Style Animal Print: How to Wear Animal Print (Without Looking Like Roadkill)

Style Animal Print: How to Wear Animal Print (Without Looking Like Roadkill)

Style Animal Print: A Guide to Styling Animal Prints

A number of trends emerged this past week at New York Fashion Week from wearable covetable clothes, (and less covetable, like horrendous silk pants and all over animal prints). There was this clashing of colors…piling on the layers…and wearing a lot of satins.

Prints and bold geometric designs clawed their way back into season’ this time with an overkill all-over-body look.From Proenza Schouler to Zimmerman,it was EVERYWHERE on dresses, figure-hugging jumpsuits, cardigans- You name it!  Sure, prints, patterns, and clashes of color work on the runway, but what about in real life? How can the everyday girl incorporate animal print into her wardrobe, without looking like road kill?

style animal print

Introducing animal prints has the unique potential to either add a touch of class to a smart outfit or the uncanny ability to produce a nightmarish fashion disaster. There are a few essential tips you must remember if you dare to wear animal prints:

Avoid Being Too Matchy-Matchy with Your Clothing

Don’t try to match too many parts of an outfit; you’ll look like you’re trying too hard to make a fashion statement. Instead, aim for a balanced ensemble of complementary garments and accessories (not matchy-matchy ones) that look effortless.

Be an Animal Print Minimalist

Despite safari fashion trends, no one wants to feel as if they have just gone on safari after spending time with you. This season you’ll be able to hunt down every print from classic leopard and cheetah print, too (rarer) giraffe spots, zebra stripes, and tiger lines. But restrain yourself: animal print looks best when it’s only in one pattern in no more than one or two elements of an outfit.

style animal print

Exercise Good Fashion Judgment

Just because something is available in animal print doesn’t mean it should be worn. There is no shortage of clothing manufacturers out there committing fashion crimes with animal print. Translation: unless you’re a six-foot fashion model or a tour guide at the zoo, it’s probably not a good idea to wear pants, jackets, coats or skirts in animal print patterns. Limit the print to smaller items or accessories – unless, that is, you are going for the Cruella DeVille look.

style animal print

Think Neutral and Solid

Print looks chic when it’s a compliment to neutrals and solid color-schemes, especially basic black, bright white, chocolate brown, and beige.

Accessorize in Wild Prints

For a no-fail, smart use of animal print- Think handbag, shoes, a scarf, a shirt or blouse (especially under a blazer), mittens or muffs.

style animal print

Animal Print Tips

  • Keep everything else simple, elegant and sleek.
  • You are not a lion; don’t wear a wild mane. If there ever was a time to have big hair, this is not it.
  • Animal print may bring out your wild side, but resist wearing animal print with a dangerously short skirt… you’ll look like a cougar on the prowl, and not the kind from the zoo.
  • Finally: If in doubt, do without!


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