Jackie Collins once said that every woman should have four animals in her life: a mink in the closet, a jaguar in the garage, a tiger in the bedroom and a jackass to pay for everything! Attaining all four could take a lifetime but luckily you can always have a jungle of animals in your wardrobe, especially this season as safari chic is exploding onto the fashion scene. Animal print is super glam (if done well) and can be a wardrobe staple that easily extends across the seasons.
In summer there’s nothing sexier than a zebra-print bikini or a tiger-print kaftan while in autumn and winter, chic cheetah print pieces or accessories will dramatically up the glamour stakes on a plain black outfit. The two rules of wearing animal print are: less is more, and no mixing and matching under any circumstances. A solo leopard always looks better, blended against a jungle background, than standing with a pack of leopards. Small doses are essential. And if ever you find yourself pondering the second rule just ask yourself: if you were in the wild would you ever see a cheetah wearing a zebra print coat? Or accessorizing with a snakeskin belt? Remember instinct is everything!
Neos Kosmos decodes the laws of the jungle for you here.
Into the mild
Snakeskin can really add some class – as well as versatility – to any outfit. Add texture or colour to a monochromatic moment or use it as a way to amp up your all-black ensemble. Too much snakeskin can end in disaster, though; this is the animal print you have to employ the most caution with. Snakeskin works best in shoes, a skinny belt or wallet.
Crossing the zebra
Zebra print can be a bit hit-or-miss but done properly the contrasting black and white can be super effective and fresh. The idea is to blend it with block colours, definitely not other patterns. Black dress trousers, point toe heels and a black top paired with a dramatic zebra-print statement coat and a bright monochromatic handbag will create an eye-catching but still sophisticated outfit. Zebra print works well in handbags, coats or knee-high boots.
A leopard never changes its spots
Throwing on a leopard print top, dress, high-heel or accessory instantly converts a dull outfit to one that oozes sexy sophistication. Mild doses are key so choose one item, garment or accessory in this foxy feline print and work around it. Leopard print is fabulous in footwear, a blouse, scarf, hat or bag.
Tiger print is fantastically wild and over-the-top and works as a great stand-alone item, making it best for spring and summer. A tiger print bikini, kaftan, sarong, or summer dress makes summer dressing so effortless and fun. Mixed with vibrant colour or fabulous metallics this look allows a lot of creative license and lets you really embrace your inner animal.