Can I wear Animal Print To Work?
You may be asking if the workplace is such a jungle, what’s to stop me from wearing animal print? Your answer is coming right up … absolutely nothing. However, you don’t have to take our word for it just like that. We probe further into the question below, covering all of the animal print-wearing rules while learning how to tame this bold print into an office-ready look with a few expert style tips.
So, yes, there are some limitations and guidelines in place to prevent you from making any office fashion faux pas, but they’re there for your safety, not to stop your fun! Allow us to guide you along as we get to the bottom of this hot-topic question once and for all. For advice, we asked our very own Holly Katz, excellent Personal, Corporate, and Wardrobe stylist, as well as Lindsey Taub, expert authority in all things Essential, Deluxe, and VIP styling.
Can I Wear Animal Print in the workplace?
“Yes! Depending on your work environment (conservative or relaxed), if you’re wearing what feels like a boring outfit, why not break it up with an unexpected animal print?” is the answer we received from our fabulous resident stylist, Holly Katz, when we asked her for her guidance on the acceptability of animal print in the workplace. Her astute advice to not use animal print as the main character but rather as a supporting act brings us to our first point about animal print in the workplace.
It’s How Much Animal Print That Matters
Our lovely resident stylist continues to weigh in with perhaps the most prescient advice when it comes to wearing animal print in the workspace, “Animal prints in all varieties can be worn in a work environment, yes. Dependent on how much you wear will determine the level of work appropriate.” She couldn’t be any more on the money, but we expect nothing less from our genius stylists!
But she was never going to leave you on a cliffhanger like that, continuing with a few invaluable nuggets of style advice, “Animal print stockings like the VIVIA can be a very subtle way to bring pattern and texture into your look. They can certainly be work appropriate if you style them in a way where they get to be the star, with no additional contrasting patterns to compete within the look.”
However, she also hits on another point we’d like to bring attention to:
The key to looking office-ready is to not be distracting. Just as you wouldn’t wear a clown nose to the office, you shouldn’t wear striking, eye-catching animal print either. Holly says, “The ARTEMISIA cheetah print stocking is a much bolder pattern that can certainly be worn for work as long as it’s styled in a non-distracting way to show a section of the pattern.”
So, how in the world do you style animal print to be non-distracting, then? Don’t worry; we’re on the case.
How to Style Animal Print for the Office
The mission: To make animal print a business casual look.
What to do:
Dipping into the vast knowledge of our fabulous resident stylist once again, Lindsey Taub almost raved, “a soft drape of a button-down tucked into the skirt of your choice and then POP it with a leopard print stocking and a pointed toe flat. Perfection!” We love the enthusiasm and, as always, on-point style advice. Thankfully, she shared more, “Take it a step further and wear the stockings like a sock. Think about the black pants in your closet, pair them with the top of your choice and add a Zebra print for a fun twist with your flats!”
In Holly’s words, “Since they are black, the easiest way to style them would be with a black dress or skirt and black shoes. It’s easiest to have different black options for the bottoms, like slacks, a skirt, or shorts. Then the top can be something as simple as a lightweight sweater and a blazer or a blouse with a jacket or trench. The animal print will give your outfit a small boost of edge because it’s understated and worn in a sophisticated way.”
But of course, we’d never forget the question of footwear, “The ARTEMISIA could definitely be worn with a longer skirt or knee high boot. I could even see this with a great black short or mini skirt with the knee high boot. Styled this way, it will show a smaller section of the pattern without the outfit looking too busy.” Downright fashion gospel. Which brings us smoothly to…
What not to do:
Avoid prints visible from space: Give yourself an inch, and you might be tempted to take a mile. While that’s completely fine and acceptable when you’re hitting the town, it’s just not going to cut it in the office — unfortunately. Lean on the side of more authentic, true-to-life colors when taking a walk on the Wild side.
A little bit of coverage goes a long way: Even though we’re not the biggest fan of fashion rules at VienneMilano, we do know it makes sense to follow them sometimes, especially when our careers are at stake. So, much like the rule book suggests we choose between legs or bust, it also says full coverage animal print in the workplace or no animal print at all.
Are Some Types of Animal Prints More Appropriate the Others?
When it comes to the battle of zebra and cheetah, this is the only case in which everyone wins. All animal prints are equal in terms of acceptability in the office.
But just to be sure, we asked our experts again, and they said, “In short, no. I would think my styling suggestions could be used for either type of animal print, even a snake or giraffe animal print as well!”
So, what really matters is size and presentation rather than the print itself — gotcha!
The Bottom Line
So, when it comes to the questions of can I wear animal print to work, there’s nothing to stop you. Work requires that you feel your best self to be your most productive self, and if that means wearing animal print, then so be it! That said, you shouldn’t have to worry if you’re dressed appropriately or inappropriately at the office, so follow the above expert advice to ensure you always look and feel your best (business casual) self as well.
Be fabulous in animal print stockings. Get 15% off with discount code: STOCKINGS at VienneMilano.com