Easy, Breezy Tropical Prints

Recent sweltering, sunny days at the beach with my gal pals has me seeing palm trees. I’m not hallucinating – there are no palm trees in Chicago – but this season’s striking tropical prints are on my mind. They’re bright, summery, and pack quite a punch. Sun, sand and surf are a cheap flight away, but I’d rather spend my money on these gems.


[Clockwise from top left]

Printed Trousers, $60 ZARA | Tropics Snapback Hat, $29 American Needle

Underwire Bikini Top & High-Waisted Bikini Bottom, $42 per piece Urban Outfitters

Palm Print Top, $15 H&M | Smocked Dress, $54 Kimchi Blue


White Hot American Summer


Nothing is more chic in the summer than crisp white. Accessorize with a fresh tan.

[Clockwise from top left]

Take Me to the Trellis Headband, $40 Modcloth | Lace Crop Cami, $36 Top Shop

Original Wayfarer, $155 Ray-Ban | Hanna Flatform Sandals, $64 Top Shop

Mila Short, $154 Rag & Bone |Baseball Hat, $15 FEED for Target

 Tennis Racket Cover, £178 Harrod’s | Strappy Dress, $70 ZARA

Leopards and pythons and tigers. Oh my!

It’s homecoming week here at Drake University. Months ago a group of students began the arduous task of planning the festivities for an unenthusiastic student body. Last year the week of events was designed around a Disney theme, but this year we got “Wild about Drake,” a jungle theme.

A fashion forecaster must have pitched that idea because no trend is bigger this fall than animal prints. As far as I’m concerned animal print is never out, but the Fall 2012 RTW runway shows were particularly infected with jungle fever. The best example may be Roberto Cavalli’s Just Cavalli which delivered a heavy dose of leopard at New York Fashion Week in February.

Since then, nature has taken its course and the feisty animal print trend has trickled down into more accessible fashion markets and moved beyond ordinary leopard print. J. Crew is all about the look and their current collection is peppered with leopard printed blouses and trousers and exotic python selections. At $1800, their python skin pencil skirt won’t become a staple of the everygirl, but for the few bold women who splurge on it this season it’s bound to make a statement.

The leopard print look isn’t as fresh as python, but the pieces hitting stores this season are updated perfectly. There is a misconception that leopard print ought to be reserved for twenty-somethings at the club. False. Leopard print should be in every wardrobe. It’s nature’s neutral and in the right amount it pulls any outfit together. Weary consumers should at least pick up a pair of leopard print shoes or a belt because you can literally wear them with anything. More daring style mavens should wear the trend my favorite way, in a tailored pair of trousers or jacket.

Another fun trend that isn’t nearly so extreme are the literal “animal prints” popping up everywhere from ZARA to Forever 21. Knit sweaters with critters on the front are one popular way to rock the look. They made a splash last fall and winter and are back again for round two.

My favorite adaptation of the classic animal print has got to be prints with animals all over them. A slew of these fun textiles can be found in stores, often in the form of silk blouses, and they are easy to incorporate into your closet. If you hunt hard enough you can find pretty much any animal print your heart desires. As a Drake Bulldog, I love the bulldog print pants pictured above. They would take the “Wild about Drake” homecoming theme to an entirely different level.


Finally, a shout out to my loyal readers! Thanks again for the awesome boots Aunt Stephanie!