A Walk on the Wilder Side: How to Incorporate Animal Print Into Your Wardrobe

by - Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dozens of jungle animals walked the red carpet at New York Fashion Week. No, there wasn’t a mass escape from the zoo. Instead, animal prints made a bold statement in numerous runway shows. Pulling off an animal print look is a challenge, but by following a few key rules you’ll be rocking this hot trend in no time.

Animal Prints: The Basics

Although animal prints add a cool edge to nearly any look, it is easy to veer into scary territory. To avoid looking overwhelmed by your print, choose one key piece to showcase the animal print trend. For example, you may wear a leopard print blouse with a pair of sleek black trousers. Or put on your favorite little black dress, step into a colorful pair of pumps and grab an animal print clutch. Shoes are another way to incorporate this fun trend into your wardrobe; wear giraffe print flats or leopard print heels with jeans on your next date night to add pizzazz to your outfit.

If you are set on a head-to-toe animal print look, find a simple frock with a streamlined silhouette. A sheath dress or sleek A-line dress in a fun animal print looks bold without being overwhelming. To accessorize the look, pair it with a solid-colored belt or neutral shoes.

Never Pair Prints
There are a variety of animal prints available -- leopard, giraffe, and zebra are the most popular. When choosing an outfit, never mix more than one type of print. Mixing animal prints makes you look a little kooky and distracts from the trendy style. Instead, choose one type of animal print to be the centerpiece of your look.

Look Beyond the Standard Prints
Although classic leopard print will never go out of style, there is something to be said for a funky new print. Colorful animal prints are trending this season, making this the perfect time to experiment with a fun new look. Look for neon giraffe prints, muted blues, or colorful zebra prints to add color and style to your wardrobe.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
Still not sold on a strong animal print look? Dip your toe into the water by choosing printed accessories for a less dramatic statement. Consider adding a beautiful animal print scarf when wearing jeans and a classic white T-shirt. Or grab a slouchy zebra print purse to complete your look. In general, it is best to wear relatively neutral clothes if you are choosing a bold animal print accessory.

Choosing the Perfect Jewelry to Complement Your Look
Because animal prints are such a strong style statement, you want your accessories to complement -- not dominate -- your look. Avoid making a daring jewelry choice, because this can come off as costumey. Instead, stick with a few gold bangles or a simple silver chain necklace. For an unexpected rock ‘n roll twist, wear a studded black leather wristband with your flirty animal print dress.

If you follow a few basic rules, animal prints are an easy way to add some fun to your wardrobe. Find a few bold pieces to pair with clothes you already have, and you will be ready to wow your friends with your trendy outfits.

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