No matter what the season, animal prints reign supreme. It’s perfectly safe to say that it’s not quite a trend but a timeless addition to any wardrobe. Some years it tends to be more popular than others, but the fact that it continues to appeal is proof of its longevity. And the options are diverse, whether you favor something subdued or love the idea of taking a fiercer approach. Unleashing that animal side is as easy as slipping into something that boasts a zebra, cheetah, leopard, or tiger print.
Wondering how you can make the animal print a more integral part of your wardrobe? Have some fun mixing it up year-round. Because these patterns incorporate largely neutral colors like black, brown, and white, it’s easy to pair them with everything from jeans and leggings to skirts and dresses. Here are a few ideas to make animal prints work for you year-round.
Why not rock your animal prints at night or while relaxing at home? That’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the look without stepping too far out of your comfort zone. You’ll get a feel for the different print options available, and you can easily figure out which colors and looks you love best. A cheetah print is a timeless choice, for example, but you might find that the crisp black and white zebra print flatters your best.
Take your pick from lightweight nightgowns you can wear throughout the balmy nights of spring and summer to cozy women’s pajamas that help you stay warm and toasty when temperatures dive in the fall and winter. Many sets pair solid-colored tops with printed bottoms for a balanced and sophisticated look. Loungewear is an integral part of any well-rounded wardrobe, so don’t be afraid to experiment with something new.
It might occasionally seem tricky to wear prints to the workplace, especially if you work in an environment that has a particularly conservative dress code. In those cases, you might be able to get away with something more subtle, like a slender animal-print belt that adds just a hint of contrast to your outfit. Something that falls under the more neutral spectrum, like a leopard print, is ideal.
But if you have a little more flexibility to wear what you want to work, have some fun incorporating a bold animal print into the mix. Try a women’s blouse in a lively cheetah print. The button-front style is classic and looks right at home with a sleek midi skirt or pencil skirt. Add a blazer or matching cardigan on top to pull it all together. The animal print pops without overwhelming your workplace ensemble. You can even wear it with wide-leg jeans in a more casual office setting—the effect is perfectly balanced, with a little bit of glamour thrown in to shake up the dressed-down feel of the bottoms.
Animal prints are inherently fun and fearless. That’s why they’re often spotted on the runways in various forms—slung across shoulders on slinky hobo bags, lavishing head-to-toe bodysuits, adding a little ferocity to corporate-friendly trousers, and making pointy-toe boots look even more fierce than usual. Simply put, animal prints are packed with personality. But don’t be afraid to wear them when you’re going ultra-casual—say, when you’re on vacation and strolling on the boardwalk. If you tend to take a sporty approach to your everyday style, you can easily make the look work for you.
What’s the trick? Choose your usual comfy clothes but with a bolder twist. If you love to wear yoga pants with a T-shirt, swap the solid top for one with an animal print. You can even choose one that has just a hint of the look, like a touch of cheetah print peeking out from the pocket. Or slip into a cheetah-print tunic and pair it with your standard leggings. Throw on a lightweight beach dress bearing a gorgeous animal print and slip your feet into comfy slides. Don’t be afraid to mix things up—it’s an easy way to dress up casual looks and have some fun with your off-duty looks, whether you’re exploring a new city on foot or running to catch a flight.
A special event calls for a dress that looks fabulous and elevates your confidence at the same time. Instead of the usual little black dress, why not slip into something more ferocious? Animal-print dresses are available in all varieties, from relaxed T-shirt dresses to jersey dresses to shirt dresses. The beauty of the animal pattern is that it instantly dresses up a more casual style, like a tee dress. The result is a piece that’s more than appropriate to wear to a special event, be it a date night or girls’ night out.
When it’s cooler outside, an animal print knit dress looks fabulous with knee-high boots and a long coat. The effect is polished and sophisticated—and perfect for a night out. And on warmer days, try something lighter, like a slip dress bearing a sleek print. Dress it up with your accessories of choice and step into a pair of heels or wedges to complete the look.
It’s easy to incorporate animal prints into your wardrobe, no matter what your style preference might be. Whether you prefer to go casual or dressy, there’s a look that’s just right for punching up your everyday look—every day of the year.