Animal prints over 40 can be scary. Too much leopard and you can wind up looking like Edith Prickley.
How do you tame this trend, so you don’t look like you escaped from the zoo? Here are a few tips:
1. Wear Animal Prints Sparingly
A bit of animal print is sexy and chic, but too much of it will make others roar..roar with laughter. Don’t be a fashion, victim.
Be stingy with animal prints and live by the ONE ANIMAL RULE. What’s that? If you are wearing a leopard sweater, you don’t need a leopard purse or leopard shoes to go with it. That’s matchy- matchy overkill.
If you are new to animal prints, then why not try just one good animal print accessory. A shoe or a bag lets you try just a touch and will jazz up a solid piece.
2. Don’t Mix Animal Prints
It’s the rare fashionista who can pull off more than one animal print at a time and even then, she would know not to mix two different animals. Stick with one print per outfit. You don’t want to look like you are wearing an entire jungle.
3. Choose Classic Shapes
Animal prints are wild and busy, so you need to stick to clothes with clean lines if you want to look elegant and not cheesy. A leopard shirtdress, a cashmere cardigan, a zebra trench, a tiger sheath dress, or python pumps are all good examples of this.
Stay clear of animal print clothing that is fussy, frilly, sparkly, teenage-trendy or skimpy. Stay sleek like the animal itself.
4. Pair Animal Prints with Solids
Animal prints should be worn with plain colors. Don’t wear it with other patterns.
You’ll never go wrong when you wear an animal print with a solid neutral color like white, black, brown, camel or taupe. Try a giraffe print blouse with white pants or a leopard sweater with a camel skirt or black jeans. These are rich and elegant color combinations.
Other colors that look striking with an animal print? A gorgeous shade of red or oxblood paired with leopard is dramatic and beautiful when done right. Orange and denim work too.
5. Wear Natural Looking Animal Prints
We’ve talked about the colors to wear with animal prints but what about the color of the animal print itself? It’s best to stick to what you’d find in nature. Artificial looking prints like fuchsia zebra or electric blue leopard are weird, fad color combinations that cheapen the look of animal prints.
6. Keep Accessories Simple
An animal print is a strong focal point, so you don’t need to overcomplicate your look by wearing a lot of heavy or glitzy jewelry or accessories. Take a look in the mirror and make sure your accessories like earrings, necklaces, bracelets and belts and shoes complement your animal print, not compete for attention.
Judith Ann Graham has it perfect. She’s teamed a graphic animal print blouse with leather pants.
Someone else may have been tempted to add matching snakeskin heels, but Judith chose gorgeous burgundy pumps and a matching burgundy handbag to make her outfit pop.
7. Avoid Animal Prints on Your Heavy Areas
The general rule for patterns don’t put the pattern over the heaviest part of your body, or you will draw the eye there. This is true for animal print dresses. If you are bottom heavy, it’s best to wear a dark, solid color on your bottom half and an animal print up top. The reverse is true if you are big busted. Got great legs? Try a pair of animal print shoes to put the spotlight on your fab legs.
Animal prints can be fun, so long as you follow these laws of the jungle.
If you are just getting into them, an easy way to start is with an animal print accessory like a tiger print scarf, zebra bracelet or python pump.
Do you own an animal print outfit? I do.
Check out how I wear my leopard pants and get more ideas for how other 40+ bloggers wear animal prints too in my What I Wore post.