I live by the mantra that animal print is an absolutely timeless classic. With fiery frontiers of fashion such as Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Kate Moss leading the leopard print pack over the decades, it’s no wonder that high street shops are pushing the pattern into the modern ages.
It’s safe to say that animal print dominates my retail life. I’ve squeezed into multiple body con dresses, had aching feet from faux fur ballet pumps, snuggled in thick woollen snoods and even have a rain mac, all slathered with animal print, lurking somewhere in the abyss which is my wardrobe. I wholeheartedly respect the golden oldie actresses such as Helen Mirren who still don leopard print at the ripe age of 65.
In today’s high street shops, I cannot help but gape at the printed beauties which grace their window displays.
My local Topshop have an amazing pair of Gaga-esque platform shoes which, if you excuse my rather inarticulate language, are literally “badass”. The Antelope Animal Print Wedge Platform Boots set the wearer back a hefty £80, a wallet weeping sum for a student. Albeit, some may call these “vulgar” or “OTT” but these ankle boots cover the summer platform wedge trend and the sports style with the laid back lace-ups and crepe sole. Team these with a fitted black dress with sheer tights and say goodbye to those ‘safe’ going-out outfits.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Marks and Spencer’s has unleashed the print but with vibrant, neon variants on its accessories. What I would give to see my grandmother walking around with a leopard print umbrella in bright pink!
The most wanted addition to my summery wardrobe has to be the Animal Shirred Maxi Dress from Miss Selfridge, at an acceptable £33. This isn’t a particularly difficult garment to wear and a must have for those timid to print! The ruched chest is elasticated so no need to discreetly rearrange that ever-falling strapless bra or have bra straps on show; the long, elegant length keeps the ‘hooch’ factor at bay, and the fitted nature of the dress body will lovingly hug your curves unlike the other billowy maxi dresses adorning the clothes racks. Simple, plain back sandals, plus black sunglasses and minimal accessories, equals a snatch for those holidaying this summer.
The only slip-up to wearing this trend is going overboard with the rest of your outfit. If unsure, remember to keep the boldest or busiest garment the stand-out garment with a palette of black or dark brown accessories. Adding more of the same print will make you less of a fashionista and more like Sacha Baron Cohen’s alter-ego Brüno.