Embrace your wild side this year with animal prints

Jan 22, 2024
Source: Provided

Here’s hoping this New Year delivers everything we need, with some bonus points for being fabulous, gorgeous ones!

I recently overheard a conversation between two friends, whereby one of them asked the other if she thought they should get rid of their animal print garments. As I was about to interrupt them rudely, her friend quipped: “Are you nuts? Me parting with my leopard print outfit would deprive me of my wild side,” she chuckled.

I say give that woman a double as she is right on the button. We should be able to roar and express our wild-woman side whenever we have the inclination and what better way than expressing our mood and individual style with designs that have withstood the age of time, such as animal print, much like us!

So, I was reminded of my small but select stash of leopard, panther and snakeskin print items and am having such fun restyling the garments and accessories to make any outfit stand out from the rest. Boring? Never!

Harnessing our inner diva by setting the tigress, panther, sophisticated snake, or leopard queen free does not have to be a Jungle Book extravaganza. It can be done with style and panache, which I was so vividly reminded of watching a movie about my tween fashion idol, Jean Shrimpton, being photographed by David Bailey in the 60s, from London to New York.

Of course, back then, plenty of the animal print fabrics  were not faux, but now we know better and I’m loving some of our Australian designers looking after our environment, creating faux fur, leather, and textiles from recycled materials, acknowledging how animal print designs remain timeless in our wardrobes. It’s not about fashion, it’s about style and we own it.

During the Holidays I had to attend several occasions, ranging from smart to smart-casual. I discovered wearing a solid colour, in my case often white, and adding a touch of animal print, gave it edgy class and I’d be telling a lie if I said I did not welcome the compliments paid whenever I wore my animal print outfits. Only human, right? All women deserve to be complimented – often!

Too often, we only go with the latest trends promoted by advertisers and forget the solid gold we have in our closets. Again, like us, the classics never go out of style…

I’ve assembled some of my old animal print items and have revitalised them with some bright colours as well as muted tones to demonstrate how we could have fun with safari chic wherever we may be, in the suburbs, in the city, or in the outback!

Feeling bold? Wear your latest favourite bright colour that brings out the sparkle in your eye and add some soft tones of the wild. So, you prefer to go more gently into that cheetah mode? Simply add nude, black or white. Not partial to any animal prints? Why not risk it by adding a pair of animal-print shoes to a monochrome ensemble. It will certainly raise the sophistication bar several notches.

Our skin tone will help determine which animal prints work best with our complexion. I suggest the softer hues with a fair or light skin, whilst the darker hues work well with medium and darker skin tones. However, make-up will further enhance whichever shade of animal print you wish to wear to elevate the glamorous vibe.

Skin tone too light for the darker earth shades of, say, leopard print? Add a touch of yellow to your foundation and wear a deeper toned red lipstick, with a warmer shade, such as peach, blush. Your brunette skin seems too dull with a grey-hued snakeskin print perhaps? Add a drop of pink to your foundation and blush, with a soft pink lipstick. This also blends well with silver hair shades. We all have the Midas touch, we just need to feel adventurous to up the style ante.

Have fun, oh gorgeous ones, I can hear you roar, purr, and hiss with a knowing glance… I say cheers to a promising 2024 and to us only being older, never over.

Styling an old leopard print silk blouse with linen for a casual look, then adding satin pants, a blazer and gold heels for a smarter look; adding a faux python jacket to silky lace top and linen pants for edgy sophistication. Source: Provided
Wear a white hat and pretty nude heels with a leopard-print dress; wearing all white and adding a bovine skin leopard print belt for some drama; adding colour, like bright orange, or simply styling a leopard print skirt with a mocha linen top. Source: Provided
Accessories; worn on repeat, a navy shirt dress over panther print pants – lose the belt if it feels more comfortable; safari style pants worn with soft tones of yellow; animal print summer jacket over a sequinned top, and the same jacket over a black camisole. Source: Provided
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