Today's guest post comes to us from Brooke Samsonite (@brookesamsonite) who is a twenty-something residing in Indianapolis who is inspired by Lifestyle & Entertainment, Home Décor /Home Improvement, Travel, and writing. Having only recently spread her always-fashionable wings and started freelance writing, Brooke loves to blog (over @ Belts & Bangles and Cooks & Travel Books) about her extensive experiences and offer valuable resources to inspire others.
Sometimes I feel like my wardrobe is full of the same old colors and styles, year after year. I love classic clothing and make a point of investing in pieces that will last for a while, in addition to keeping up with the latest trends. I hadn't ever gotten into animal prints before, so I was a little freaked out when a friend gave me an animal print scarf for my last birthday. I was afraid I would never be able to figure out how to wear it, but she convinced me to try. As I experimented with it, I learned that animal prints do a perfect job of making a simple outfit pop.
Keep it Solid: The first rule of the road when it comes to animal prints is to not mix them with other prints, even if they're animal prints too. Even though some runway models can pull off a head-to-toe animal print look, with a different print on each article of clothing, you probably can't. Once you choose your animal print article of clothing, stick it with other solid colored items. Choose mostly neutral colors, but you can add one bright one to make the look pop a little more. If the solids are too boring for you, experiment with different textures to make the outfit more interesting.
Ease Yourself Into It: Like I did, you don't have to start out with an animal print dress, shirt, or coat that draws a lot of attention. If you're feeling wary of the prints, test the waters with a smaller article of clothing first. You could try an animal print belt, scarf, hat, shoes or leg warmers in the colors and style that most closely match your usual wardrobe. These are easier to pair with outfits you already own, and if you are getting tons of compliments and decide that you love the look, you can always add more animal prints to your wardrobe later.
Add Fun Accessories: Animal prints are fun and casual, and your accessories should be too. Pair bright colors and African patterns with animal prints for a bold look, or just stack up an armful of miscellaneous gold or silver bangles for a look that can't go wrong. Zebra print is especially fun to accessorize because it works with so many colors, so wear a black and white outfit and turn to color in your accessories. I especially love my turquoise earrings and bracelet with my zebra print skirt and a black or white top.
Regardless of what prints you're wearing and what else you've added to complete the outfit, remember to have fun with animal prints. They're a little wild and funky, and your attitude while you're wearing them should match the look. Of course, that's not to say that you shouldn't be yourself, but you may be surprised to discover the side of your personality that comes out when you're wearing animal prints.