Animal print is a lot like Botox and Fillers. LESS IS ALWAYS MORE. Wearing too much animal print when you are over 40 looks like those women whose face doesn’t move when they smile and just one vein pops out in their forehead. Everyone knows they had too many injectables at the Doctors office and everyone knows you are wearing way too much animal print. Even with the Maximalist trend, be careful that you don’t start to look like Edith Prickley ( Google her if you don’t know who she is).
Ok now that I have berated the issue let’s move on. I love animal print. To me it’s the perfect print for sophistication and style when worn in moderation. So let’s look at the trend this season and the pieces you can add to your wardrobe to help you achieve your animal print sophistication.
I have been collecting animal print pieces for years. And when I say that I mean great quality pieces. Like an animal print cashmere sweater, a fabulous hand bag, a great belt and beautiful scarves. I don’t usually wear a lot of it, but I do accessorize with it a lot.
ANIMAL PRINT CLOTHING
When you want to buy or wear a piece of animal print on your body a lot of thought needs to go into it. A great sweater or top can be the perfect piece to wear with all black or denim. This Equipment Leopard print cashmere sweater is from Nordstrom and is subtle and sophisticated enough to be a staple in your winter wardrobe. It pairs beautifully with anything black or grey and works across the board for weekend, work or going out. I love the red neckline, it adds a great pop of color and trendiness to the sweater. A lot of women like to wear cardigans. A shorter cardigan can be worn both as a sweater and as a top. Halogen at Nordstrom is doing a classic cardigan style in a great leopard print. This sweater again can do almost anything, work day or night and with any bottom in black or denim you can think of.
But you don’t have to do a sweater. There are lots and lots of animal print tops to choose from this season. A blouse like this one from Vince Camuto ( Nordstrom) can work under a blazer or sweater for a peek of print or as it is with any dark bottom you like. Joie has a gorgeous silk blouse that works as a layering base or casual top. But let’s explore it as a layering base. Layering is one of the trends this fall, animal print is a great starting place or final piece to add on top. Start your layering with this Anne Klein Tank or any animal print tank. Then go with a denim or black layer on top and then your final layer being denim if you did black and black if you did denim. Pair it all with black knit pants and you are set!
So we have looked at animal print as the bottom layer, how would it look as the top layer? A sophisticated Leopard print Topper by Halogen would look fabulous! Wear all solids underneath. But you don’t have to only wear black, red, denim, camel all work under this coat. Or go with something more casual Joie is also showing a leopard print bomber. This is a great top layer to a weekend look. With jeans and a black or red turtleneck sweater, or with knit pants and a strong color solid top or denim shirt. I think it’s important to wear solids underneath and over top, but by all means experiment with some of the great colors this season. Red, Purple and Burgundy would all be fabulous with animal print. Believe it or not Talbots always has great pieces to pick up in animal print. This animal print fringed wrap would be a great addition to any wardrobe. You can wear it with everything as a topper. If you don’t want to invest in a coat, a wrap might be the perfect piece to add this season.
Animal print works on the bottom as well. I am not a huge fan of animal print pants if you are not tall, which I am not. I tend to stick with skirts. And there are plenty to choose from. And they don’t need to be traditional to work. One of my favorite pieces this season is this pleated animal print skirt from Anthropologie. It is a soft coral and grey print, very different from the traditional brown/black or grey/black I have been showing. Wear a skirt like this everywhere. Dressy with heels and black top, casual with a chunky cream sweater and neutral booties. I would wear this with black, cream, grey and even camel. It’s a great subtle way to look modern and hit this trend. And of course for you purists there is the classic animal print pencil skirt ( Vince Camuto) that works so well. Wear this with solid colors only and I think it works best with dark tights and booties. Everyone has animal print pencil skirts this season, if you want one just try a bunch on and find the fit that works for you.
There are animal print pants this season as well, but I am not a fan. Go to Nordstrom.com and check them out. I really think to make the print look sophisticated stick with skirts on the bottom and stay away from pants.
There is also a lot of animal print dresses. Just be careful you are not overwhelmed by the trend. Going with the less is more idea of animal print, my favorite dress in this trend for the season is from Joe Fresh. There is just a hint of the print at the bottom of the sweater dress. This is a great way to wear the print in a dress without going all out. But if you do want to go all out in an animal print dress try to stay with something sophisticated. Something flowy like this Bardot Wrap dress at Nordstrom would be a great dress for evening or an even. Careful with accessories, the dress can speak for itself if you wear animal print like this.
ANIMAL PRINT ACCESSORIES
There is a whole world of animal print when you get away from clothing. Animal print accessories are simply the best if you really don’t want to wear the print. Get your self a great pair of booties, so many to choose from this season. I loved these Treasure and Bond booties so much from Nordstrom I bought them. A booties is a great way to wear the trend. Or do them with a heel if you want to wear them a little dressier, this genuine calf hair pair from Halogen, at Nordstrom is the perfect sophisticated bootie for fall. Print booties and embroidered boots are very trendy this season, animal print booties can be your one piece of that if you like. I didn’t see any knee-length animal print boots in my searches but I am sure you can find it if you look. I like the bootie better, it is more modern and there are lots and lots to choose from so you can find the style that fits your look.
I also love animal print scarves. I showed a wrap above. This adorable fringed scarf from Talbots can be the perfect piece to complete your outfit. Peeking under a coat or over top of a sweater looks fab!Scarves don’t have to cost a fortune to get this look. Nordstrom has a great little BP scarf for $31 that will get you right into this trend. Or get a pair of animal print gloves, most of them will come out closer to November but right now you can get a pair at Joe Fresh to take the chill off. And you can even do socks and tightsthis pair is from Forever 21, again don’t spend a fortune on them.
But one of the best accessories you can have either in animal print or just with a hint of it is a purse. One of the new styles of bags for fall is the camera bag. This animal print one from Michael Kors could last you years. It is a perfect piece to pull out anytime the trend comes back to add flair to your outfit. Ann Taylor has a fabulous fold over clutch that is beautiful. One thing I have found with animal print purses is that small is preferable over large. If you do want to go larger just be careful that the bag isn’t overwhelming you, especially if you have a small frame. This Kate Spade nylon tote is about the largest I would suggest for this print.
You can always take a scarf and tie it on your back bag to make the trend work without buying an animal print bag. I found this image online to illustrate what I am talking about. Tying scarves on your purse handles is a trend for fall, it doesn’t have to be animal print. But this is a great way to make any black handled bag work in this trend.
So I have gone on and on about different ways to wear animal print. You will notice that the only animal print I have been showing is Leopard, because that is what the trend is right now, not zebra or any other. Animal print pieces, if you buy quality, can be kept for years as this trend gets strong every few falls. One piece will make you look trendy without over kill.
Do you need help to see how this trend can work for you? Email me at Suethefashionista@gmail.com for a styling appointment. I am here to help you with any of your fashion needs. You can use that same email to ask me any questions you have.
Follow along next week and we will explore fall shoes and bags in way more depth.
Until next time…