Animal Instinct

Be yourself. Follow your instincts. Success depends, at least in part, on the ability to “carry it off.”

-Donald Rumsfeld, Former United States Secretary of Defense

I can honestly say that I never thought I would quote “Rummy” as G. W. Bush affectionately called him. However his words ring true when it comes to fashion trends. While you want to get the trends right, you still need to be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin. I absolutely love the animal print trend (see my self-portrait). However I know that some of you out there are afraid to try it or worry about appropriateness for the office. When done tastefully, this trend demonstrates a classy and professional look; when overdone, you can easily look like Snooki and her Jersey Shore cast mates. The animal trend is easily mastered if you be yourself, follow your instincts and remember that less is more. Here are some tips to get the trend right for the office:

  • Shoes – The simplest to do an animal print is with shoes. Pumps, flats and booties in leopard, cheetah or snake skin are all great ways to add a style statement to your existing wardrobe.  What some people don’t realize is that animal prints often act as a neutral and go with just about anything. Pair them with a skirt or dress in one of the season’s hottest hues like tangerine, fuchsia or chartreuse; or stick with the classics like black, navy or gray.

  • Skirts – Animal print skirts are a great alternative to the classic black pencil skirt. Options include leopard in various colors, python (a personal fav, see my self-portrait) and even zebra. Try pairing one with a jewel tone blouse for a simple yet chic look.

  • Cardigans – Tired of the same old cardigans? Try an animal print. As a neutral (notice a theme here) these sweaters pair well with many of your existing pieces like skirts or pants in black, gray or tan; or be bold with colorful bottoms and dresses.

  • Blouses – Animal print blouses follow the same rules as cardigans when it comes to color pairings. However take caution as these blouses are sometimes made of a sheer material. To avoid Janet Jackson-like wardrobe malfunction, wear a form-fitting tank top in a coordinating hue (black, brown or tan) to provide appropriate coverage. Depending on your work environment you may need to top your blouse with a cardigan or blazer.

  • Jewelry – For those of us who still are not ready to dive head first into the trend, there’s animal jewelry. Animal jewelry is a recent discovery of mine and has quickly become a favorite. It is a great way to add some fabulousness to your existing wardrobe. Pair pieces like these from Bauble Bar  or H&M  with your blouses, dresses and suits to add a new spin to your look.


Remember that mastering this trend is all about being true to you. Whether you take a bold approach or keep it simple, always be fabulous.

For information on where to buy these and other animal trend pieces, follow me on Pinterest.


2 thoughts on “Animal Instinct

  1. SM says:

    Perfect post. Very practical and right on trend. When I recently purchased a pair of python flats, I never imagined wearing them to the 9 to 5; I bought them with my casual/weekend days in mind. But one adventurous day at work, has lead to me wearing them with just about everything every chance I can get. I agree with your point — they can be a neutral. Who knew?!

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