I’ll be the first to admit it — growing up, I used to find animal print somewhat a little *gulps* gauche. Now, I can’t get enough of it, and I wear it at least once a week because it makes me feel like your posh-as-hell Vietnamese auntie who might have gone ever-so-slightly overboard with the Chanel No. 5. Call me fancy In-N-Out fries because I’m deep in the animal style!
After years of dressing in a minimal gray and navy color palette, my anti-animal print stance took a swerve in 2018 when I started freelancing full-time. As a freelancer, I really make the effort to dress up and feel fancy because the reality is that I’m sitting inside a room of the house writing away for eight to ten hours a day. A few months into my self-employment endeavors, I picked up copywriting gigs and started writing for bougie fashion brands. And guess what? Animal print was cool and very much in!
Later that year, I watched Ali Wong’s Hard Knock Wife on Netflix. What I remember most about her stand-up special is when she spoke about wearing, and I quote, “cheesy-ass animal prints” to feel some sparkle inside as a mother. And well, I might not have been a mother then (or now), but I sure needed to feel some damn sparkle. Anyway, all of that combined with my revived love for The Nanny turned me into an absolute animal print beast, pun intended.
TLDR, I thought it’d be cool to wear my favorite animal print fits last week, so here’s what they looked like!
1. Animal Print Shirt With Straight-Fit Jeans
I’d probably say that this is something of a go-to look for me that makes me feel, well, me. The sheer shirt is a Vince Camuto blouse from Goodwill, and I’ve matched it with my favorite pants of all time — my Levi 501’s! These are the most comfortable pair of jeans EVER, barring the fact that you should never wear them in sweaty weather. (It is sweaty weather.) The jeans tone down the animal print while the Ruby Woo red lipstick adds a little extra oomph, so it ends up feeling like a balanced look to me!
2. Animal Print Shirt With Matching Mask
Well, J.Lo was right because love don’t cost a thing. Well, it costs a few dollars. The shirt was a Goodwill find and the mask was from a nice Vietnamese vendor at the West Wind Capitol Flea Market in San Jose. I’m genuinely shocked that I found two pieces with a bluish tone to them. The black Everlane pants (which kind of scrunch up in the crotch region) are my least favorite part of the outfit, but they actually don’t look too bad in this lighting.
3. Animal Print Dress
During the early months of the pandemic, my income was fluctuating hard because of scaled back client work, so I wasn’t making very much. I did decide to splurge a little with this cotton maxi dress from Old Navy, and it’s honestly one of my favorite pieces. Not only is it super breathable, but it also has pockets. Amazing, right?! This dress is also super comfy as loungewear around the house while still looking somewhat put-together.
4. Animal Print Skirt with Black Turtleneck
You can’t tell from this picture, but that’s a mini skirt! I love a black turtleneck and animal print bottom look because it’s just so classic, so quintessentially Fran Fine. Plus, this outfit can be layered with other outerwear in autumn and winter as well. This T.J. Maxx Tahari turtleneck is modal, so it’s breathable even during the dog days of summer, ya know? The skirt is from J.Crew Factory, where I’ll occasionally browse during birthdays and holiday seasons and get sucked into buying clothes.
5. Animal Print Mockneck With Black Dress
The mockneck is another J.Crew Factory find! Combined with my thrifted black dress, it’s also another Fran Fine staple look, don’t you think? I don’t exactly know how to describe the dress — it has a ruffled neck with a little tie, and the pleated body just flares outwards. Anyway, it’s really pretty with the mockneck. I don’t know why I was holding a giant sunflower. I thought it’d look cute and compensate for the fact that I just filed ten deliverables that day.
That it! Styling my thrifted clothes is one of the few pleasures I indulge in these days. I don’t go all in with bijoux (as evidenced by my basic silver hoop earrings) or accessories, but mixing and matching clothes for an ever-so-slightly splashy everyday look can be so much fun. I honestly can’t wait to dive deep into autumn style because I have so many cute thrifted animal print coats! Talk soon, everyone.