Last week fashion reporter Teri Agins of the Wall Street Journal, responded to a reader’s question. I thought you might find it interesting in it’s entirety.
Question: I am north of 40 years old, and want desperately to wear animal prints this spring. But I don’t want to look terribly trendy –or too young. What is the best way for me to integrate one of the hottest looks of the season into any wardrobe? L.L., New York City
Answer: In recent years, the malls have been full of animal–print pencil skirts, blouses, shoes, and handbags. These timeless, abstract prints – such as leopard, tiger and snakeskin patterns – are neutral and versatile enough to be combined with black, brown, red and even purple.
I happen to love animal prints because the designs look lush and urbane – absolutely perfect for women of all ages. Even the cheapest T-shirt top or scarf in a leopard print packs a punch and imparts a bold accent.
But take care when donning these jungle patterns. Go easy, with simpler jewelry. In clothes, stick with smaller patterns that won’t make you look thick.
Every gal should have a pair of animal-print pumps and a handbag – just don’t wear them together. Handbagheaven.com is one retailer that offers many affordable animal-print bags, which are much fresher than standard black or brown purses.
“Animal prints are one of those novelties that women are enthusiastic about, and they always sell out quickly every season,” says Edward Wilkerson, designer for women’s label Lafayette 148. The call of the wild from Lafayette 148 this spring includes: a “zebra” pony-skin jacket and a leopard-printed silk blouse and pencil skirt. “We keep them looking new with colors, like a tiger print against a fuchsia background or leopard with cobalt blue,” he says.
Beryl’s comments: I thought you would enjoy this article, as we have not discussed animal-prints for spring. I don’t think animal prints are for everyone. Having just an accent, perhaps a scarf, shoes or bag could work for most people. When you move to a blouse or jacket, watch the scale of the print and color contrast. A zebra print will only work if the wearer has strong coloring, strong personality and a strong presence. Animal prints are quite forceful and can easily overpower a small person or someone with a quiet, reserved personality. Use the “blink” test when choosing whether this is a look for you. Standing in front of the mirror, close your eyes for a few moments then open them quickly and observe what you see first. If you see you first then recognize that you are wearing an animal print, it probably will work. If you see the print first, it is too strong.