I’ve always been a fan of animal print in fashion. By “being a fan,” I most definitely mean that I admire from afar. From growing up idolizing the Cheetah girls to drooling over Jackie O’s 1962 leopard skin fur coat, I’ve developed a strong respect for animal print on the runways, on the streets of big cities, and on my Instagram feed. There’s something so beautiful about a tactfully styled outfit that boasts a bold print, but I’ve found myself and my style to be too timid to jump all-in on the ever-evolving trend. To absolutely no one’s surprise, animal print is resurfacing for the fall and I am here. for. it. I’ve been playing around with adding cheetah, leopard, zebra, and snakeskin pieces into my wardrobe in a way that feels simple, and most importantly, me. For some, sporting animal print is second-nature and may seem easy to rock. I would consider my wardrobe to be mainly minimalistic and graceful, favoring mostly neutrals and the occasional plaid blazer (wild, I know). Pulling off my version of my inner Cheetah Sista involves trying one piece seven ways, deciding upon one that I’m comfortable with, and pumping myself up with a motivational, Herb Brooks-inspired pep talk before I leave the house. I’ve found that I have my best success pulling off animal print as a minimalist by accessorizing and by following outfit formulas sported by my favorite fashion bloggers.
1. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
Accessories are a trustworthy gateway to adding some bolder prints to your neutral wardrobe. Adding printed heels, snakeskin booties, a skinny cheetah belt, or a printed clutch is a great way to incorporate an edgy pop of print into any neutral outfit.
2. Powerful printed pants
There’s something about a bold pair of printed pants that makes me feel so incredibly powerful. To me, rocking a pair of snakeskin or cheetah trousers states, “I’m fun, but I also have my life together,” as well as “Hello, I’m here to rock your world.” Pair them with a white tee and a layered necklace for a put-together daytime-into-nighttime look or rock them with your favorite work blouse to elevate your office fashion game.
3. Skrrrt, skrrrrrt!
Skirts are comfortable, non-restrictive, feminine, and your saving grace while transitioning from summer into fall. I am absolutely loving the versatility of these printed skirts and how they bring an edgier look to a historically traditional piece. Whether you prefer mini skirts, midi skirts, or maxi skirts, there’s a printed skirt ready to make all of your animal print dreams come true. Pair it with a solid tee, a leather jacket, and black booties for those late-evening dinner plans, or dress it down with a vintage tee or a slouchy knit sweater and sneakers for the ultimate cool-girl vibe.
4. Statement jackets, FTW
Adding a printed jacket to any neutral outfit can launch you from a bland to glam vibe in seconds. In my pursuit to jazz up my wardrobe, I’ve found that my neutral outfit collection pairs best with a structured blazer or faux fur jacket. As the colder months approach, I’m sure I’ll be more frequently reaching towards these options to bring my getup to elevate any look that I’m already modeling.