Animal print can be difficult to style. The bold patterns tend to scare people off, but rather than running for the hills (something I’d do if I saw an actual lion), we should be embracing animal prints. People stay away from animal print because it is patterned and therefore, risky. But that is why animal prints should be part of clothes and jewellery collections!
Animal prints are often viewed as ‘trashy’ and ‘tacky’ - words you don’t want to hear when people talk about your outfits. But in my opinion, animal prints are fun, textured, edgy and a way to express yourself and try new things. It is the same with every fashion trend - it all depends how you style it.
Here are the best animal prints to wear in jewellery and how to style it.
The snake is the most loved symbol in antique and vintage jewellery. Nowadays being called a snake means you’ve done something shady or have hurt someone. But if you take a look at the history of snake jewellery, the snake was used to represent wisdom, commitment and loyalty. They were a popular symbol for engagement rings, most notably Queen Victoria’s engagement ring which was in the shape of a serpent, featuring emeralds, sapphires and rubies. Dispel the myth that snakes are evil and instead, adorn yourself with snake prints. Snake jewellery explores the signature snake shape, which when wrapped around the finger, neck or wrist gives a sense of fluidity and movement. The intricate scales of the snake can be made out of any material for a slithering cool look, but gold or gemstones are a personal favourite. Choose gold for some warmth or gemstones to give the scales movement and texture.
Alligator prints are perfect if you’re looking for something dark and bold. Much like the snake, it has rough jagged scales and a curved body. Alligator jewellery shows off the shape and colour of the animal, while creating a stylish textured piece. The eyes of an alligator are typically a bright yellow, red or green. Designers use colourful gemstones like rubies or emeralds in their pieces to create a spooky and mysterious look. Alligators are darkly coloured creatures, so pair an alligator bracelet with similar dark jewellery and fabrics.
Leopard print is one of the most popular prints. It is a versatile print, with its beautiful yellow, brown and black colours and works perfectly with clothes and jewellery. Whether you decide to go big or small, leopard is a great way to be over-the-top with prints or to be more subtle. Leopard print is also the most popular print to mismatch with others. Of course, leopard can be worn with a plain outfit to keep the print as the statement piece, but why not go all out? Mix and match your leopard print, with tartan, stripes and florals. Leopard print earrings really make a statement and add an extra pop of colour and pattern to any look.
Tigers are powerful and colourful creatures and their print is used in jewellery constantly. The orange, white and black colours work beautifully together and are imitated well by jewellery materials, like gold, silver and oxidised metals. The stripes on the tiger are a great aspect in jewellery, adding more dimension and definition to a look. We also cant forget the tiger eye gemstone. Tiger eye is a chatoyant gemstone, with a gold, red-brown colour, silky texture, resembling the eye and colour of the tiger. It is said to ward off evil, aid harmony and balance and give clarity to its wearer. Tiger eye is used in many rings, bracelets and other jewellery. Wear with bright colours to really set off the colour of the tiger and make your own combination, by pairing tiger eye jewellery with other gemstones.
A bird of prey, the eagle is a powerful creature and a symbol for freedom. Birds are regularly seen in jewellery, but eagles are the best bird if you’re looking for something dark and edgy. The dark colour of the eagle is best shown off in dark metals like silver, platinum, steel and oxidised metals. By incorporating the feather detailing, it gives jewellery more shape and intricate layers that really show off the magic and flight of the bird. Most eagles are solitary but in jewellery, more is more and bigger is better. Decide on a pair of eagles, like cufflinks or earrings for extra power and strength.