Style Psychology: How To Wear Animal Prints Without Anxiety

Anna Akbari

In everyday life we all have our fashion hang-ups. From a fear of mixing black and brown to working a super-short skirt with sky-high heels, the history of our anxieties is almost as interesting as the history of the clothes and accessories themselves. Dr. Anna Akbari is a professor of sociology at NYU with a specialization in art and design history. She also moonlights as a “thinking person’s stylist” for her own company, Closet Catharsis.

In the weeks to come, Dr. Anna will be delving into your style psychosis by addressing some of your biggest fashion phobias and style taboos — but not before she gives us a little background on where they come from and how you can conquer each and every one of them with ease.

This week’s topic? Animal prints and our anxieties over how much is too much. Sure, wearing them is an instant sexy boost, but mixing and matching our favorite leopard or zebra print can sometimes lead us down a dark path that eventually ends with the inevitable cave women comparisons. Can they be sassy without being too overpowering? Can you mix them with the rest of your wardrobe? Which are your best buys or bets?

Click through the slideshow above for a mini history lesson and some quick-hit tips on how to rock your inner grrr-animal!