy it??

  30. 30
    October 20th, 2009 at 12:32 pm has the cutest dresses and tops with zippers. seriously an amazing find.. be careful though i warned you if you were looking for pieces with zippers youll find those and sooooo many other things you want to buy!

  31. 31
    October 3rd, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Hey do you guys think the exposed zipper is still in style? I bought some black booties with small exposed zippers on the side but now I’m wondering if it’s a faded trend.

  32. 32
    February 13th, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Whenever I see an exposed zipper, I think it is a cheap dress. In my day, you would use a hidden zipper in the back of a dress. I guess it is just my opinion.

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.