What Does Animal Print Symbolize? Decoding the Meaning Behind Your Wild Wardrobe

Animal prints are everywhere right now, but what do they really symbolize? Whether it’s leopard, zebra, snake or cow print, these patterns have an innate ability to make a statement and turn heads. Animal print fashion has been around for centuries, but it has always been a symbol of power and sex appeal. It’s a way for us to show off our primal instincts, how we’re closely connected to the natural world, and our inner wild side.

If you take a closer look at animal prints, you’ll notice that each one is unique and intricate. These prints embody the qualities of the animal they represent – from the confident stripes of a zebra to the stealthy spots of a leopard. These designs aren’t just there for aesthetic purposes; they represent the characteristics of the animal and its habitat. For instance, if you’re drawn to zebra print, it could symbolize your desire to be more independent and confident like this majestic beast. Or, if you prefer the sharp and mysterious look of snake print, you might be embodying its qualities of transformation, shedding of old skin or cunning.

Animal prints have been worn by ancient tribes and symbolized the strength and power of animal spirits. Today, animal prints still signify our connection to the natural world and how humans share similar characteristics with these wild creatures. Whether you’re a fan of the classic leopard-print, cow-print nails, or a vibrant snakeskin jacket, animal prints offer an effortless way to show off your primal instincts and make a bold, fashionable statement.

History of Animal Print in Fashion

Animal prints have been used in fashion for hundreds of years. The use of animal skins and hides for clothing dates back to the ancient civilizations. Animal skins were used to make garments that would protect humans from harsh weather conditions and predators. However, the use of animal skins in fashion evolved to become a symbol of wealth, power, and luxury.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that animal prints became a fashion phenomenon. In the early 1920s, African safari expeditions became popular among the wealthy and elite. People started wearing animal print clothing as a way to show off their exotic travels and experiences. Animal prints were also popular in the 1940s, during the pin-up era. Burlesque dancers and models would wear animal print lingerie and hosiery as a way to add a touch of sensuality and seduction to their performances.

The 1950s saw the rise of rockabilly culture, which popularized leopard and cheetah prints. In the 1960s, designers like Paco Rabanne introduced animal print clothing into the high fashion world. And in the 1970s, animal prints went mainstream with the rise of disco culture. It wasn’t uncommon to see people wearing animal print dresses, jumpsuits, and accessories on the dance floor.

Today, animal prints are still a popular trend in the fashion world. They are used in a variety of styles from accessories to outerwear to make a bold fashion statement.

Animal Print in Art

Animal print has been a popular design element for centuries and it has been used in different art forms. The use of animal print in art can symbolize many things, including:

  • Power and strength: The use of an animal’s natural print can be used to symbolize the powerful and strong nature of the animal. This is often seen in portraits of wild or predatory animals, such as lions, tigers, and leopards.
  • Sexuality and sensuality: Animal print has long been associated with sexuality and sensuality, particularly in fashion and art. Animal prints are often used in artwork depicting women, as it helps to convey a primal and erotic feeling.
  • Nature and wilderness: Animal print can also symbolize nature and wilderness, especially in landscapes or nature scenes. This is often seen in African or safari-themed artwork, with prints that emulate the animals found in the wilderness.

In addition to these symbolic meanings, animal print is often used in abstract art as well. This gives artists the freedom to interpret the print in their own ways, often resulting in unique and creative pieces of art.

Artists have also found inspiration in the patterns found on animal prints and have used them in different techniques, such as in mixed media art, fashion design, and tattoo art. These patterns add texture and depth, and can also serve as a symbolic representation of the animal itself.

Overall, animal print in art can symbolize power, sexuality, nature, or serve as a source of inspiration for artists to create unique and beautiful pieces of art.

Cultural Significance of Animal Prints

Animal prints have been a go-to style for fashion enthusiasts for decades. Whether you love zebra stripes, leopard prints or snake skin patterns, there is undeniably something captivating about these bold and daring designs. However, animal prints go beyond just being a fashionable statement. They hold deep cultural significance in different parts of the world, representing various beliefs, values, and traditions. In this article, we will explore the cultural significance of animal prints, shedding light on their symbolism and meaning.

  • Respect and Strength: In African culture, prints such as leopard, cheetah, and zebra were once worn by tribal chiefs and rulers as a symbol of respect and strength. These prints were believed to embody the qualities of the animals they were patterned after, such as power, courage, and agility. By wearing animal prints, the rulers would enhance their own status and reputation as strong decision-makers and leaders.
  • Spirituality and Connection to Nature: Traditional Native American cultures also hold deep reverence for animals and their prints. Many tribes believe that wearing animal prints can help to connect them to the spirits of the animals, who are seen as powerful guides and protectors. For instance, prints such as buffalo, eagle, and wolf are worn during spiritual ceremonies to honor the animals and seek their guidance.
  • Exoticism and Glamour: In Western culture, animal prints have historically been associated with exoticism and glamour. In the early 20th century, French designers such as Paul Poiret and Jeanne Lanvin used animal prints to add an element of sophistication and drama to their collections. Eventually, animal prints became a staple of Hollywood fashion, worn by glamorous stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, further cementing their association with luxury and opulence.

These are just a few examples of the diverse cultural significance of animal prints. It is fascinating to consider how something as seemingly simple as a print can carry so much meaning and symbolism. Whether you wear animal prints for fashion, spirituality, or simply because you love the daring and bold style they offer, there is no denying the impact that these prints have had on fashion and culture as a whole.

Psychological Meanings of Animal Print

Animal prints have been used in clothing, accessories, and even home decor for decades. The popularity of animal prints in fashion and design is not just because of their aesthetic appeal. Animal prints have psychological meanings and connotations that go beyond their patterns and colors. Below are some of the psychological meanings of animal print and what they symbolize:

  • Power: Animal prints are associated with strength and power. This is because the animals that the patterns are based on are often predators or considered powerful in their natural habitats. Wearing animal prints can make you feel more powerful and confident.
  • Sexual Appeal: Animal prints are also associated with sexuality and sensuality. This is because animals use their patterns and colors to attract mates. Wearing animal prints can enhance your sex appeal and make you feel more attractive.
  • Individuality: Animal prints are unique and bold. Wearing animal prints can make a statement about your individuality and personality. People who wear animal prints are often seen as bold, confident, and not afraid to stand out.

Animal prints can also have different meanings depending on the specific animal the print is based on. For example:

  • Zebra print symbolizes balance and harmony.
  • Leopard print symbolizes strength, agility, and confidence.
  • Snake print symbolizes transformation and power.

Incorporating animal prints into your wardrobe or home decor can add a touch of personality and symbolism. It’s important to remember that animal prints should be used sparingly and in moderation. If used in excess, they can be overwhelming and take away from their symbolic meanings.

Animal Print Symbolic Meaning
Zebra Print Balance and Harmony
Leopard Print Strength, Agility, and Confidence
Snake Print Transformation and Power

When you wear or use animal prints, remember the symbolic meanings behind them. This knowledge can make you more conscious and mindful of the message you’re sending with your fashion or design choices.

Real vs. Synthetic Animal Print

When it comes to animal print fashion, there are two main types of prints – real and synthetic. Real animal print is obtained from actual animal skin, while synthetic animal print is a man-made alternative. Both real and synthetic animal prints are widely used in fashion but there are some differences in terms of symbolism and ethical considerations.

  • Real Animal Print
  • Real animal print is considered to be a luxury item due to its rarity and expensive nature. However, there are ethical concerns associated with real animal print fashion as it involves hunting and killing of animals for their skin. Real animal print was considered a symbol of wealth and power in ancient times when only the royalty and the wealthy could afford to wear such clothing. The symbolism of real animal print still holds true today, although it has now become more accessible to the general public due to advances in technology and production techniques.

  • Synthetic Animal Print
  • Synthetic animal print is a man-made version of animal print and does not involve the use of real animal skin. Synthetic animal prints are more affordable and readily available than real animal prints, making them a popular choice in the fashion industry. Synthetic animal prints do not carry the same ethical issues associated with real animal prints and are considered to be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. However, some argue that synthetic animal print lacks the authenticity and luxury appeal of real animal prints and may therefore not carry the same symbolic meaning.


Whether you choose to wear real or synthetic animal print is a matter of personal preference and belief. While both types of prints can add a touch of wildness and edginess to your outfit, they carry distinct symbolism and ethical considerations. Ultimately, it’s important to be aware of the impact of your fashion choices and make informed decisions that align with your values and beliefs.

Choose wisely and let your animal instincts shine through!

Most Popular Animal Prints in Fashion

Animals prints have been used in fashion for centuries, and they continue to be popular because they add a touch of the wild and exotic to any outfit. From the bold and fierce to the subtle and stylish, animal prints are a versatile pattern that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are the six most popular animal prints in fashion:

  • Leopard Print – One of the most popular animal prints, leopard print symbolizes power and confidence. It is often used in high fashion and adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit.
  • Zebra Print – Zebra print is a bold and striking pattern that symbolizes individuality and freedom. It is often used in streetwear and adds a unique edge to any outfit.
  • Tiger Print – Tiger print is a fierce and powerful pattern that symbolizes strength and courage. It is often used in activewear and adds a bold touch to any workout wardrobe.
  • Cow Print – Cow print is a fun and playful pattern that symbolizes innocence and purity. It is often used in casual wear and adds a quirky touch to any outfit.
  • Snake Print – Snake print is a seductive and mysterious pattern that symbolizes transformation and renewal. It is often used in lingerie and adds a sultry touch to any intimate wardrobe.
  • Giraffe Print – Giraffe print is a stylish and elegant pattern that symbolizes grace and beauty. It is often used in high fashion and adds a touch of refinement to any outfit.

Animal prints can be used in a variety of ways, from statement pieces like coats and dresses to accessories like shoes and bags. When used in moderation, animal prints can add a touch of sophistication and edge to any outfit.

For a closer look at the most popular animal prints in fashion, check out the following table:

Animal Print Symbolism Popular Uses
Leopard Power and confidence High fashion
Zebra Individuality and freedom Streetwear
Tiger Strength and courage Activewear
Cow Innocence and purity Casual wear
Snake Transformation and renewal Lingerie
Giraffe Grace and beauty High fashion

No matter which animal print you choose, it is important to remember that less is more. Using animal prints in moderation can add a touch of sophistication and chic to your wardrobe without overwhelming your outfit. So go wild and add a touch of the exotic to your wardrobe with these popular animal prints.

Animal Print and Sexuality

Animal print has been associated with sexuality for decades. The print is believed to be sexy because it is often associated with the wild and exotic nature of animals. People who wear animal prints are seen as daring and confident, which contribute to their sex appeal. Animal prints have evolved over the years, and prints such as leopard, zebra, and snake are commonly used in fashion today.

  • Leopard print – This print is known to be one of the most popular and sexy animal prints in fashion. It is associated with confidence, power, and independence. Women wearing leopard print are believed to be adventurous and daring, which can be interpreted as sexually assertive.
  • Zebra print – Zebra print is often associated with uniqueness and individuality. People who wear zebra prints are seen as bold and daring. Women who wear zebra prints are viewed as confident and self-assured. In the context of sexuality, zebra print allows women to accentuate their individuality and express their unique desires.
  • Snake print – Snake prints are often associated with mystery and sensuality. This print is often used to portray a dark and alluring persona. Women wearing snake print are often viewed as mysterious and seductive. The print can also add an element of danger to one’s look.

Animal prints have been used in lingerie, swimwear, and other types of attire to accentuate sexuality. The use of these prints in fashion is often associated with confidence and boldness. Animal prints are not just limited to clothing; they are also seen in accessories such as handbags, shoes, and belts. Accessorizing with animal prints can also add an edge to one’s look. The use of animal print in home décor can also add an element of wildness and sensuality to the environment.

Below is a table that outlines the meanings behind different types of animal prints and their association with human behavior:

Animal Print Meaning Association with Human Behavior
Leopard Power, independence, and assertiveness Confidence and boldness
Zebra Uniqueness and individuality Confidence and self-assurance
Snake Mystery and sensuality Mystery and seduction

In conclusion, animal prints have a long history of association with sexuality. The prints are often used to show confidence, adventure, and boldness. Different animal prints portray different meanings and are often associated with different aspects of human behavior. Despite the popularity and association with sexiness, it is essential to use animal prints tastefully and appropriately. When worn correctly, animal prints can add an element of wildness and sensuality to your look and environment.

Animal Print in Home Decor

Animal print in home decor can provide a wild and exotic touch to any space. Each animal print has its own unique symbolism and can bring different energies to a room. Understanding the symbolism behind animal prints can help you choose the perfect print to match the mood you want to create in your space.

The Symbolism of Leopard Print

Leopard print is a classic and versatile animal print that symbolizes luxury, power, and sophistication. A well-placed leopard print can make a statement while also adding warmth and texture to a room. Mixing leopard print with other prints and patterns can provide a playful, eclectic feel, while pairing it with solid colors can create a chic and sophisticated look.

The Symbolism of Zebra Print

  • Zebra print is a bold and graphic animal print that symbolizes energy, power, and movement. It can provide a sense of excitement and playfulness to a room when used in moderation.
  • When using zebra print in home decor, it’s best to stick to just a few accent pieces. Too much zebra print can be overwhelming and take away from the overall aesthetic of the room.
  • Pairing zebra print with muted neutrals or bold pops of color can create a visually interesting and balanced space.

The Symbolism of Cheetah Print

Cheetah print is a sleek and playful animal print that symbolizes passion, speed, and ferocity. It can add a sense of energy and excitement to any room.

Usage Tips: Best Room
Use cheetah print accents, such as throw pillows or a rug, to add a sense of playfulness to a room. Living Room, Bedroom
Pairs well with bold pops of color, such as red or turquoise Bathroom, Office
Can create a sense of drama and sophistication when used in a more muted color palette. Dining Room, Entryway

The Symbolism of Cow Print

Cow print is a quirky and playful animal print that symbolizes simplicity and farm life. It can bring a sense of humor and lightness to a room.

Cow print is best used in moderation and paired with other prints and textures to create an eclectic and playful space. It can be especially effective in a children’s room or in a more casual living space.

In conclusion, each animal print has its unique symbolism and can add different energies to your home decor. Understanding the symbolism behind animal prints can help you choose the perfect print to match the mood you want to create in your space. Remember to use animal prints in moderation and pair them with other prints and textures to create a visually interesting and balanced room.

Celebrities and Animal Print Fashion

Animal prints have been a popular fashion staple for decades, and celebrities have been sporting this trend for years. The animal print trend is known for its bold, daring, and adventurous look. It has been associated with the Hollywood glamour and the world of fashion, making it a symbol of luxury and style.

  • One of the most iconic animal print fashion moments in history was when Marilyn Monroe wore a leopard print swimsuit in the 1953 film, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. This moment marked the beginning of the animal print trend in Hollywood.
  • In the 80s, Madonna made animal prints mainstream by wearing it in her music videos and performances. Her popularization of this trend brought it into the mainstream fashion world.
  • Today, celebrities like Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian have been spotted multiple times wearing animal prints in their outfits, pushing the trend further into the spotlight.

Animal prints have played a significant role in fashion as a symbol of power, strength, and confidence. Celebrities have used this trend to showcase their bold personalities and fierce fashion sense. The use of animal prints has become a way for women to express their strength and confidence in themselves.

To further understand the impact of animal prints in fashion, let’s take a look at the table below:

Celebrity Animal Print Outfit Event/Wear Date
Rihanna Leopard print dress and hat 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Beyoncé Leopard print jumpsuit 2014 MTV Video Music Awards
Kim Kardashian Cheetah print skirt and top 2013 Paris Fashion Week

These celebrities have used animal prints to make a statement and showcase their unique fashion sense. Animal prints have become a part of pop culture and a symbol of confidence and boldness.

Animal Print Inspiration in Beauty and Makeup

Animal prints have long been a popular fashion trend, appearing on everything from clothing to accessories to home decor. But what about incorporating these prints into your beauty and makeup routine? Animal print-inspired makeup looks can be bold, daring, and fierce, symbolizing strength and confidence. Here are some animal print-inspired beauty and makeup ideas to try:

  • Leopard print eyeliner: Try using a small brush to draw on a thin line of leopard print in shades of brown and black along your upper lash line.
  • Tiger stripe eyeshadow: Using orange, yellow, and black eyeshadow, create a bold tiger stripe across your eyelid.
  • Cheetah print nails: This is a classic way to incorporate animal print into your beauty routine. Try a neutral base coat with black cheetah spots or vice versa.

Animal prints can also serve as inspiration for your makeup color palette. Traditional leopard print consists of warm browns, tans, and blacks, while zebra stripes feature crisp black and white hues. Incorporate these colors into your eyeshadow, lipstick, or blush choices to achieve a coordinated, yet edgy, look.

To take your animal print-inspired makeup to the next level, consider pairing it with animal print clothing or accessories. You can match your nails to your shoes or coordinate your eyeshadow with your outfit. The combinations are endless, but one thing is for sure – combining animal prints in your makeup and fashion choices is sure to make a statement.

Animal Print Color Palette
Leopard Warm browns, tans, blacks
Zebra Black and white
Tiger Orange, yellow, black

Animal print-inspired makeup looks aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re feeling daring and ready to make a statement, give them a try. Whether you opt for an animal print manicure or tiger stripe eyeshadow, these looks are sure to symbolize your strength, confidence, and inner fierceness.

What does animal print symbolize?

Q: What is animal print?
A: Animal print is a pattern that resembles the skin or fur of an animal, such as leopard spots or zebra stripes.

Q: What does animal print symbolize in fashion?
A: Animal print symbolizes boldness, power, and confidence in fashion. It is often used to make a statement and add a touch of edginess to an outfit.

Q: What does animal print symbolize in nature?
A: Animal print symbolizes camouflage, protection, and blending in with the environment in nature. Many animals use their unique patterns to avoid predators or to attract mates.

Q: In which cultures is animal print popular?
A: Animal print is popular in many cultures, particularly in Africa where it has been used for centuries in clothing, jewelry, and artwork.

Q: What do different animal prints symbolize?
A: Different animal prints can symbolize different things. For example, leopard print is often associated with power and confidence, while zebra print can represent individuality and self-expression.

Q: Can animal print be worn for formal occasions?
A: Yes, animal print can be worn for formal occasions, especially when paired with classic pieces like a black blazer or simple dress. Just keep it subtle and classy.

Q: Are there any cultural sensitivities around wearing animal print?
A: Yes, it is important to be respectful of cultural traditions and avoid appropriating symbols that have a deep cultural significance. For example, in Hinduism, the cow is considered sacred, so wearing cow print is not appropriate in that context.

A wild touch of style

So there you have it, the ins and outs of what animal print symbolizes. From boldness and power in fashion, to camouflage and protection in the wild, animal print has a rich history and meaning. So go ahead, embrace your wild side and add a touch of animal print to your wardrobe. Thanks for reading, and come back soon for more fun and informative articles.