Why stripes and not the whole tiger?
You know that animal prints are always all the rage – they’re basically neutrals at this point and fashionistas dare to wear them with anything and everything.
I love it.
But, recently, I find myself with a new, strange animal-print obsession. I’m not talking leopard spots or zebra stripes. No, none of that. (Although, trust me, what I do have isn’t going anywhere, it’s just taking a little break from the heavy and constant rotation.)
I’m swooning, lusting, clicking like mad through every online retailer I can think of to come up with animal printed anything. Dresses with horses, tops with cats, skirts with fish.
It might sound kitsch, and I guess it is, but it’s also so much more. It’s fabulous. It’s fun. It’s totally unexpected in all of the best ways.
I’m making it mandatory. Just try it. Go with me on this one. You won’t regret it.
I guess it all started a few years ago when Marc Jacobs introduced those cute ballet flats with the mouse face. Yeah, you know the ones. We all lusted after them, saw them online and in stores, but, holy price tag, Batman! How many of us would be willing to shell out a few hundred bucks for ballet flats just for the ironic cuteness of mouse shoes?
Not this lady.
I forgot all about the shoes until I recently noticed blazers with sparrows, fancy work blouses with horses, scarves with bumblebees. The cuteness and surprising sophistication was overwhelming. Most of the pieces aren’t so animal intense that, if you were, say, out in public, someone would look at you and shout, “Whoa! Are you a walking ad for the Kentucky Derby?” or “Here comes the crazy cat lady!” We’re not talking in-your-face oversized animals here.
The prints are small and delicate, whimsical, and dialed-down so you could wear many of these pieces to work, to party, to the grocery store, to take out the garbage, to sleep. Anywhere – you won’t want to take them off.
That’s not a bad thing. Like you change your go-to colors by seasons, you can do the same with animal prints – doe in the winter, butterflies spring, bees in summer, squirrels in fall. It’s so sweet my teeth are starting to hurt.
In all seriousness, if the whimsy frightens you, tame it. Don’t pick up the horse dress. Start small instead – a scarf with the silhouette of little dogs or cats. Or, do the dress but, since it’s still a bit chilly, wear solid tights, boots, and a sweater or jacket over top to break up the focus.
You can do it. You should do it. If I had a hypnosis kit, I’d say “You will do it.” And it will feel great. You will look great. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that?