How to wear animal prints
Animal prints, just like mom jeans and fanny packs have a bad rap as something that old ladies tend to overindulge in. After 40, most looks still work; it just takes some tweaking to make sure you are wearing them in a way that’s updated and age-appropriate.
Animal prints especially leopard prints are a classic, in everything from dresses to tops to handbags. And worn the right way, they are chic and sexy at the same time.
Animal prints make neutrals pop and adds sex appeal to your wardrobe. Here’s how to wear animal prints after age 40:
Do look for animal prints in classic shapes. A trench coat, a twinset, a camisole, a sheath dress, a clutch bag: simple, clean-lined shapes carry the print well. Avoid frills or ruffles or glitz with your animal print.
Don’t over-accessorize animal prints. Let the print take center stage. Don’t complete the look with anything flashy like metallic shoes or bags. Opt for one or two pieces of jewelry like a bangle and a bold necklace to complete the look.
Don’t show too much cleavage or leg. Animal prints are sexy enough: keep overtly sexy skin exposure (with the exception of arms and shoulders) more covered up.
Don’t wear weird color combos in animal prints. Purple leopard? Hot pink zebra? Leave the loud color combos to the kids, and opt for classic neutral-colored animal prints.
Do try animal prints in small doses. You will never go wrong trying animal prints in smaller pieces like a handbag or shoe. Even a camisole worn under a jacket to work adds some zing without going overboard.
Do wear animal prints on body parts you want to highlight. If you are top heavy, wear a leopard-print pencil skirt with a dark top. Bottom heavy? Put the print on your top. Just don’t wear your animal prints on body parts you want to camouflage or minimize. Avoid animal print leggings (too fitted for a print)
Do match animal prints with a neutral. Animal prints shine when paired with something simple and low-key like a black pair of pants or a skirt. Even white is a good partner for animal prints.
Do scale the print to your body type. Remember the golden rule of prints: the closer together the print (the less background space showing) the more flattering the print. When you wear a print that is widely spaced out it enlarges the body area you wear it on.
Do try an animal print scarf. It may seem like a small item, but a leopard print scarf adds lots of wow to any look.
Do wear animal prints to work. A great leopard-print cardigan over a neutral top with a pencil skirt or pants is a perfect workday look. Also, an animal-print shell under a black pantsuit is another great look that’s classic enough for the office.
Don’t underestimate the power of animal print shoes. One of the easiest ways to pull off animal prints: Shoes. Pair a simple black dress, leggings or black pants with leopard print pumps for a fantastic look.
Do pair with jeans. Denim is a natural basic that takes on leopard print well and grounds it. Try a leopard cardigan with dark denim jeans for a dressed-up weekend look that may even work in some offices for casual Friday.