Tiger stripes. Leopard print. Giraffe spots. Animal print patterns have survived well through the 80’s and are still everywhere in the fashion world today. Seen by some as trashy, animal prints are actually one of the longest standing patterns in fashion, seen on everything from lingerie to shoes to blankets and curtains.
Animal print stays popular because it can be used so diversely in different styles. A mini dress that is entirely leopard print can have the wild, fun, and flirty look, while a black mini dress with a leopard print trim, or leopard print shoes, add an edge to an otherwise classic outfit.
Much like the camouflage pattern, animal print can come in a variety of colors and still be recognizable from the pattern. The classic black and white zebra print can be a bold statement, but if the print is done in blue or yellow hues, it becomes softer and more feminine.
Stars on the red carpet are constantly seen with animal print touches, whether it’s a red dress with leopard print heels, or a zebra print tie, the classic print adds a touch of fun and spontaneity to any outfit.
Lingerie, in particular, is a hot spot for animal print. Animal prints can be found on everything from corsets to stockings, in minimal amounts and as the center piece. A feisty leopard print bustier with red ribbons can make for a hot and edgy look. A zebra trimmed lace camisole set is a sweet look with just an added touch of vibrant fabric.
It is important to look classy when wearing anything with animal print, to avoid making the pattern look like it hasn’t changed since the 80’s. If you are going for a subtle touch of animal pattern on your clothing, limit yourself to only two appearances of the print. Shoes, belts, jewelry, headwear, or trim with animal print are all simple touches that can be added to an outfit. Also, mixing animal prints with each other or other wild patterns can make the outfit look frumpy, complicated, or mismatched.
If you want the animal print to be the main focus of the outfit, then make everything else about the outfit simple. For a zebra print dress, choose classic black or white heels that won’t clash with the dress. For a leopard print corset, choose black or sheer stockings to avoid looking bulky.
A wide variety of animal print fashion pieces can be found in retail stores and online. Places like Target, Wet Seal, and Forever 21 have all carried classic animal print pieces in their junior’s and women’s departments for years.
No matter what the occasion, animal print is a classy, fun pattern that can be used in an outfit for a unique touch.