How to Wear Animal Prints Like a Pro

How to Wear Animal Prints Like a Pro

It’s almost impossible to flip open a fashion or gossip magazine and not come across a celebrity wearing some sort of animal print. Whether in a leopard, cheetah, zebra, or another pattern, animal print clothing always seems to be in style. If you’ve yet to add any animal prints to your wardrobe and are unsure where to start, read on for some suggestions.

Everyday Chic

The simplest and easiest way to up your style with animal print is with accessories. Moreover, if you’ve never worn any type of clothing with animal print—there are a few of us out there!—accessorizing with these prints is a great way to start. Try belts or fashion scarves; even better, pair them together. For example, wear a black-and-white zebra print belt and scarf with black pants and a solid-color top. If you really want your belt and scarf to pop, wear them against a contrasting jewel tone, such as ruby red or sapphire blue.

Once you’ve mastered the art of using animal prints in your accessories, it’s time to broaden your reach. Start by mixing and matching animal print and solid separates. Try a pair of leopard print yoga pants with a solid casual top for a look that can take you from the gym to the juice bar. Or, pair a black pencil skirt with a cheetah print blouse for a chic wear-to-the-office look. The trick to working with separates is to keep the focus on that one animal print item. So, your accessories should complement your print rather than compete with it. Accessorize warm-tone prints with gold jewelry, and play up black-and-white prints with silver jewelry. Keep your shoes and bag simple as well.

Out on the Town

Another classic—and classy—way to incorporate animal prints into your wardrobe is with your bags and shoes. Dress up your classic little black dress with a pair of leopard print stiletto heels. Swap out your standard evening bag for a cheetah print clutch. (Not at the same time, though!) You can also accessorize an outfit with animal print jewelry. For something fun and different, try resin earrings, which are lightweight and come in numerous styles. If your ears aren’t pierced, look for a pair of clip-on earrings. Pair your earrings with two or three matching resin bangles.

If you prefer, go the reverse and up the ante. Rock a cheetah print maxi dress with solid-color sandals and a matching cross-body bag. For a pop of color, add a chunky necklace in a fun shade such as fuchsia or turquoise.

On Vacation

Vacations offer us the opportunity to cut loose a little. Channel your inner wild animal with a print swimsuit. No matter what style you prefer—one- or two-piece; modest or daring—you can find an animal print to suit your taste or mood. Bask in the sun in a leopard print or undulate through the water in a snakeskin print. The choice is yours.

If you gravitate toward solid-color swimwear, add an animal print beach cover-up. Take advantage of another current trend and choose a neon background for your print. If you’re not feeling quite so daring, simply keep things lower key. Consider going with an animal print frame for your sunglasses, for example. Or dress up your floppy-brim straw hat by tying an animal print ribbon or scarf around the crown.

Animal print vacation wear isn’t limited to the beach, of course. Go sightseeing in a leopard print dress. Pack a pair of print sneakers or loafers. Or, if your vacation is actually a staycation, slip into some printed women’s loungewear. You’ll be comfy yet stylish enough that you can answer the doorbell or pop out to the supermarket without having to change your outfit. If you are hunkering down at home, keep your feet snug in print slippers.

Keep It Trendy

It’s super easy to incorporate animal prints into the latest fashion trends. If you’re a fan of wide-leg jeans, you can pair them with a print top. Tops are available in a range of styles, from casual tanks and T-shirts to women’s blouses. Or go with a solid top and layer over it a print version of the always-popular boyfriend cardigan.

Scrunchies and headbands have been making a comeback. Add a few of each in various animal prints to your collection of hair accessories, and you’ll have options for when you’re feeling frisky.

Remember, when you wear animal prints, less is more. Avoid mixing up your prints or even wearing too many of the same prints at once. Choose one item to focus on—whether it’s a top or bottom, a sweater, or a pair of shoes, for example—and let it shine by playing down the rest of your wardrobe.

Wearing animal prints takes a certain amount of confidence but also can impart the same. Follow the suggestions here, and you’ll be able to prowl about with ease.


Related Articles