While the context may change, animal print clothing and accessories as a fashion statement just never seem to go out of style. From 1980s hair metal rockers to 1990s fashionistas, from Jersey Shore loudmouths to 21st century foxes, the print itself remains essentially the same. Animal prints have been worn by movie screen sirens like Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren as well as present-day pop culture icons like J-Lo and the Kardashians.
In fashion, the animal print can be fun and frivolous or chic and classy. Tiger, leopard, snakeskin and zebra prints keep showing up on fashion runways from New York to Paris and Milan. But what about you? Are you finally ready to "go wild" and rock some animal prints in your personal wardrobe? If and when you do, be sure and keep these style pointers in mind:
Less is More
When it comes to wearing animal prints, getting too "matchy" with too many similar style elements usually does not work. For the most fabulous results, go "wild" with just one part of your outfit, i.e. just the top, or just the bottom. For example, if you're wearing a short leopard print cocktail dress, make your leggings, shoes, purse and other accessories solid-colored and basic.
One at a Time
The unspoken rule of wearing animal print is to stick with one kind of animal at a time. While some fashion rules are meant to be broken, trying to blend leopard and tiger in a single outfit is challenging at best. Rule of thumb? If snakeskin is your choice this Thursday, save tiger patterns for sometime next week.
Take it Down a Notch
If even your friends are telling you your outfit is TOO wild, it's probably best to tone it down. Leopard print tights or skinny pants can be evened out with dark colored knee-high boots. A tiger-striped skirt can be toned down with an open solid-colored cardigan or blazer that complements your print of choice.
If you feel you absolutely must include multiple animal print pieces in your outfit, choose elements that can play a supporting role. A matching snakeskin or leopard print scarf, purse, boots and earrings can look amazing together as long as the rest of the outfit is much more subdued; just be sure all of those animal elements match pretty closely in color, style, texture and overall vibe.