Forget everything you’ve been told about investing in a simple set of minimal wardrobe staples this year, because 2019 is the year of the jungle in which animal print has been dubbed “the new neutral.”
Leopard, tiger, snake, zebra… The concrete jungle has run positively rampant with variations of the bold and immortal animal print in 2019 (snakeskin boots, leopard print slips, silky tiger stripes and the rest!) and it looks as though that’s here to stay. Which is great, because if this trend is nailed correctly, it’ll add glamour, grown-up style, and some down right sexiness to your 2019 wardrobe.
Yep, high-octane femininity has reared its head in the form of exotic animal-print pieces this season and is set to stay here for next season, too. Perhaps that’s because at a time when female sexuality has never been more talked about, there is a comfort in this understated, subconscious rebellion.
It’s not the easiest trend to pull-off, however… an over-enthusiastic approach carries with it a risk of channeling the iconic (but unbelievably horribly-dressed) Pat Butcher. But the good news is that it’s very possible to wear the print in a chic, nearly subtle way (we said “nearly”).
So how can you pull off the animal print without looking like you stepped out of the 80s? Read on to find out.
Make it roar!
Animal print is one trend where more really is more, so take your styling cues from Bella Hadid and Lady Gaga (okay, so maybe not quite Lady Gaga level…), and work it from head to toe. Be prepared for your non fashion-following pals to look on in horror, but remember their faces when they first saw you wear skintight bike shorts outside of the gym… Who’s laughing now!?
Indeed, as we’ve learnt this season, anything goes, so going all out on your animal prints might feel a bit dodgy, but in days like these, you have to do a lot to stand out (as anyone who’s ever walked through central London on a Saturday morning will tell you).
But, no longer a fashion-forward move for bold and courageous fashionistas only, the 2019 animal print craze is most definitely a trend for the more conservative stylistas, too…
Or keep things minimal
If you’re not wanting to make your animal print roar, and prefer a chic, minimal aesthetic then the first thing to do is to use non-patterned pieces that allow the animal print garment to play the starring role. Remember the fashion rule that “less is more”?
Choose only one animal print garment per look and avoid giving in to excesses. Harmonise your statement piece with garments in neutral tones that appear in the pattern, such as black, white or beige – all of which are very versatile and easy to combine. Denim, of course, always goes.
Monochrome has now well and truly shaken off its Sixties connotations, as designers are playing with all kinds of decorative devices to give black and white a fresh, modern makeover — in fact, minimal, monochromatic ensembles have ruled among the fashion set over the past few years.
In the animal print world, monochrome variations are often overlooked, but zebra or cow prints offer a great alternative to leopard and cheetah prints and are perfect for those who prefer to dress in subtle shades of black and white. Stepping it up a notch, the monochrome prints also looks great contrasted against a bold dose of colour!
For the resolutely fearful among us (it’s ok, we understand this one), you can get on board with the animal print trend step by step. Ease yourself in with accessories; try a shoe cut from snakeskin or go for a leopard print micro bag — after all, it’s all in the details.
Avoid overloading on the accessories (one statement scarf, pair of boots, or clutch bag will do) and try not to wear more than three different colours in the same outfit, either.
Whatever you do, opt for quality
Steer clear of heavy fabrics like wool or cheap polyesters and opt for silks or light cottons, both of which will ensure the patterns look current. Opt for cuts that are in line with other trending shapes, like mid-length slip skirts or dresses, boxy button up T-shirts or oversized suits, all of which will ensure the piece says fresh.
And whatever you do, steer clear of the real thing…
Don’t abuse the print
Animal print does not mean animal skin. It literally means a fabric that’s been printed, painted, or embroidered to look like the textures and patterns you see in nature, so don’t get that mistaken.
Abusing animals is of course the biggest no-no, which is why we’re only focusing on animal prints here, rather than actual furs or skins.