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 on how to wear animal prints at any age.
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, why not try them out by going with one chic animal print accessory? A shoe or a bag lets you ease into animal prints and will jazz up an everyday outfit.
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, pencil skirt, a cashmere cardigan, a zebra trench, a tiger sheath dress, or python pumps are all excellent examples of this.
Stay clear of animal print clothing that is fussy, frilly, sparkly, shiny, teenage-trendy, or skimpy. Stay sleek like the animal itself.
4. Pair Animal Prints with Solid Colors
Animal prints should be worn with solid colors, so the print is the main focus. Don’t wear animal prints with other patterns.
You’ll never go wrong wearing an animal print with a solid neutral color like white, black, brown, khaki, camel, or taupe. For example, try a giraffe print blouse with white pants or a leopard sweater with a camel skirt or black jeans. These neutrals subdue the leopard print and result in an elegant color combination.
Prefer a touch of bold? A gorgeous shade of red or oxblood paired with leopard looks dramatic and beautiful when done right. Emerald green, orange, and denim also can be striking worn with animal prints.
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. The closer the print looks to the actual animal, the more high quality it will appear. 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. She might 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
Animal prints are attention getters, which means that an animal print worn over the heaviest part of your body will draw the eye there. For example, if you are bottom-heavy, don’t wear an animal print skirt. You are better off wearing an animal print top with a skirt or pants in a dark, solid color to shrink your bottom half visually.
The reverse is true if you are big-busted. In this case, wear the dark color up top and the leopard print down below. Do you have great legs? Try a pair of animal print shoes to put the spotlight on your fab ankles and calves.
Animal prints can be fun, so long as you follow these laws of the jungle. If you are 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.