Using Animal Print as a Neutral

Shian Knuth wearing striped Gap tee, white manicure, and leopard print belt,.

Shian Knuth wearing striped Gap tee, white manicure, and leopard print belt,.

Shian Knuth with braided crown wearing striped Gap tee and Happiness Boutique layered geometric necklace.

Shian Knuth wearing Halogen brown and black studded flats,.

Shian Knuth wearing striped Gap tee, leopard print belt, studded flats, and Happiness Boutique layered geometric necklace.

Shian-Aug16-JPG-260 CROP

Shian Knuth wearing striped Gap tee, leopard print belt, studded flats, and Happiness Boutique layered geometric necklace.

| Top- Gap | Belt- Similar | Jeans- Flying Monkey (Old) | Necklace- Layered Geometric Necklace c/o Happiness Boutique | Flats- Halogen |
Photos c/o Cottonwood Studios

A few weeks ago I posted my most popular article (EVER!) on pattern mixing. One of the things I mentioned in the post was that you can use leopard as a neutral in your outfits. I got a ton of response about this, both from people who agreed and those who had never thought to do it. So I thought in this post I would break that down a little more and give you lots of ideas for using animal print patterns as neutrals in your outfits.

Fun fact, I NEVER liked any sort of animal print, up until 1 year ago when I got a pair of zebra print sandals and I realized how well they paired with everything in my closet. I think this is a result of the neutral colors and familiar, natural patterns that don’t clash harshly. I can’t say the same when you go wild (puns ;)) with the color schemes, breaking from standard shades. Still not personally a fan of those.

Animal prints are classic, and one of those items we’ve discussed in the past that are worth dropping a little more cash on. They were also HUGE on the Fall/Winter 2015 runway. In my opinion, with animal print, less is more. If you’re going to wear an animal print top, I highly recommend keeping your pants/skirt one single shade. This is a surefire way to keep your outfit looking chic and sophisticated. Also, when using animal print as a neutral, only stick to one animal print. If you use more, it’s NOT a neutral. Keep it small, simple, and NOT the focus of the outfit.

Basic animal print go-to’s
Leopard
Tiger
Cheetah
Giraffe
Zebra
Tortoise Shell
Python
Monarch Butterfly (Kidding, but why not?)

Investment-worthy animal print pieces
Belt, no question
Scarf
Heels
Purse
Clutch
Phone Case
Ring
Sunglasses
Tank top/undershirt
Daily-wear sandals/tennis shoes
Ribbon (to tie around a hat, or in your hair)
Poncho/Cardigan
Blazer
Gloves
Watch

My favorite way to subtly incorporate animal prints into my outfits is with a leopard print belt or snakeskin heels. What is your favorite way to pull animal prints into your outfit?

Xoxo,
Shian

PS- If you love these dainty layered necklaces, check out Happiness Boutique! They have a sick selection of dainty and statement necklaces, and have a nifty customer reward program! Real talk, this was 100% sponsored, more real talk, these necklaces are my new favorites to wear together and separately, and I actually really like this company a lot. They leave you sweet, personalized notes or quotes when they send you your jewelry and the whole mission of the company is to spread simple happiness, which I’m all about.

Shian- The Fashion Investigator

17 Comments

  1. Would you believe I don’t have a leopard print belt (even though I love this print) I just can’t justify paying $20 or more for them when I find them in Target or other stores, but yours looks so cute! I agree about animal prints being a neutral. Cute look and great post~
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  2. I really liked this belt and the top. The outfit looks beautiful and elegant. Thanks for haring this post and I am looking forward to more posts like this.

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