There’s nothing bigger in the costume jewelry world than the tribal-inspired bib necklace. It’s been all over the place the past few seasons — the perfect accompaniment to the “urban jungle” aesthetic that’s been so huge on the runways (from left to right: Gucci, Givenchy, and Balenciaga on the 2009 Spring/Summer catwalk):
Luckily, the chic look migrated (surprisingly unfiltered) to the ready-to-wear industry — thanks, in large part, to visionary, global-leaning designers like Tory Burch (Pyramid Bib necklace, $200) and Lizzie Fortunato (The Sun Also Rises Necklace, $430)
I’ve already written about the safari chic look in great detail, but what about fierce, wild-life-inspired patterns to supplement the otherwise neutral look? Consider first a bold dress featuring a collage of animal prints — this one by Emilio Pucci caught my eye ($1,775, Net-A-Porter):
Love the smart design — a simple, unfussy, even buttoned-up sheath to temper the wild print. I’d pair it with some killer tortoise-shell pumps, like these by Giuseppe Zanotti ($589, Bluefly):
I’d probably keep jewelry to a minimum, but a tortoise-shell or tiger’s eye cocktail ring never hurt anyone. You could also pare down the look a touch with a black dress in an interesting texture, like this asymmetrical Shoshanna number (I own it in red — perfect for the holidays!):
You can find it for $305 at Perchance Boutique. Next you’ll need some killer animal-inspired jewelry. As you know, I love an aggressively-sized cocktail ring. Consider this wild option: a glittering panther ring from the one-and-only Kenneth Jay Lane ($120, Max&Chloe):
If you’re wearing it to an evening/black-tie-optional event, pair it with this unbelievable, eye-catching gold feather clutch by Franchi ($148, Nordstrom):
I’m obsessed with the design. How chic?! It’d also look killer when paired with the L. Fortunato “Sun Also Rises” bib necklace featured above — the gold horn shape they both feature ties them together nicely. For something a little less formal, throw on some enorma-shades (these are by Dior — $295, Kitson) and maybe a leopard print scarf (Diane von Furstenberg, $190, Boutique1) for good measure. Note that the fuddy-duddy “black and brown should not be worn together” rule certainly does not hold any water with this aesthetic! I’d probably wear the above dress with the tortoise print Zanottis!
If you’re bold enough to really go for the gold, this Diane Von Furstenberg ($375, Saks) is a gorgeous option. I’m obsessed with the slouchy-chic sleeves.
If, on the other hand, you like just a little pop of print here and there, I’ve come across tons of adorable shoes, including these precious Vivienne Westwoods ($115, MyWardrobe):
Don’t you love the idea of pairing them with a simple black sheath for work or an all-black outfit — skinny cropped black jeans (these J Brands with the kicky little zipper are super-chic — $189, JBrand) and a fitted black ruffly blazer?
A major statement necklace is in order for a pared-down outfit like this. I love the T. Burch or L. Fortunato examples above, but also think you would kill it in this style (also by Ms. Tory Burch):
For shades, you could go with the classic Ray Ban aviator or some oversized, jet-black sunnies, but I’m really digging the resurgence of the Carrera Endurance glasses. I snagged a pair in neon pink with white accents — so Miami-chic! — but these would really take your outfit to the next level ($92, Madison Los Angeles):Still hung up on finding the perfect animal print flats? This cap-toe leopard print pair by Sam Edelman are affordable and stylish ($83, Endless):
Tory Burch has a similar pair ($250, Jildor) that I’ve been eying for awhile, though I wonder if all of her flats are as prone to slippage as the classic Reva (does anyone else hate that they slide off the back of your heel every foot and half of walking distance?!):
I’m ga-ga over these Loeffler Randall sandals in this eye-catching mosaic print ($395, Loeffler Randall):They feature the mini-wedge that popularized their Mathilde boots (which I’ve written about innumerable times — lovelovelove those!) — good for us petite folk. I’d probably let the shoes take the spotlight and pair them with an otherwise demure look — a simple black dress would be good. I’m pretty much looking for a reason to purchase this $286 button-back Susana Monaco number (Shopbop):
Delightfully versatile! I might also throw on this cool-looking Kate Spade necklace for good measure (the fact that it’s black means that it won’t compete too much with those kickin shoes!):It’s available all over the place, including at Bloomingdale’s ($195). For something on the lighter end of the spectrum, check out these safari-cool Report Signature shoes ($195, Shopbop):
The ankle strap is a little intimidating and I was initially worried that it might look too clog-like, but I then saw Kourtney Kardashian wearing a similar version and I’m a firm believer that you’ll only look of-the-moment in them. Consider some skinny jeans and a voluminous ivory or white blouse or even a neutral/khaki variation on the trench dress — this Sandro version is super hip ($325, Net-A-Porter):
Alternately, for a more formal occasion, imagine the splash you’d make in this adorable little textured dress by Moschino:
Love the artsy-yet-folksy print, especially when paired with some patent black pumps and structured, hard-cased black clutch, like this lovely Kotur ($559, Shirise):
And, for a totally different setting, this fab leopard bikini by DVF ($190, Diane Von Furstenberg)? I am wild about the print:
I like the idea of wearing a fistful of thin gold bangles with it — maybe this Joomi NYC set ($98, Max&Chloe)?
For a truly fashion-fearless look, I’m impressed by the design of this Of Two Minds frock ($306, Shopbop):
It would look awesome paired with a nude or black pump or some platform neutral wedges — and these super-cool statement earrings by Lizzie Fortunato ($205, Shopbop):
If you’re anxious about the loudness of a full-on animal print look, you can test-drive with these lovely Michael Kors “Flora” Pumps in a tiger print (on sale for $182 at Bergdorf Goodman):
Or maybe this festive little elephant cocktail ring by Kenneth Jay Lane ($113, Max and Chloe):