Animal Prints: A Trend or a Classic?

A classic leopard print dress is updated with a safari jacket and nude pumps.

I always find it interesting when magazines and retailers start touting the new trends at the start of every season. It seems to me that some of the trends they are referring to are things we’ve all seen before in some shape or form. For example, according to the fashion industry, animal print is going to be big this fall. But I’ve had animal print pieces in my closet for years! I’ve got leopard and cheetah gloves, scarves, purses, shoes, belts, tops, sweaters, and coats. You can see one of my leopard print tops here and my leopard print shoes here. I also have a zebra-striped poncho that I love (and bought last year). Personally, I don’t consider animal print a trend, but a classic, which is why I rarely get rid of any of my animal print pieces. I know I’ll wear them every year all year long.    

A classic animal print dress is updated with a safari jacket and nude pumps.

This cheetah print dress is a great example. It has been with me for years; I think I may have picked it up at Marshalls or Ross (it’s from the EnFocus Studio brand). The dress is a shirt style dress with a button top half and a self tie belt. It is made of a polyester and spandex blend so while it’s snug, it moves with you. With the right accessories, it can play a number of roles. Today’s look is something I would wear to work.

A classic animal print dress is updated with a safari jacket and nude pumps.

Cheetah or Leopard?

Did you know that there is a difference between leopard and cheetah prints? Leopard print usually has a pattern of close black or brown spots that create a cluster, very similar to a rosette. Cheetah print is composed of dark black, circular or oval spots on a yellowish orange or golden background.

A classic animal print dress is updated with a safari jacket and nude pumps.

If you look closely at my dress, you’ll notice the black and oval-like spots of a cheetah print. This dress is old, but here are a few similar options (please note that I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post).

A safari jacket adds an outdoor vibe to an animal print outfit.

Like the dress, this jacket from Banana Republic has been in my closet forever and I’ve worn it time and time again. Because the dress has such a lively pattern, I wanted to “ground” it a little with a neutral color. The jacket was a perfect piece to calm the cheetah pattern down, but its safari style adds to the wild outdoors theme of the overall outfit.

Here are some similar jackets:

Please note that I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

This Plunder Design necklace displaying a seal and a beach ball adds a fun element to an animal print outfit.

Splash of Color

I also wanted to add a little color to this neutral look so I chose the Lucille necklace from my Plunder jewelry collection.  When I first saw this necklace, I immediately fell in love with its cute design of a seal playing with a beach ball (and it goes along with my wild outdoors/nature look). This necklace is no longer available at Plunder, but you can check out my website to see other unique necklaces.  I also love the subtle teal color that is featured in both the necklace and my Blessed earrings. These earrings are also no longer available (sorry!) but here’s a link to all of Plunder’s earrings. I wore the Hope bracelet, although you can’t see it in these pictures. Click here to see a closeup.

A teal bag adds a nice splash of color to an animal print outfit.This teal bag from Thirty One also drew out the teals on the necklace and the earrings and added the perfect splash of color to the whole look. I bought my bag from a Thirty-One consultant a few years ago.

Nude pumps help elongate the legs.Finally, I rounded out my outfit with these nude Sam Edelman pumps. I like the nude color because they help elongate my legs and doesn’t draw attention away from the cheetah dress. They are a bit pricey but are a nice dressy pump. I also have this pair and love them because they are so comfortable. They are also less expensive than the Sam Edelman shoes.

So what do you think? Are animal prints a trend or a classic? Whatever your answer, be sure to shop your closet first to see if you have animal prints already in stock. If you don’t, then adding some cheetah, leopard or even zebra to your closet will up your style factor. Don’t worry about wearing it for one season; trust me, you’ll take that walk on the wild side every year. In other words, you’ll get a lot of use out of your animal print. I sure do! Thanks for visiting my blog!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you click and/or purchase products in the links. Please see my Disclosure Page for more information. I am also an independent Stylist for Plunder Design and receive a commission if you purchase any of the products through my links and/or website.

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