Shopping on the Wild Side

Not five minutes into a trip to the department store the other day, I began experiencing elevated heart rate, muscular tension, and a desire to run. Swine flu? Nope - just your typical fight or flight reaction. Racks and racks of leopard spots and tiger stripes had triggered my survival instinct - they were everywhere. The entire women's section looked like a hunting preserve, or Jonathan Adler run amok with a dress form and some belts. And after wandering around awhile in this clothing Kenya, I realized WHY the racks were so full. Nobody was buying this stuff. It was AWFUL.

It pains me to post this. Meet the nylon/lycra/tie-dye cheetah top.
Is it me, or does she look like she's already been mauled by her shirt?
The worst part was that after shopping a bit I began to have a terrible craving for Cheetos (official mascot: the cheetah). Anyway, for such a bold, unabashed look, I'm amazed at the animal print coverage: it is EVERYWHERE. I didn't go in a single mall store without a large zoo section. Leopard spots and zebra stripes have been popular for a while, both in fashion and home, but that doesn't explain why they've suddenly gone everyman. I actually love animal print, but it's not like ruffles, or chartreuse, or any of the other major trends this season: you CAN wear too much zebra.

Anyway, there are plenty of designers doing wonderful animal prints that are perfect for the fall wardrobe - just don't put them all on at the same time.

Lovely leopard at Blumarine.

The ever clever Mr. Marc Jacobs - his tiger stripes are made of miniature tigers.

A Fendi Baguette gets its spots.

As shocking, neon animals go, this one's pretty cool. Tracy Reese holiday collection.

Tory Burch won't be left out! The cheetah print Abbey slipper.


A final word of warning: do not go all safari - or all cheap. Nothing says halloween like a little polyester cheetah!
Images:,,,, 4-6,,,


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