If you were at the beach or pool this summer, you probably saw at least one person wearing an animal print swimsuit or cover-up. Perhaps you noticed someone in animal print workout clothes at the gym. You may even own some spring and summer animal print garments. Summer may be giving way to autumn, but these prints remain in style.
If you’re a fan of all things leopard, cheetah, and the like—or if you’re just starting to add them to your wardrobe—read on for some suggestions on how to wear animal prints this fall.
Animal prints aren't limited to the traditional leopard and zebra prints. While these designs are still in demand, other prints, such as giraffe, cheetah, and snow leopard, have grown in popularity. However, unless you’re wearing a patchwork print, spotlight one animal print item and build your wardrobe around that. A tunic top in a leopard print looks chic when worn over solid black or brown leggings—but not if you layer the top over, say, snakeskin leggings.
Fall is the season stuck in the middle, unable to make up its mind. The combination of warm days that give way to cool nights can make putting an outfit together tricky. To keep you warm when the day cools off, keep a leopard print women’s fleece jacket handy. Fleece jackets come in a variety of styles, from partial to full zip or buttoned, and can also be found in different lengths. They look great over jeans or leggings. If you like the cozy feel of fleece but want something a little lighter, choose a women’s fleece vest instead. Pick up a color in the vest by wearing a coordinated mock turtleneck underneath. For example, pair a giraffe print with a brown top. Or, play up contrast by pairing a zebra print with a bright turquoise or pink turtleneck underneath.
Animal prints also look great in sweaters. For example, the black, white, and gray of a snow leopard pattern in a cardigan are super flattering worn over pretty much any color. It adds a layer of sophistication to a casual T-shirt-and-jeans combo. Pair with white leather sneakers and a couple of bangles, and you’re good to go.
There’s no denying animal prints are popular, but they’re not the only trend out there. One up-and-coming style is wide-leg pants, which range from in length from full to ankle to cropped. Whether you prefer denim, chinos, or gabardine, pair your wide-leg pants with a ¾-sleeve top—the perfect sleeve length for fall—in your favorite animal print. Add a few chains and some bangles for a totally on-trend look.
Another fun fall trend is the ankle bootie, which comes in heel lengths that range from flat to stiletto. Consider letting your footwear be your animal print focus by pairing it with leggings or skinny jeans. Run wild and choose a pair in a cheetah print. If you’re not a bootie person, opt for a pair of flats or even sneakers instead. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world, so let your cheetah print footwear inspire you to move, whether it’s dancing up a storm, prowling through the sale racks, or jogging along a trail.
Not everyone wants to go animal print in a big way; some individuals prefer a more nuanced look. Choosing accessories in animal prints is a great way to do just that. For example, fashion scarves can serve multiple roles. Wear an animal print scarf to add some pop to an all-black or other monochromatic outfit. Use a scarf as a headband to keep your hair off your face—let the ends hang out underneath in the back—for a boho look, or use it to tie your hair up in a ponytail. Keep a scarf tied to your handbag or tote—you never know when you might need an arm sling in an emergency, and at least you’ll look chic while wearing it! Of course, you can choose to carry a purse in your favorite animal print; if that’s the case, just throw the scarf inside.
As tired as we are of having to do so, most of us are still wearing face masks, so treat them as part of your accessory wardrobe. Change things up a bit and choose a mask in an animal print. Keep a few on hand in various places—in your handbags and toes, by the front door, in your car’s glove box—so you’re never without one when you need it.
Fall reminds us that winter is soon to follow. Just as bears and other animals prepare for hibernation, we humans start building our cold-weather nests—Ready yourself for fall as well as winter by treating yourself to some comfy pajamas. Whether you prefer wild animal prints or something more domestic, like a cow print, there’s something to be said for snuggling up on a cool, rainy day with a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea while wearing your favorite flannel or fleece pj’s. (And, okay, given that you’re indoors and being super stylish may not be an issue, go ahead just this once and mix prints to your heart’s content.)
When it comes to fashion, animal prints are here to stay. So, keep a few fall-appropriate items in your closet, so you’re always in style no matter the season.