When I first heard that animal print was trending,
I thought, “I am NOT going to wear that. Not every trend is for everyone. . .”
While I strongly believe in developing an individual fashion sense over chasing the revolving door of trends, I am also in favor of experimenting with new, inspiring style ideas. You never know when a trend might actually become a lasting part of your personal style; in special cases, that trend might not be one that you naturally gravitate toward at first, but then a visionary designer reinvents that look in a way that speaks to you.
You start to see it everywhere, and yet you also see it naturally integrating into your own closet, refreshing cherished pieces while harmonizing with your day-to-day wear.
This was me with the Naomi “Wild Things” Skirt by Réalisation Par.
Before I saw this skirt, I associated leopard print with lacy red bras and teased hair (which, by the way, is totally awesome if that style makes you feel sexy, comfortable, and confident!). But when I saw this beautiful item by Real Par, I fell in love. I knew it would become an instant classic, and a staple in my fall wardrobe.
Here’s why I love this particular skirt, and why the recent revival of animal print is the most wearable look right now:
- Diverse lengths. Midi skirts have swept the style world, and (I predict) will be around for awhile. The midi looks great on short and tall, curvy and petite, and transitions from day to night easily. When doing animal print, consider a midi or maxi-length if looking for a skirt, or consider long sleeves for a top/dress; the contrast between the sexiness of the print and a conservative cut exudes a laid-back, chic vibe.
- Simple color palettes. If you look closely at the skirt I’m wearing, you’ll notice that there are not a lot of different colors involved in this leopard print: it’s only black spots on a tan/gold background. The simple color scheme immediately drew me to this skirt. If you are like me and worry that the trend will wear you rather than the other way around, look for animal prints pieces that have a paired-down color palette (I have some suggested pieces listed below!).
- Quality materials. This skirt is 100% silk, and the material falls beautifully. This is where ecology and good style really come together: good quality, natural fabrics make animal print look amazing, but synthetic fabrics (especially stretchy ones) will warp both the print and the environment. If you find a piece you truly connect with, make the investment. You can save, or if you buy from Garmentory you can use AfterPay, which is a great way to grab a couple of key pieces from sustainable design labels.
Now, let’s talk about styling.
As per usual, I combined indie design with one of my favorite recent vintage finds, an oatmeal-colored silk 1990s era sweater that I found on one of my thrifting excursions. When I bought the skirt, I immediately knew I would pair it with this sweater for cooler weather. Cardigans are another big trend this fall, and there are (for now) a ton of treasures like this one in thrift stores. (I tgive some vintage shopping strategies in one of my older posts; click here to read more). Tucked into a figure-skimming skirt, a cozy, monochromatic cardigan brings balance to a busy print like leopard, tiger, etc.
I finished the look with a chestnut bucket bag and navy ankle boots, both by Marais USA. I mean, it wouldn’t be a proper fall outfit without boots, right?
I think animal print is incredibly versatile, and when shopped in a sustainable, thoughtful way, it can become a vibrant, fresh accent within any wardrobe.
There’s always a bit of risk involved in trying something bold, but so often we limit ourselves and our choices based on fears of drawing too much attention to ourselves, feeling “silly,” too old, too young, too. . . . (fill in the blank).
I want to encourage you to think of yourself as someone who can wear anything that you feel drawn to; chances are that if you like it, it probably does fit into your style.
Take a chance, don’t limit your style, and give yourself permission to be creative.
A little behind-the-scenes info: We shot these photos in the beautiful neighborhood of South Park, San Diego, and got coffee at one of my favorite places, Communal Coffee! (Click here for their Instagram) I will def feature another photo shoot with some deets about this amazing little local gem! Stay tuned!
Shop my look:
(Photo Credit: Jaclyn Najir)