Monday, September 7, 2009

Ask The Bitches: It's a Jungle Out There



Lookee here, Pirate, another question!

Dear Moi and Pirate,

Is the saying "Everything old is new again" really true? And does that apply
to somewhat "vintage" clothes? I have a collection of leopard print blouses/jackets/scarves/sweater from my MIL's VAST collection of clothes and shoes. I have to admit they were destined for Goodwill until the other night I noticed the fabulous Heidi Klum wearing a leopard print blouse on P.R. Yesterday while at Nordstrom I also noticed quite a few leopard print sweaters, jackets and blouses. As I navigate myself through the new (and often scary) road to forward fashion (which in my world means ditching the black t-shirts) could you two cast a little light on when it's OK and not OK to wear leopard prints AND old leopard prints. I'm worried about turning up at my next soiree looking like the above photo.

Your friend,

Boxer


* * *

MOI:

Ooo! Ooo! Animal prints – my favorite topic!

No, everything old may not necessarily be new again. I mean, seriously: do we want to beam ourselves back to THIS:

However, as far as I'm concerned, the more animal print the better. I can't help it. Maybe it's in my DNA. Heck, maybe it's in all our DNA, winding itself all the way back to caveman times. Back then, we HAD to wear animal prints, right? I mean, what else were we gonna do, grow cotton or spin silk? Our brains were just not that evolved yet – clubbing innocent creatures over the head with big sticks was about as far as we got on the manufacturing end of things. How else to explain the enduring popularity of animal prints down through the ages?
Today, you can still walk like an Egyptian. You can go the discrete route with a neck scarf or 5” heeled Christian Louboutin pumps,

(Dear Santa: Moi has been a very, very, very, very VERY good girl this year.
So, please, how about for once you score me a little spotted Louboutin?)


or broadcast yourself like a brass band on a Sunday afternoon in the park with a vintage pinup style wiggle dress


Basically, there is an animal print for every body and every occasion.

Only three considerations when contemplating whether to bathe your body in lion, leopard, or snake:

1. Does the particular item also flatter your body? The same structural rules apply to prints as they do to solids. Which means, know your body shape, what flatters it, and be scrupulous about fit. Over all, that means, nothing baggy, boxy, or so tight that you have to be on oxygen to cross the street.

2. Determining the occasions at which to wear and or leave off wearing animal. That wiggle dress during date night with your beloved? You go with your bad ass self. At beloved aunt Gerdie’s funeral? Not so much.

But I’d say the most important question you need to ask yourself when considering an animal print is:

3. Do you have the fashion temperament to wear an animal print? Can you comfortably Hello, Kitty! yourself into a big ol’ leopard printed cocktail dress or trench coat or does the sight of anything but the most discreet Glen plaid print send you running for the hills?


Pirate, no slouch when it comes to putting the va-voom into even the most work-a-day outfits, will clearly have an opinion in how to tip toe yourself into the animal print and let out your inner bombshell. Or bottle cap, whichever the case may be.

PIRATE:
Well, I'm a relative newcomer to this whole animal print fashion trend. Back when I was young, animal prints were only worn by animals. Or old ladies. I think when I was a youth, I still had the image of Raquel Welch clouding my fashion sensibilities.

I'm just a cavegirl, and I'm frightened by your fashioney ways.

MOI:

I think now's about time I waved some Karen Millen under your nose:
That's it, Pirate, come to the animal print . . .

PIRATE:

Meow!

OK, OK, OK . . . While I admit that I am old enough to have seen the animal print thing be done to death and then ridiculed, I also agree that yes, everything old is new and trendy and fresh again. And, while I admit that my initial hesitance to embrace animal print was really about a resistance to re-discovering my inner Joan Collins, I think it's true confession time.

I, Dread Pirate, admit to owning the following items in my closet currently getting routine and unhindered wear:

1 leopard print dress by Michael Kors: Have we not already discussed his deep understanding of how my body is shaped? For a gay man, he really *gets* it.

1 zebra print cardigan, which, when worn, I refer to myself as "prey"

1 zebra print trench coat (YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT)

I will also admit to currently cultivating a certain lust for 1 pair of zebra print boots. Oh pretty please, Santa, while you are bringing Moi the cheetahs, do you have room in your bag for some Zebras for me? I promise I'll take very good care of them . . .


So, Boxer, bottom line: If you're new to animal prints, start small. A scarf, a blouse under a blazer or sweater, a shoe. But don't be surprised if one day soon, you wake up with a sudden, inexplicable urge to spot even your workout socks. The animal, it is addictive.

17 comments:

LaDivaCucina said...

Darlings if I may jump in? Boxer, I think truly that while some people say "anything goes" less truer words could not have been spoken. I have had many vintage clothes in my closet over the years and while some have been able to make a come-back, others have had to go to goodwill.

Take animal prints, they have been in and out of style each decade. With the animal print I think it really depends on the SIZE of the print and cut of the article of clothing. If the said piece is cut in a style that fits what's in now and it looks great on you, go for it. As long as it suits your body shape and is just one piece. If you wear it as a two piece pantsuit (even if it was originally purchased that way), you will look like garanimals gone wrong or like a reject from the Golden Girls.

However, La Diva used to have those bright pink and black leopard print Fiorucci skinny jeans....Yep, I COULD wear them now. However, I would look like a beastly apple on toothpicks with a huge muffin top, so they are best left for my 17 year old niece.

Also, beware of the size of the print! I've noticed giraffe prints with spots so huge that it could not possibly flatter anyone! Avoid the large horizontal zebra print as well! And La Diva is also not a fan of the "patchwork" animal prints: combos of zebra and cheetah prints on one piece of fabric! blech!

Don't wear too much at once and be all matchy matchy, make the one piece the focal point. Your black jeans and tee shirt would look dynamite wiht and a cool animal print scarf and some red lipstick. Or some sassy little animal print pumps instead of your boots. (again, with red lipstick!) It would be a fantastic update to your current "look!" (red looks great with trad. cheetah prints!)

I agree with Pirate: start small. (shoes or a scarf are great!)

moi said...

I literally shuddered at your description of a two peice animal print pant suit. Yew. However, not all head-to-toe animal print goes horribly wrong. A couple years ago, a hugely pregnant Gwen Stefani outfitted herself for an event in a silk ombre-dyed leopard print empire waist gown. It shouldn't have worked. But it did.

LaDivaCucina said...

Moi: Agreed. But it has to be a good cut, a good fit and a good print! The magic combination!

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Moi, I just took a look at that dress she had on and it does work. But, the print is not huge and there is that lovely fading into a dark green so the print doesn't go to the floor...see, that's my point: Little things can make it work..or not!

Boxer said...

Oh thank you both! I agree that it would be wise for me to start small and get comfortable before I start buying either of those shoes and boots you both are hoping to receive from Santa. Moslty, I just needed to hear it was OK to wear animal prints and now I know it's in my DNA, well, color me Bam-Bam, cause I'm going to release the leopard jacket the next time I'm dressing up. xoxoxo to you both!

Thanks Fashion Bitches, you're awesome. :-)

Boxer said...

to LaDiva - thanks and noted on the red lipstick and NO big prints. These are all small and there is a short jacket I'm just in love with that would look great with the black jeans/t-shirt. Thanks for the help.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hey Moi, did you see Heidi Klum's animal print blouse last night?

moi said...

Boxer: Glad we were of some help. I'm taking over comment response duties for Pirate, who is running the Colorado Relay today. Biatch.

Anyhoo, just one caveat on the red lipstick. It doesn't work on every skintone. When it does, it's very sexy. When it doesn't, it's extremely aging. So be careful and test, test, test those reds!

La Diva: I did! That's what, twice now for her? I thought it was a beautiful blouse and she paired it perfectly with black skinny jeans, heels, and retro jewelry. To me, The Heidi, she can do no wrong :o).

Boxer said...

I noticed that blouse too. It's not the same one she wore last week, but she's clearly loving her animals too. Go Pirate!

Aunty Belle said...

May I jes' say that the photos in this post is
too marvelous.

Thas' all I got fer now--headache approachin' defcon 5. So I'se goin' around to the bloggers moanin' I cain't blog cause mah haid hurts like hail. Makes sens, right?

Well, ya know I mean THINKIN' wif mah head in a vise is mor'n I can manage--but lookin' at these photos were a diversion.

Have a grrrrrrreat weekend.

YEA! to Pirate fer the relay--awesome. (leopard runnin' shoes?)

Aunty Belle said...

wait--heidi? ain't she like a porn person?

moi said...

Aunty, you're too funny. No, Heidi Klum, the host of Project Runway.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

Colorado relay is awesome - it's 2 am and I am catching up on fashion posts. I only wish I could run as fast as an animal, and sadly animal prints have not yet made it to the athlete wardrobe. So I cannot channel my inner jaguar with my attire on the course.

Le sigh. Yet another awesome endurance athlete product idea brought to you by sleep deprivation and running insanity. Aren't all good ideas born this way?

moi said...

I have long contended one doesn't need mind altering substances for creative inspiration. All one needs to do is miss a night or two of sleep. So there you have it. I support your idea 100 percent and would SO run the Colorado Relay with you next year in an animal print. In fact, I see an entire line of gear right now.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh! Oh yeah! The subliminal message iffin' ya wear animal print runnin' duds is that ya CAN run like a jag--great fashion idea--a fashion line is born.

(uh oh--sorry Miss Klum...thought youse one of them former Penthouse chickadees)

burt said...

theres something about a woman in an animal print. reminds me of luxurious nights with dinah shore around the pool with a pitcher of gimlets. hers was a silk teddy leopard with a lacey trim. and the high heels with a puffy ball of car hair on the toe -but enough about her it was Loni who knew how to rock the animal print. sally, sadly, would not comply.

moi said...

Oh, Burt, how you could throw over that Dinah gal for Loni, I'll never know. You're still Alpha, though. Woof.