Savvy Stylist Q&A: Animal Print Dress

I often get really great styling questions from my friends, and when I think the answer could benefit others, I try to turn it into a blog post if possible. As someone who has curves, I try to be very careful about wearing prints--being sure to opt for ones that will enhance my shape as opposed to making me look like I'm trying too hard to work a style that isn't fit for my body type. So this question was one I was more than equipped to answer!


How do I wear a zebra or leopard print dress as a bigger girl?


More voluptuous or plus size women can definitely rock animal prints as well as their petite counterparts by using some really simple tips to draw the eye to the right places. Go for a larger, more substantial print as opposed to a smaller one because the proportions will work better with your curves. Choose a dress with a darker base color and lighter pattern, as the dark color will be slimming. Finish the look with tights and shoes in the same color for fall or winter; or a bare leg and a nude shoe (or other flattering color for your skin tone) for spring. This allows for your legs to appear longer and you to appear taller and more vertically stretched.

Belting the dress can either help or hurt; play that by ear depending on how tiny your waist is and the shape of the dress.

Julie Dillon, Salon Z Animal Print Dress

This Julie Dillon dress is an excellent example of when belting works: the looser fit of the dress calls for something to anchor it.

Torrid zebra sequin one-shoulder dress

Meanwhile, this zebra print dress from Torrid already has such great detail that only minor accessorizing is needed for a completely pulled together look.

Which of these looks would you wear?