When it comes to high fashion and the runways, designers have always taken huge inspiration from the animal kingdom. After all, nature has provided us with examples of some of the most amazing and beautiful prints, colours and textures! It’s not surprising that we want to make the most of them. There are different ways to incorporate a little animal magic into your wardrobe, from casual day wear through to elegant evening wear, different looks can be sourced from the African plains to deep Amazonian forests or even humble British wildlife. So, here are a few ways to do this. You will expand your look and draw all sorts of positive attention through this little wardrobe mix-up.
Be Cruelty-Free in Your Wardrobe
Remember, to take inspiration from nature you don’t have to take from nature itself. Where possible, opt for cruelty-free options. While animals may have beautiful furs or skins, they should remain exactly that: a fur or skin for the animal. No source of fur can be humanely sourced, and animals are often farmed or captured in inhumane ways to fuel the clothing industry. Nowadays, there are plenty of man-made alternatives available and some designers, such as Stella McCartney, are devoted to completely cruelty-free fashion. So join the revolution! Check labels and opt for cruelty-free fashion wherever you can.
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Leopard print skyrocketed in popularity during the 1970s, however, took a dip in popularity since then. But it’s back with a bang and is set to become a showstopping trend. This is a fierce look that screams confidence. After all, a faux fur leather coat, leopard print blouse or killer leopard print stilettos will always be a bold look that makes you stand out from the crowd. Leopard print radiates a “don’t-mess-with-me” message that works perfectly for an inner-city woman. To work this look to its best, try to contain your ensemble to one leopard print item per outfit. Multiple prints may clash and be overwhelming.
As fall is settling in and winter is approaching fast, you’re going to look to start stocking up on some cozier essentials that will keep you warm throughout the colder months. These items are likely to be an investment, as thicker and denser fabrics are generally more costly. So, opt for something that will match a whole multitude of outfits while fending off the frost. Faux fur is often the best option for this. Faux fur coats or fur vest outfits will keep you looking on trend without suffering frostbite or shivering while you get to and from work each day. If this is going to be your main winter coat, try to stick with neutral colours, such as black, different shades of brown or (if you’re feeling brave) cream.
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Some of us take pride in sticking to a monochrome wardrobe. Black and white are brilliant shades and complement almost any skin tone, hair colour and makeup. So it’s not all too surprising that we might want to stick to some of these shades. However, combining them can create a stunning contrast that can make your outfit a little more interesting. The most famous way to do this? Zebra print. Zebra print combines stripes of black and white without making the overall look appear too rigid or formulaic. It adds a little touch of softness to the contrasting shades while still drawing attention to the given item. Consider a zebra print blazer for an air of sophistication or a floaty, zebra print blouse for a relaxed approach to the pattern. If you are feeling a little edgy, zebra print works particularly well on a pair of creeper shoes for a rockabilly vibe.
Faux snakeskin is the perfect print when it comes to bags and shoes. It adds texture to any outfit and will draw much more interest than a standard leather item. Faux snakeskin harks back to the fifties, when people oozed class and sophistication, so it’s a great vintage twist to add to any outfit. If you want a statement piece, why not consider a faux snakeskin belt. There are a variety of colours out there, but why not opt for something not-so-subtle? We often find ourselves wearing darker colours during the winter, as it makes thermodynamic sense: darker clothes retain more heat, keeping us warmer. However, a bright accessory, such as a belt could add a much-needed pop of colour to any outfit. If you fancy something a bit more distinctive, why not try crocodile style materials. These fabrics will be tougher, more durable and have a larger and overall more noticeable and distinguished print. It’s entirely up to you: subtle or bold, take your pick!
Fake feathers add beautiful texture to any item. They’re soft, yet sturdy and remain their shape. A fake feather shoulder cape or ruff turns any dress from casual to evening gown standard. Options that replicate breeds such as the peacock can have beautiful patterns added, such as the peacock’s famous eye-like print. Others can be iridescent, or have a quality akin to the sheen of light on petrol. Faux feathers are also great mini accessories, topping hats of all kinds or being applied to earrings for a bohemian look.
There’s a reason Cruella deVil wanted those dalmatians so much: these adorable pups have one of the most distinct and admirable patterns to be found on any animal. But unlike Cruella, you don’t have to turn to puppy-napping to incorporate this pattern into your wardrobe. Dalmatian spots are brilliant for accessories such as umbrellas. The black and white pattern will match almost any outfit, meaning that you will be able to weather any storm in fashion at any given time.
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Why stop with animals? The changing seasons open our eyes to some astounding colour palettes. Certain colours naturally go together perfectly, so where better to source them than nature itself?
Spring is the season of rejuvenation, as the natural world awakes from her winter slumber. Anything associated with this time is fresh, full of life and new. Consider the different greens of freshly sprouting plants, yellow associated with daffodils, the fluffy white textures of spring lambs and the soft blue of clearing skies.
Summer is the best time to incorporate all things bright and brazen. Flowers are blossoming at their peak, brightly coloured insects are flitting about and the sky is often the deepest shade of azure blue that you could imagine. So keep things lively, full of colour and bold.
Autumn sees summer come to an end, with leaves turning altering shades of yellow, orange, red and brown as they fall to the ground, preparing the trees for the cold months ahead. Autumnal landscapes incorporate these shades as well as purples and deep greens associated with evergreen trees.
Winter is associated with cooler tones, so keep your colour palette to whites, blues and greens. Think of frost, snow and frozen lakes. These shades will foster a cool, sophisticated look.
If you fancy taking things beyond your wardrobe, why not use the animal kingdom as inspiration for your makeup looks? While we probably wouldn’t recommend going all out with face paint for anything other than a fancy-dress occasion, you can use certain colours from majestic and beautiful animals to create a palette that will draw associations with said animal’s traits. Here’s one example to get your imagination going.
The lioness is a symbol of pure strength. She is fierce, hunting on behalf of her pride and working alongside her female comrades for the survival of the pack. What animal could be a better role model? To achieve a look associated with this magnificent creature, you’re going to want a makeup palette filled with gold, brown and black pressed powders. Start on the inside of your eye with a light shade of gold powder. Then work your way across the rest of the lid, blending darker tones until you reach the far side of the eye. Try to use a gradient ranging from light gold to bold gold to a darker shade such as brown. Now take a thin brush and use a black or dark brown powder along the line of your socket. Blend this into the other shades across your lid. This will create the illusion of wider, bigger eyes. Finish with a slick line of jet black eyeliner and black mascara to emphasize the lashes.
These are just a few of the ways that the animal kingdom can influence your wardrobe. But don’t stop here. There’s a whole world out there that can give you some of the most inspired ideas and alternative looks. Whether you purchase items with these prints involved or take up the opportunity to alter a few things and incorporate different patterns or textures yourself, get started today! Your wardrobe will look all the better for it in no time. Remember, mother nature most often knows best when it comes to creating things of pure beauty.