Animal Prints: Friend or Foe?

Fashion, Style
This spring most people will be stocking their closets with the latest in animal-print-chic.  I, however, will be supplying my eyes with the sunglasses needed to keep the hideous patterns I expect to see, out of my sight.
You see, it is not the trend that bothers me so much as how people wear it.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe (on average) only 1 in every 50 modern women get the animal-print ensemble right.  Why then must we keep reviving it?  
The trend really began in the 1960’s when Jackie O. (bow down) began to wear her Oleg Cassini Leopard print jacket.
Between then and the 80’s, something must have gotten lost in translation, because I am almost certain that Jackie Kennedy never intended on anything like this to walk any runway.
Just Cavalli Spring 2009

Now, the collection wasn’t all bad.  One of my favorite looks from the entire collection included a bright and bold leopard print:

I love how he combined two completely different prints.  (One is soft and the other bold, together forming a, arguably, flawless look.)
For those just infiltrating your wardrobe with these, at times overwhelming patterns, moderation and caution are your new best friends.  Here are some rules regarding animal prints.  Follow them, and the prints will be your friend…ignore them and they will be your foe:

1. Limit your outfit to ONE print (unless you’re confident in your fabulousness.)  We are dressing for modern day America, not the psych ward.

2. If you can’t fit into this:

Then you shouldn’t be wearing any animal print head-to-toe.  For example, Pazde la Huerta wore this Dolce & Gabbana dress to the New Yorkers for Children Fall Gala earlier this year:

The reason she looks so miserable is because right before she got out of the limo, somebody finally gave her a mirror.  Too much animal print!!

3. Steer clear of the impious patent-leather/animal print combination.  It can turn tacky very quickly!

4. In terms of shoes:


(Basic rule-of-thumb, anything with a red bottom, you’re golden.)



5. MEN! However badly you wish to emulate Scott Disick with the following shoes, please refrain.
For gay men, fabulous.  But for straight men, a little too much in my opinion!
6. Never wear a tight and short, animal print dress.  You must choose one.

Long and tight

Short and flowy

Short, tight and trashy (sorry Hayden!)

Hopefully women worldwide will someday learn to instill these rules into their wardrobes.  I think that is why the fad continues, and will continue to survive.  People want to see this look done right; the way a modern Jackie O. would wear it.

So when you choose your animal prints, think like Kourtney and Kim…not the girl 5 steps behind them;  literally and clearly also in fashion sense.


2 thoughts on “Animal Prints: Friend or Foe?

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