I grew up in the 80s and 90s, that means that I grew up with animal print being vaguely reminiscent of Bet Lynch and Liz MacDonald. A trashy, aging, muttonous “tart with a heart” (what a horrible phrase) so, for years I avoided animal print, despite being utterly fascinated by them. However, I have recently decided that it’s time for me to start being braver, and I have found that it is possible to tone down the way you wear it, as long as you are careful.
Picture from Running In Heels
Mixing fabrics is a great start. Dress down, but the animal print seems to work best in delicate materials like silk, especially in the “natural” colour. Leopard print in matte silk looks more expensive and grown up, but you can still update it by teaming with a pair of Khaki cords, or dark denim. The casualness of the bottoms detracts beautifully from the extrovertness of the top.
The celebrity love affair with animal print seems to go on, I love the way Laura Conrad has styled this shirt, it’s not overpowering but is still fun and quirky.
Laura Conrad via The Look 4 Less
Another way to wear animal print is in accessories. The Leopard print scarf is a trend that shows no sign of abating any time soon, its a trend that has been adopted for the schoolgate earning the nickname of The Mumsnet Scarf. Louis Vuitton’s famous scarf has been copied many times over, and now you can find an alternative for anything from under a fiver, this one from New Look is under £8, River Island have this for £13. For between £15 and £20 you can get this from Oasis at Asos, this from La Redoute, or this Alexander McQueen one from Sunglasses House (which I LOVE) for £20. Or, if you want to be a bit subtler maybe try this little beauty from Next, the khaki band neutralises the print, updating it.
If you find the leopard print look a little clichéd, you could always try different patterns. I love zebra print, but it seems to be more popular as a scarf this one from Next is only £12. Alternatively you can browse sites like Amazon and Ebay in the hope of finding a bargain. Either way, whichever beast you wish to channel, its worth taking a risk on animal prints, their neutral colours go with loads of things, while they add a bit of personality to otherwise dull outfits.
Go on, after all, it’s a jungle out there!
Until next time, Happy Fabulizing!