Wild prints continue to be spotted from the runway to the local department stores. While never truly out of style, animal print fabric has been experiencing a resurgence of late. Fall/winter 2010-2011 has jungle fever; from dresses and separates to overcoats, accessories and even footwear. With so many options to choose from it is easy to become overwhelmed and wind up looking like a Flintstone movie extra. Create a stylish look using animal prints and these basic guidelines.
1. Tame with Black. Pair your leopard print piece with a black base, or add animal print accessories to a mainly black ensemble. Black leather goes well with animal prints and gives off a dangerous, powerful vibe. A little black dress worn with animal print pumps and a leather jacket changes the energy level in whatever room you walk into. Add a deep red silk scarf for more impact. Even though the shapes are basic, the prints and fabric ups the temperature!
2. Dress the Part. A leopard print dress is a stunning choice for winter events. The unexpected print delivers a bold punch to a dreary day. Pair with tall black boots to complete the look. There are wrap dresses, sheaths, printed knit tube dresses and shirt dress style looks. Take the time to try on a dress you might not initially think you’d look good in, you may be pleasantly surprised. The print makes everything look a bit different.
3. Size of Your Spots. Choose a pattern that suits your figure. Petite women can wear small prints, while full figures and tall women can get a way with larger prints. Age is not a factor with the print, in fact, I believe women look the best in animal prints, rather than the teens.
4. Invest in the Jungle. Look for a quality designer animal print dress that is built to last. While a leopard print dress cannot be worn every week, believe it or not, it is a classic look and now is a great time to find a stylish staple piece. Some pieces like animal print shoes, purses or accessories like an umbrella can be of the inexpensive variety since they will wear out, dresses can go the distance.
5. Take a Walk on the Wild Side. Tip toe into the jungle with a pair of leopard print ballet flats. They can be worn with skinny black pants through out the season. Animal skin stilettos or wild fur trimmed boots are also seen this season and can replace your basic black for some fashion fun.
6. Cover-up. Animal prints are sexy on their own. Low-cut tops, micro-mini skirts or tight pants are completely unnecessary. This should be an all-around fashion law, but it is especially true when wearing animal prints.
7. Less is More. Minimal accessories are needed when wearing wild prints. Since the print itself draws the eye anything extra will visually fight with the pattern. Think of making a solid backdrop for whatever animal print piece you want to showcase.
8. Camouflage. Take advantage of the optical illusions animal prints can cause. Draw attention towards your best features by accenting them with wild prints. Wrap a leopard, tiger or giraffe print scarf close to your face, or tie it low in front of your body like a long necklace. This will visually slim you with the V-shape it forms. If you want to hide your hips and thighs in plain site, pair a dark solid bottom with an animal print blouse.
9. Use Caution. Exotic animal prints can be paired with smoky eyes, or stained red lips for a classic look. It is often recommended to choose to emphasize either the lips or the eyes, not both. Whichever you choose, apply make up carefully, this look is one that will be noticed and you probably don’t want to be noticed for hastily applied make-up. Hair can be worn slicked back, placed in a low pony tail or otherwise left simple.
10. Match Fabrics. Look for heavier weight fabric when choosing animal print fabric for fall and winter wear. An exception to this guideline is a sheer animal print blouse that can be worn with a black, dark brown or red tank top underneath.
Animal prints infuse confidence and provide a little sass to your step. Don’t be afraid, jump right into this trend and wear something wild just because you can.