Is it necessary to know our roots for a sense of belonging? We're here already, whatever our ancestral origins are, life goes on and we're part of it! Of course, I'm proud to be British born and bred, and despite living in America and loving it here, I feel my roots lie in the mother land of England. If any other heritage exists besides my obvious British genes, then hopefully the addition of some good old "Heinz 57" variety has benefited me in some way.
When you've been waiting for the perfect dress to come along in one of your favorite prints that just happens to be so "of the moment", well leopard always was, it's totally worth swinging from the chandelier and spreading the word, it would be rude not to! Here's to the ultimate leopard print dress, and the desire to swing from a chandelier!
What makes this dress so perfect?
Firstly, it's the ideal print, not too small, not too big and not orangey (an orange hue can make leopard look cheap in my humble opinion). The long sleeves make it the ultimate fall and winter dress. Any animal print seems much more fitting for the seductive long winter nights than for whimsical summer evenings.
The length just above the knee offers more versatility than a maxi or a mini, more choices to play with. It can be left as it is for a dinner date with heels, belted and worn with over-the-knee boots or worn even shorter as a tunic over leggings. In any of these capacities it serves as a very forgiving illusion to a jolly good holiday meal which also makes it the perfect disguise for our midlife midsections!
The fabric is light but drapes well which lends the dress an easy convert to a shirt. Worn with jeans or leggings you can sport a half tuck at the front to permit as much coverage as you require at the derriere!
So, if I haven't convinced you yet, let's take a look at some of these style ways.
All dressed up wearing the dress just as it comes. The addition of vintage long tassel earrings, killer heels and my grandma's sequin evening purse create an easy glamour.
With the addition of some sassy over the knee boots (linked HERE) and a vintage belt I purchased in the 80's from a boutique on Sloane Street in London (I'm impressed it still fits me), the dress takes on a whole new look. The belt brings the dress up just enough to show a little bit of thigh so nobody mistakes my boots for long johns!
I added the smirk for extra mood ambiance!
The fabulous drape of the fabric combined with it's light weight texture makes it simple to tuck into jeans or trousers without causing bulk. Here I've paired it with jeans and heels, perfect for a gathering with girlfriends.
Worn as a shirt, half-tucked into jeans paired with pom pom flats and over-sized tote gives the outfit a casual vibe, an easy shopping day outfit.
Depending on how much you tuck in at the front, you can control the amount of fabric that drapes at the back, especially good if you want to create this look with leggings and have a little more coverage.
Using a belt you can bring the dress up a little higher to create the perfect tunic. It works beautifully over these mixed media pleather leggings for a night out. Change out the heels for biker boots or tall boots and you create another look altogether.
This dress is the princely sum of $49.90 from Zara. If we assume these outfits are the limit to it's versatility (which I don't believe for one minute) then we have an average price of less than $10 per look.
Also good to know, as with many items from Zara, you can machine wash this dress on a warm hand-wash cycle, it hang drys in no time, and barely needs ironing!
At the time of writing this article there are only XL available, but you can click HERE to view the item and request an email notification when your size comes back in stock! I've also linked below some of the other items I'm wearing in these pictures or similar finds.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50