If like me you’re a child of the 80’s the style icon Bet Lynch won’t have passed you by. With masses of blond locks piled high, a long tip cigarette holder in hand, her sassy attitude and of course what she infamously celebrated for, the animal print. I thought then and still do that this woman was a sensation. But little did I know then that she wasn’t at the vanguard of this fashion style statement. Long before Bet was pulling pints with aplomb in the Rovers, Jean Harlow, Coco Chanel, Earha Kitt, Debbie Harry and many others had done it before her. Today we have the equally fabulous Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, Anna Wintour and Gigi and Bella Hadid showing us how it’s done.
It’s allure is that it’s a little bit rebellious, totally unapologetic, sometimes extravagant and a lot powerful. It shouts out “don’t underestimate me” and I love it for that.
Head to toe print isn’t for everyone, but that’s not to say it isn’t doable, I applaud you if you’re all about going for it, afterall, if it’s good enough for Nicki Minaj. I don’t believe that animal print should be a binary decision where you either throw everything at it or you don’t do it at all. As a self confessed minimalist when it comes to style I still believe that I can wear animal print in a more modest way. It’s versatility is part of it’s charm. Whether your a minimalist or maximalist or somewhere in between, this is for everyone. Here’s my advice for pulling it off.
Just a touch
Sometimes a scarf, belt or some jewellery is all you need. Lois Avery creates the most beautiful cashmere scarves in a range of colours, but one of my favourites is their Bengal Kitten Animal Print Scarf. Alternatively a statement belt such as this rock star style silver studded belt can be worn to add a touch of pizzazz and these Iris leopard enamel hoop earrings by Regina PYO are just too cute not to want to wear every single day.
Find your feet
Another easy way to add this print is to wear it on your feet and the great thing about this pattern is that you can wear it no matter the season. Any of these shoes could be worn with a summer dress or a pair of black cigarette trousers. I love French Sole’s India ballet flats such as the or keds leopard print pumps and those Gianvito Rossi mules are so magnificent, hell, I’d never want to take them off, ever.
Mix it up
Putting different prints together works really well too, especially if making more of a statement is your thing. In the image below, Sophia is wearing two different leopard prints but it works because they are the same colour tone and are brought together by the black sweater and simple, one colour bag. Equally completely clashing patterns worn with jeans and heels is an inspired choice.
Add a classic
A white shirt, cashmere sweater or leather jacket are so versatile they will add instant elegance to any outfit and work brilliantly with animal print.
The Eye of the Tiger
Everyone needs a pair of sunglasses and why not go for a statement animal print finish? The great thing about a pair of shades is the versatility. You could wear these with your kimono or a blazer and pants.
These bolder looks take the theme up a notch by adding shimmer to the pattern. Wow, just when you think animal print couldn’t get any better. However you chose to wear it, the most important thing is to feel comfortable, be confident and just go for it. No excuses, no apologies. Now let me hear you roar.