It’s a jungle out there!

We have gone wild this month in ‘Style not Age’ and it is all about the animal print.

Did you know that animal skins have long been associated with power? African Chiefs and Napoleon’s army (who trimmed their helmets and saddles with leopard) wore it to convey strength and bravery.

They believed that the characteristics associated with a particular animal, such as the fierceness of a tiger, were transferred to the wearer through animal-patterned clothing.

In fashion, it used to be that if you wore animal print you were making a statement about confidence and were not afraid to be noticed.  In the 1920s, American silent movie actress Marian Nixon paraded down Hollywood Boulevard in her leopard skin coat accompanied by her pet leopard (below). Certainly a scene stealer.

So, animal print  became synonymous with Hollywood royalty for years and during the 60s it was a staple of brands such as Biba and popular with rock chicks.

But later it went out of favour and was associated with trashy and cheap clothing, worn by barmaids like Bet Lynch in ‘Coronation Street’. This is why for years it was only seen in accessories and accents, to avoid sending an overtly sexy message.

Not any more – animal print  is everywhere, from the top designers to the high street.

Emma (whose challenge this is) uses her cat eyes to hide behind as she pairs her leopard print skirt with black. Jump over to Style Splash

Jacqui is prowling around in her leopard print TK Maxx dress but has ‘tamed’ it with pale pink accessories. Read more about her styling on Mummabstylish.

Anna, from annasislandstyle, leaves her natural island habitat of Tresco to hide out in Kew Gardens behind her glasses and lounge pants, accessorising with gold.

I have always loved animal prints but, wary of Bet Lynch comparisons, kept it low-key by mainly indulging in my passion through accessories, though I do have a nightie, several bikinis and a cover-up in leopard print. And I admit to leopard print leggings in the ’80s too!

However, I can now come out of the grasslands and express my inner diva, roar my approval, show my adventurous side with no fear of reprisal. Because animal prints are everywhere. I am on the hunt (bad, inappropriate pun) for more animal prints in unusual colours, though I will probably give neon a miss.

Yes, I am wearing the jungle. ME JANE…but wearing more clothes. Yes, I did put a filter on the pic below for a bit of fun.

My leopard print coat is a fabulous find in TK MAXX for €55. The rosette pattern of the leopard (the graceful hunter of the jungle) is probably the most popular of all the animal prints. Note how I am casually hanging around stalking my prey. I will wait until he takes the photographs!

Zara stocks the snake print shirt for €50.

The giraffe fedora you have seen before HERE is from Anthony Peto Dublin. The jeans are Zara and the boots are old.

I am not suggesting that YOU have to wear them all at once. But remember:

1 Animal prints are to be treated as neutrals.

2 The modern way is to clash your prints. Get with it.

3 Less is not more. More is more!

Are you born to be wild? If you want to show your adventurous, free-spirited nature, go and buy some animal print!