I am on an Animal Print Kick
It all started with the Zebra print in the summer. I found one of my daughter's dresses from back when she was 10 years old, and I upcycled her dress into a retro/vintage styled halter top for the darling thrifted green retro/vintage skirt I luckily found. The whole outfit was so fun, and I felt like I was in late 1950's Miami Beach or Palm Springs. I even made that darling flower head piece.
However, I never heard the end of my mother telling me she hates my hair this way! LOL! I don't think she understood that I was trying to encapsulate a retro feel. I don't have bangs, but I had extra long hair at that time and was able to create bangs from the ends of my hair! I just pinned the ends at my forehead, swooped them to the side, put the headband on to cover my magic, and voila! An Eva special. (I might be delusional to think it looked cute...that is a possibility!)
The whole look was inspired by the Spring Jungle Dolce & Gabbana 2020 collection. I was obsessed with all of it. I had different idea for this outfit at the beginning of the Upcycle, but as with many of my Upcycles, I edit as I go and ended up with the 1940's.
Unfortunately, I can't post images of the D&G collection due to the fear of lawsuits--ugh. Although I wonder if bottom-feeders like me really would be the efforts of their litigations. But your never know. Here's the link:
click on image below to take you to this Upcycle
When Did I Wear Animal Prints?
The animal print trends come and go, in frenzies, but never actually go away.
I was never a huge animal print fan to begin with. Maybe because I was an amateur when it came to how to creatively style the prints. Or maybe the fear of not doing it right, because I've seen it go very wrong--really wrong, like gaudy wrong. Like cheap wrong. Like mobster wife wrong.
As I looked back on my photos in the past few years, I have only one animal print that I wore twice. It was a thrifted Old Navy snake print sweater--Oatmeal and Brown colored.
March 18th 2018 was one time I wore Snake Skin Print Sweater for my daughter's Confirmation. Went so nicely with the rust colored cropped trousers and my beige kitten heels. I know I did pretty decently styling this outfit because it was 'teenage daughters' approved--and you know how hard it is to please teen girls.
Me, Lillian (here 14 yrs. old), Isabelle (16 yrs. old), and William, my husband
December 22, 2018 was the 2nd time I wore this sweater this time with red belt, red scarf, ankle jeans, and my Nike's. We were in Disneyland, Anaheim and went to Club 33 for the first time.
My girls and I at Disneyland's exclusive Club 33.
We are not members, but were invited by friends.
Then my animal print inspiration dies for almost 3 years until the Zebra print........when I saw my blogger stylist friends wearing animal print in a collective movement that I was missing out on! And Pinterest was teaming with all kinds of prints. I was hooked.
These Style Bloggers Below Have It Right!
I thought I'd share with you the Style Bloggers that have inspired me and examples of how Animal Prints can look so right.
(I have followed these ladies for quite some time before I decided to get off my rump and start my own blog. I owe them so much thanks for their inspiration, encouragement, and the willingness to help me with the questions I have about blogging!)
Red Leopard Print and Snakeskin Boots
I want all of these looks!
Lovely Ladies right?
My Animal Print Journey Begins...
So as I approach my large closet teeming with animal prints--yes, all thrifted--I enter this trend with caution--keeping in mind that
Animal prints can be so right or look so wrong.
Either chic or too contrived.
Either costumey or old lady-ish.
When you take animal prints and go matchy-matchy--not so chic.
In my humble styling opinion, either keeping the look super simple or going all the way--it's the extremes that make Animal Prints look chic.
My Most Recent Animal Prints
The sweater below is an animal print, but not an entire printed sweater. I just thought it was so unusual. I styled it two ways: one is my 'late 1960's early 1970's Queen Gambit/Breanna from Outlander style' and the 2nd, I went Chanel Summer 2020 collection inspired with the white tights and t-strap heels.
Click on the images to take you to more of those images.
The next animal print outfit was one that I Upcycled from 2 thrifted Polyester Walmart Dresses circa 1990's Kathie Lee.
Interesting that from 2 Fuddy Duddy Polyester Dresses I could make a dress Betsey Johnson would be proud of! Tons of ruffles, layers and tulle.
I had to resist the urge to add more tiger print to the dress. I posted pictures in this blog on how BAD this dress could have turned out if I added more tiger print--oy! It looked like my next Halloween costume. Thankfully, after a full belly of a delicious dinner my husband made, I came back to my studio with some sensibility and edited what would have been disastrous.
This might be the ORNATE example I referred to above.
Click on Image
Today, I bring you my thrifted Merona Leopard Print Dress.
And I have a little twist on my styling today...today it was about how much an outfit can change its vibe with just a slight change in hair-do!
So I start with the most 'severe' of the hair-do's which elevates the overall look into more of an Avant-Garde feel.
I put a Pompadour right at my forehead reminiscent of the 18th Century 1700's Baroque Era and Marie Antoinette. Loaded right? and why here?
A little back story. There's my personal elephant in the room. I have an unusually LARGE forehead. I've always been bothered by it, but I try to live gracefully with it. I have learned to do fun things with my hair to camouflage the vast expanse known as skin. Five-fingered forehead. OY!
With age has come comfort with my personal imperfections. And sometimes it's better to NOT mask it, but accentuate it. Inspiration comes to me in many ways and those Pompadours are so extreme and run a parallel to my embracing what God has graced me with (plus a big rump with toothpick legs--you'll see those too! And no, my block heels aren't too big. It's an illusion created by the comparison to my almost sickly skinny looking ankles and calves. I am 5'4" and weigh 125 lbs.)
I am very comfortable being dramatic. So here is my drama/theatrics/artistic photo of the week. I would definitely wear this to one of my work meetings if we ever go back to work!!
Then I took the ponytail out and left the Pompadour in. But the my look is softer now. More romantic could I say. A hair-do I'd wear with my husband out to dinner. A little theatrics, but not too extreme.
Before I go into the casual hairdo, I want to breakdown my outfit!
In the past, my go-to would be black tights for this outfit. But this time I wanted to try wearing chocolate brown tights! Something different and so glad I did--it worked out better than black tights I think! Paired with Nine-West Black Patent Leather Block Heels.
I layered just 2 thrifted necklaces (usually I layer more!). I brought in the long gold chain that I've had for about 15 years because I needed metallic something somewhere. When styling, just like Interior Decorating, you want to bring in different elements and textures.
This outfit has lots going on--in a good way!
metal in the chain
faux Cat's-Eye geometric stone
and the tortoise shell
shell tiles in the purse (add tiny beading!
patent-leather shiny shoes
and chiffon Spalted Leopard Print Dress
Now, if only I'd just start getting my nails done--which I never do, because I work with my hands A LOT--whether sewing, gardening, cooking or cleaning--yep! All hand work!
Now for my Final 'Casual Hair' look...
I forgot to mention this is a High-Low Shirt Dress! Super Duper cool!. Making the overall outfit vibe a little more edgey, less business attire looking. I did not cinch the waist with a belt or the tie it came with. The photo below really shows off the brown tights well. Hard to see the color in the other pictures.
I hope I am not a year and a day off from getting to enjoy this trend. I plan to get a bunch of looks in on my OOTDs before I am onto the next love of my life.