Time to bring out the animal in you

That would be the animal print – that timeless, classic neutral that is always noted as a trend for the season (when was it NOT a trend?). And the print seems most fitting in the fall and winter when you want to feel warm and cozy and maybe a little exotic. You can always count on animal prints to bring an air of elegance and sophistication and if you choose carefully, it won’t date itself quickly. Meaning -- you can add a piece to your wardrobe and enjoy wearing it for several years to come.

This graphic can be found as a printed or woven fabric or knit or faux fur – it all depends on how you want to add it to your wardrobe and the look you want to achieve. Woven fabrics and faux fur (that’s artificial fiber fur) are generally good for holding their structure in jackets, coats, skirts, and bags of all kinds. Knits and light-weight prints and better for a soft look, like a blouse or scarf or cardigan.

How do you coordinate with it? Like all color coordination – look for the colors in the print. Generally, leopard, cheetah, and tiger have the colors of brown and cream and white and black. So repeat any one of these colors in your outfit and it looks perfectly polished and coordinated. Here’s a photo of me keeping it simple and tasteful.

Zebra is only black and white, so it has a more limited palette to work with. HOWEVER, how can you break the rules and paint a little outside the lines?

Add COLOR, like in this this L.K. Bennett bootie. Doesn’t that bold green add great contrast that’s really fun and eclectic? Just one color, please. And this simple tactic will work to add drama to any other piece in your wardrobe that feels a little tired but you still want to wear it.

Photo: L.K. Bennett

The key is always about finding contrast – pattern, color, texture, or silhouette. So go forth and add some exotic animal print to your wardrobe -- and see how it brings it to life!