Understated Animal Print

Many have asked, “Why do you not wear prints?” I sometimes wear a stripe, polka dot, or animal print if the colors are excellent and the pattern is not bold. My new top is an excellent choice. I thought you might enjoy seeing how I have worn it.

I wear the tops with slim-fitting straight-leg pants and short boots for a long, lean base. From there, I can add any third piece without looking too bulky. The soft tops are perfect for wearing under a jacket or sweater. (I am wearing a size medium and 5’5″ tall. My shape is an inverted triangle.)

The faux suede moto jacket is old from Express (similar here). The bag and the slim-fitting black pants are both from T.J.Maxx.

The hook belt is old from Chico’s. The long gray and black vest is from Talbot’s here.

The long blue cardigan is from Talbot’s last year. The long gray cashmere cardigan below is old from J. Jill. I have several of these long cardigans and wear them with a Covered Perfectly top very often. It is my favorite relaxing at-home look.

A well-planned wardrobe of versatile basics allows for effortless dressing. When we dress in layers, starting with slim-fitting soft pieces is wise to avoid looking too bulky. My goal is to share my style and what I’ve learned so that you can get ideas for creating a stellar wardrobe that works for you.

  1. Very versatile top! Nice pattern! All of your looks are quite pretty, and I especially like the pops of color (red & blue).

  2. Love the subtle pattern of the top. It’s more difficult to find animal prints in cool colors. I pinned all the variations of styling the beautiful top.

  3. I think you look taller and slimmer with the belt. Of course, you are very slim with or without the belt. Do you think that adding a belt gives that illusion of added height and a slimmer mid section?

    1. Without a belt, the waistline vanishes. Wearing the belt or the short jacket visually marks a waistline and makes one appear more slender. A tunic that ends mid-thigh visually breaks the body into equal halves, an equation that always makes us look shorter and broader.

  4. Most all of your tops appear to be of the scoop-neck variety, and are very attractive. However, with my bone-prominent square shoulders, I appear to be wearing shoulder pads when I wear a scoop-neck top. I wonder if you happen to come across them if you could flag any high neck tops you see? You find some really nice tops at sources I’ve not heard of. I’ve searched without success. I agree with Tim Gunn about designers – one learns what’s appropriate for one’s body type, and then searches unsuccessfully for styles to match. If scoop necks are “in,” then everything else is ” out.” Especially in larger sizes!!! My BMI is fine but height and bone structure make me on average a size 14! I enjoy your blogs, Susan, and I’ve learned a lot. My wardrobe is improving!!!

    1. Look for boat neck, crewneck, and mock neck styles. They should be good choices for you and these classics should be available in most stores this time of year. Here is Covered Perfectly top you might enjoy.

  5. I just ordered three tops from Covered Perfectly. I didn’t realize you are one of the models! It was cool to see a “real” woman modeling the tops!!

  6. Well, you certainly made the most of that patterned top! Love all the different ways you made it so stylish.

  7. Good timing as I had just been thinking yesterday how lovely and classic you always look and that you don’t wear prints and there you are wearing a lovely print top. 🙂 I wear a lot of print tops. You don’t need to really put many accessories with print, as you do with plain tops. Great look Susan. I wish I could get that top here in NZ. I am a winter and find it hard to get the right shads of animal print. (I mainly stick to leopard print on shoes or boots to match with navy.) All these looks are really great so a very versatile top.

  8. I ordered that top and love it. Thank you for telling us about that brand. Their customer service is excellent and the tops wash well.

  9. Do you ever wear short sleeved t-shirts around the house? In the Florida heat, long sleeve shirts are always uncomfortable, although I don’t wear short sleeves when I am running errands or shopping.

    With your inspiration, I cleaned out my closet this weekend, and realized that most of my pants and jackets no longer fit properly, since I have lost weight. So I’ll be taking things to Goodwill, and doing some shopping. Wish you were in Orlando to advise!

  10. Love these looks on you! Oh, to be thin like you. 🙂 . Do you have a link to the earrings or something similar to them?


  11. I think the pear-shaped among us will skip the orange jacket look.
    You may be balancing out a large chest with the light colored top peeking out, ending at the top of the thigh.
    I’d be looking like a not inverted triangle.

  12. I really love and appreciate all the suggested outfits you put together using the same pants and tee shirt top.

  13. I love the vertical print of that shirt! Thank you so much for your wonderful tips, you are a Godsend!

  14. Love the moto jacket look. I haven’t ventured into the shortie jacket but it’s looks so good on you. I think I will buy me one. I love the proportions but I’m slow to come around to things. I wore white pants today and felt positively rogue.

  15. Hi! I love reading your blog. i just purchased a black tweed vest with a black fur collar from Talbots outlet. Is it still appropiate to wear faux fur? I appreciate your advice. I don’t want to age myself. Well more than I am at 63! LOL

  16. Excellent advice and very much enjoyed your various options with the third layering piece. Thank you kind and lovely lady
    Janis Parsons. Athens, al.

  17. Hi Susan. I think you look gorgeous in this animal print with the blue and gray.
    It definitely complements your skin and hair.

    Zoeanne S.

  18. Hi Susan
    I really enjoy your blog and posts. I too have let my hair go natural so it is much like your color, silver. The purple toned shampoos are a life saver! When you wear straight tees like the one above do wear a cami ? I notice from the back it looks very smooth, unfortunately I am not so smooth from the back the little ripples over the years tend to show a bit more than I am comfortable with. This prevents me from removing the vests or jackets I wear to complete my outfit, but at times they must come off (hot flash) !

    1. I wear a Shapeez.com bra (the Ultimate style) every day. It keeps my ripples under control. Use the code: Susan201915 for 15% off the entire order. One use per customer. Active from Nov 5 to Nov 22, 2019.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.