Today: Apr 21, 2024

Animal Print 101: Let your inner animal out

SIMONE VIRZICopy Editor
Some people avoid animal print, fearful someone may label them as a wannabe guido or guidette. Well it’s time for Nutmeggers to forget about New Jersey and embrace these fun prints with open arms and an open mind. After all, almost anyone (both guys and dolls) can pull off animal print. However, there’s a fine line between awesome and Jersey-trashy, so it’s important to learn the rules to avoid reaching oompa loompa status.
Keeping it Classy
Unfortunately, animal print is sometimes thought of as gaudy, but it’s time for a change; just like Gandhi has been quoted saying, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Zebra print, my personal favorite pattern, is a great way to experiment with prints because it’s perfect for any personality. The black and white color palette is classic and ultimately goes with everything; the contrasting colors are also bold. Whether you’re going for Jackie O or Lady Gaga, the common color combination for zebra print is timeless.
Color-Wonderful
Zebra print doesn’t always have to be black and white, even though it’s the most common combination. Purple and black zebra print is more contemporary but makes a statement as well. One of my shirts (designated for going out) has this color combination, and you really can’t go wrong. It’s funky, youthful and since purple is my favorite color, it’s pretty freaking awesome.  It also stands out from the usual black and white; it’s always fun to try something new.
Leopard print is also funky and great for this time of year since brown is a popular color to rock. Like zebra, leopard print is another bold, but fun pattern. You can easily mix a leopard print shirt with brown or black leggings. If you’re feeling spunky, try leopard print jeans. Yes, they exist—just Google it! They come in the traditional leopard print, as well as grey on grey.  The grey on grey pants are particularly hot because you can wear them with any color shirt and they’ll still look HAWT.
If you’re all about being bold, check out OnlyLeggings.com. As the name suggests, they only sell leggings (and a few tops), but this site has everything. In addition to tie-dye, metallic and army-print leggings, they have a wide selection of animal print too! Whether you want red leopard print, colorful zebra print or snakeskin they’ve got it. The site makes you feel like you’re a kid in a candy store, especially if you want to stand out.
Besides Diamonds, Accessories are a Girl’s Best Friend
If you’re not comfortable wearing an animal print shirt (yet), or perhaps you want to add animal print for a splash of fun, accessories are perfect. An animal print purse, shoes or scarf are simple purchases you can get a substantial amount of use out of.  Say your outfit is all black—a purple snakeskin purse will make your outfit pop. All you did was add a bag!
But don’t think animal print is just for clothing accessories. Oh no, no! They sell some pretty sweet iPhone cases that are animal print. Pink and black zebra print? They’ve got it. Purple and black zebra print? They sell that too! They also sell a wide selection of leopard print cases, from blue and white to pink on black; they even sell cow animal print! So now there’s no excuse not to pimp out your phone.
Guys and Prints
Although it may seem like animal print is limited to females, it’s not. A guy needs to have the right personality, but it’s certainly a possibility; it’s all about being confident in the clothes and accessories you’re rocking. Steve Miller, the former opinions editor for SNews, had a pair of leopard print shoes called Creepers. (If you don’t know what Creepers are I suggest Googling it!) Needless to say, every time I saw him wearing them I got excited and would tell him how much I loved those shoes. As much as I loved them, he loved them even more. He said they’re comfortable and had no problem wearing animal print.
Drake and Kanye West have been photographed in animal print, but not every guy is OK being that bold. That’s where small animal print additions come into play. Try an animal print tie to spice up that otherwise predictable outfit, or switch a leather belt for a snakeskin one. If you believe it looks good and you have confidence in your outfit, wear your animal print proudly. Don’t let all the girls have the fun!
Animal House
Don’t just limit animal print to your clothing or accessories—include it at home! My comforter is sky blue, so to bring out my personality I have black and white zebra print throw pillows (they were once my aunt’s). Any solid color and a print almost always goes well together, and it’s certainly more interesting than just having a bland blue comforter. Animal print rugs are also an easy way to bring the room to life. I know when I eventually own my own house, I plan on having a red, black and white room. I’m leaning toward red wine walls, black furniture and zebra print accessories: you gotta keep it classy!

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