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Women’s Clothing Trend: Animal Print for Under $100

When I first heard that animal print clothing and accessories were coming “back into style” I cringed. For some reason, in my mind I associate animal print with 1980’s tacky spandex pants, overly teased hair, and excessive amounts of bright make-up. This is a look that I don’t think anyone can pull off, except for maybe Peg Bundy. However, some of the latest trends aren’t “trailer park” at all. In fact, mixing an animal print piece in with an otherwise subdued ensemble can create an overall look of sophistication or just add fun to your wardrobe.

If you aren’t ready to plunge into the animal print pool but just want to get your toes wet, try wearing a sheath dress in a solid black, white, or red. Then mix in animal print accessories, such a zebra print belt and matching zebra print shoes. You could finish off the look with earrings or a bangle.

There are some very stylish animal print themed dresses available in a variety of color combinations. If you’re going to wear a boldly printed dress, keep the accessories and shoes simple by wearing them in a solid shade that matches the dress.

  • Animal Print Dresses Under $100
  • Purple Animal Print Peplum Dress
  • Arden B. V-Neck Babydoll Dress
  • Animal Print Cowlneck Dress
  • Brown Draped One-Shoulder Dress
  • Yellow Animal Instincts Safari Dress
  • Pink Animal Knot Front Dress

When wearing an animal print skirt, try to pair it with a top in a solid but coordinating color and simple legwear. Use moderation when choosing matching animal print accessories because sometimes less really is more.

  • Animal Print Skirts Under $100
  • Hot Pink Tulip Skirt
  • Asymmetrical Tiered Skirt
  • Aqua Animal Print Silk Skirt
  • Michael Kors Ocelot Skirt

Animal print tops and cardigans can be worn with jeans, dress pants, or skirts depending on whether you’re going to work or going out. I would stick with a bottom in a solid color or denim to avoid conflicting patterns or looking more costumey than fashionable.

  • Animal Print Tops Under $100
  • Blue Boxy Knit tee
  • Michael Kors Off-The-Shoulder Peasant Top
  • Arden B. Ruffle Chiffon Top
  • Daytrip Animal Print Tank
  • Parfait Animal Print Cardigan
  • Blue or Yellow Animal Print Cardigan
  • Arden B. One Shoulder Animal Print Top
  • Lucky Brand Animal and Lace Cardigan

  • Animal Print Bags Under $100
  • Lucky Brand Cheetah Hobo
  • Betsyville Animal Instinct Hobo
  • Giraffe Print Double-Strap Bag at Target
  • Betsey Johnson “The Satchel” in Pink Python


  • Animal Print Shoes Under $100
  • Hot Pink and Gray Guess Pumps
  • N.Y.L.A. “Jacie” Leopard Print Pumps
  • Converse Chuck Taylor Sequins Oxford
  • Animal Talk by Naughty Monkey heel
  • Naughty Monkey Space Invaders 2
  • Naughty Monkey Chiller Patent Pumps (In red, tan, or black.)


I can’t stress how important it is to wear any print, especially an animal print, in moderation. You want to look like you were inspired by a zebra, not wearing a zebra costume. In other words, go wild…without going too wild!

The Top 5 Shoe Trends for Fall

Staying in style and keeping up with the latest trends takes time and effort. Knowing what shoes people are wearing is usually the last thing on a man’s mind. Let’s take the guess work out of shopping for shoes. Here are the top 5 men’s shoe trends for fall 2009.

Swiss Gear Moab Sandal – Black

$39.99 Target.com

Just because women, children, and medical workers wear clogs does not mean a man should ever let these touch his feet. If you live in an area that does not get really cold during the fall you will an appropriate pair of sandals. The Swiss Gear Moab Sandal gives you the comfortable athletic shoe look and feel while still being a sandal. The sides are vented and the shoe provides a drawstring with barrel lock enclosure to ensure you get the best fit possible.

Scanner – Examiner

$55 Skechers.com

If you are looking for a shoe that will take you from the office to after work drinks then the Scanner – Examiner is going to be perfect for you. This shoe is offered from Skechers in black and can also come in extra wide. A casual leather loafer with a duel seam bicycle toe, the Scanner- Examiner has a traction outsole, cushioned insole, padded collar, and ¾ inch heal.

Born Banks Oxford

$110 Eddiebauer.com

The Born Banks Oxford Shoe is a sporty and casual shoe that can be worn for everyday wear or to the office. You get moisture-wicking Dri-Lex sock liners to help keep your feet cool, healthy, and dry. The textured rubber outsoles help provide traction and superior shock absorption while the full grain leather of the top shoe gives you a soft broken-in feeling. The Born Banks Oxford shoe is available in brown and comes in extended sizes.

Nike Air Zoom 6.0 Cush

$78 Nike.com

Here we get extreme comfort in an everyday shoe that lasts and lasts. The Nike Air Zoom 6.0 Cush is offered in 4 different color variations; Anthracite – white, mint, citron, Team Red – white, red, black, Black – black, hot red, aquamarine, and Midnight Fog – black, Midwest gold, pro purple. This shoe offers maximum style with its color schemes. Leather and suede top with one piece construction for durability.

Expressed – Theodore

$72 Skechers.com

Here is another great shoe from Skechers. The Expressed – Theodore is offered in multiple colors; brown, sand, as well as a white and navy combo. This is a slip on shoe made out of leather and suede with a fabric lining. Dual elastic side panels and a split sporty traction outsole make the Expressed – Theodore comfortable and a perfect fit. These are stable shoes that are lightweight and can be used for work, going out, casual wear, or daily wear. You will end up getting a pair of these in every color.

Believable TV Moms

Television has been a big part of our lives from the time we first began to notice the world around us. Sometimes we believed that those TV moms could be real moms, come on admit it I was not the only one. How many actresses can you think of who played the mom role so well that they were believable?

How about Florida Evans from Good Times who was played by Esther Rolle. She did a fabulous job at making her role as the mom of JJ, Velma and Michael seems real. Florida Evans picked up the reins as a single mom after receiving a telegram that declared her husband James dead as the result of a car crash at the end of the first season. She then picked up jobs and scraped on everything to get by while relying on her older children to help her. Very reminiscent of many single moms who work two and three jobs just to survive without a hand out from the government.

Olivia Walton played a mom to seven television children and did it with such ease. She made motherhood for such a huge family look so easy on the job, and worked taking care of her family until she got very ill with TB and had to go to Arizona for treatment. Michael Learned played the role so easily, and she was mom to only three sons. She won awards for her work on the Walton’s as the soft-spoken sweet mom of seven children. One would imagine walking into her house on the mountain and setting down to a full home cooked meal she was that believable.

Elise Keaton, who played the mom role on Family Ties to Alex, Mallory, and Jennifer, was the kind of mom we would all love to have. She was a cool and believable mom who listened to Alex’s rambling about Nixon and let it slide. Marideth Baxter Birney played a great role, she was a hard working mom, yet she seemed to be there for her children always.

Marion Cunningham, played by Marion Ross on Happy Days was a believable mom to Joanie, Ritchie, and seldom seen oldest child Chuck who was always away at college. Mrs. C was the mom we all wanted; she was a stay at home mom who always let friends visit. She had a happy and believable marriage with hubby Mr. C. This was one woman who made rising teenagers seem so easy.

Ann Romano played by Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time, played a very believable single mom role to teenage daughters Barbara and Julie. This television mom made single parenting look easy and it is when things are running smoothly. However as Ann showed us when chaos reins in a single parent home the momma bear will rise up to defend and protect her offspring.

Vacation Horror Story

Well for me it was a “working vacation.” you see I’ve never really been able to afford to just strike out on my own trail of adventure, but through work related projects I’ve been able to visit a number of wonderful places.

At the time I was working for Harcourt Brace College Publishers doing desktop, and network support for the in-house kids, and over-the-phone support for our nation-wide sales force. My manager “volunteered” me to attend the national sales force meeting to provide hands-on support for the sales force laptops. I figured “what the heck, 3 days at the Silverado Resort in Napa California on the company’s dime. Why not?”

The trip started out innocently enough. There was a number of us leaving from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and we all made it to DFW International Airport just fine, with plenty of check-in time to spare (this being a time period well before 911, and all the new check-in procedures). There was probably about fifteen of us from Harcourt that had already checked-in our bags, collected our E-passes, and had already boarded and got comfy for the flight. After what seemed like a very long period of time, just sitting in the plane, still at it’s terminal, the pilot finally speaks up over the PA and explains that “regular maintenance found some small issues, and the techs are correcting the issues. We’ll be on our way shortly.” So we waited some more. After another undetermined amount of time, the pilot once again calls us to attention and explains “the repairs are not going well, and we have to move the passengers to another plane,” great, just great. I’m a pretty easy going guy, and of course I’d rather be on a plane that totally “checks out” against the airline’s safe list, so I was thankful and understanding that we were being moved to a different plane. Still though, I wondered about the logistics of it all, moving people, luggage, and what not to a different plane. Regardless, we disembarked and went to find our way to the next plane.

We had to stop-in at the desk at our current terminal and get new E-passes for the next plane, which turned out to be at the opposite far-end of the Air Port. The flight was leaving in like 20-30 minutes, so now we had a small stampede of people racing through the airport to the next terminal. It was sort of comical, like a scene out of the movie “Air Plane,” participating in, and watching all the other people make the mad dash to the next far away terminal. We all made though, and were once again waiting, all buckled up and comfy, when the pilot announced that “everything is alright, thanks for your patients, but the airport is seeing some very high traffic today, and our flight is fifth in line to depart, but we’ll be on our way soon.” So we ended up spending another 30 or so minutes waiting on the tarmac before actually getting into the air. Still though, we were finally on our way, Yay!

The flight itself really wasn’t all that bad. It went straight-through with no mishaps, the landing was smooth, and we disembarked to find out that our luggage was not on our plane, but it would arrive soon. Okay, hmmm. So we ended up waiting at the airport for another hour for our luggage to arrive. With luggage in-hand we set out to find our coach bus and finally start winding our way through downtown then out to the resort, but first we had to make a little (off the radar) stop to a liqueur store for some provisions. The coach ride was nice enough, albeit it was dark by the time we finally left the airport and started heading out of town, so we couldn’t see any of the lovely scenic vistas we were passing in the night.

So, after spending 12 HOURS traveling from Dallas/Fort Worth to Napa California (which should have only taken 4-6 hours), we had finally arrived at our end destination. We were all glad to finally be at the resort. You’d think that was enough, wouldn’t you? Well there is one more little bit to this sorted story.

Me and Mike (our Data Administrator guy) decided to find our rooms, unload our stuff, and get something to eat. An easy enough task to accomplish in such plush surroundings. After freshing up a little, me and Mike headed over to the main house and found a restaurant inside. Since we were already tired, and figuring that we were confined to the campus for the next several days, we’d go ahead and dine here.

We made light conversation and did a little “bitching” about the “long trip out,” while we ordered, and eventually ate. Let’s see, Mike had the “surf and turf” while I had a steak. We each also had a dinner salad and a soda pop. Neither one of us had any alcohol, and to be quite honest, I don’t remember if we had desert. What I do remember though, was my feeling and the look on Mike’s face, when he saw my shocked, ashen-faced look upon my viewing our dinner bill. It hadn’t occurred to either one of us that we were now in California, or that we were dining at a fine 5-star restaurant. Between the two of us, with this simple fair we ordered, we’d racked up a $100 bill, cripes! Well, there wasn’t much ado about it, the damage was done. But let me tell you our manager didn’t let us live it down for the entire trip, chuckle. Yes, one to many reminders that we “ate our entire expense allowance” in our first meal at the event, and it was “milk and crackers” for the rest of our stay.

Un Confidential Cook

Building a better tomorrow