While animal-inspired patterns like leopard and zebra stripes never really go out of fashion, there’s a new species that’s been showing up on prints and in other motifs lately. In fact, it seems that designers have been putting a bird on it – or at least a feather – for a while. And while full-on bird prints can be overly twee or somewhat eccentric, these new styles have taken wing in our closets and we’re loving some avian-inspired looks right now*.
Put A Bird On It: Bird Print and Feather Fashion
1. Bird Print Dresses
Nothing says summer or vacation like a punchy tropical print and with macaws, toucans, flamingos, and birds of paradise prints flying into stores, now is the time to pick up a frock that’s ideal for a day on the beach or pool – or just a day relaxing in your backyard. We love this macaw print maxi dress by Farm Rio (actually, any piece from this Brazilian label would liven up your wardrobe) and this breezy peacock wrap dress by Silk & Salt for something dressy-ish, or go for the #caftanlife with this short feather print number from H&M’s Conscious line.
2. Top(s) Of The Trees
Not ready to commit to an entire dress featuring our feathered friends? A patterned blouse or a fun top like this coral parrot print tie-neck blouse from ModCloth or this tropical bird print puffed sleeve blouse from Farm Rio would add a vibrant bit of color to your summer outfits.
3. Skirts With Plumage
A midi or maxi skirt can lend itself well to bold and intricate prints, and birds can be a perfect choice. Try a colorful summer midi like this one by Aqua x Mary Katrantzou at Bloomingdale’s, or something more structured like this customizable tropical bird print georgette skirt at eShakti.
4. Avian-Inspired Jewelry
An actual bird or two or long dangly feather earrings can lean extremely boho or incredibly whimsical (and we love it if you can pull it off), but more subtle bird-inspired baubles like these Eye Candy Los Angeles feather drop earrings also have a place in our jewelry collections. This peacock feather cuff bracelet also brings the drama and would help nearly any neutral ensemble take flight.
5. Fluttering Scarves
Colorful plumage and bright patterns make birds of all feathers a great source of inspiration for print designer. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in silk scarves, cashmere shawls, or other wraps from the high end to the high street. Go for something classic like this Louis C. Tiffany peacock feather scarf from the Met Museum digital gift shop.
6. Shoes That Will Put A Wing In Your Step
Embroider a bird on a pair of loafers. Or add a bird print to a pair of sneakers or sandals for something that’s a little out of the box (or should we say nest?). These toucan and floral print Havaianas or these flamingo print Toms are both fun for casual moments. Pair them with some white denim and a candy-colored top for a summery look.
7. Feather Trimmings
Okay, feather-trimmed shoes have gotten a bad reputation (please don’t wear marabou mules anywhere but the bedroom or bedroom adjacent areas). But feather-trimmed pieces can be quite refined, like this feathered top by Eva Franco. Paired with a slim pencil skirt, it would be the perfect statement piece for a cocktail party or wedding. But swap the skirt for denim or city shorts and you have a fun backyard party look.
8. Feather Prints
Feathery prints are a classic, just ask Diane Von Furstenberg, Elsa Schiaparelli, and any other designer who has used peacock feathers, parrot feathers, pheasant feathers or any other plumage in their patterns. This feather print smocked waist top by Liverpool Los Angeles is a great pick in a flattering silhouette, or go for something bolder like this gold and blue feather print maxi skirt from Afibi.
9. Think Outside Of The (Bird) Cage
While parrots and other denizens of the rainforest are perpetually popular patterns, other birds can be stunning as well, such as the soft taupes, golds, and grays in this feather print kimono from Anthropologie. Peacock feather prints, cranes of all kinds, swans, and even birds that might be a little closer to home like blackbirds, cardinals, and blue jays can all make for great and unusual prints and accessories.
Shop Bird Print and Feather Fashion
What do you think of this avian-inspired trend? Are you loving bird or feather prints lately (or always)? What are your favorite prints at the moment and what do you have your eye on?
*We’re kind of sorry for all the bird-related puns. We couldn’t resist. In fact, one could say they just flew into our brains.
– Jacqueline Zenn
You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s fashion posts like Chic Cabin Fashion to Pack for Your Country Getaway and We Found Some Of The Most Chic Linen Looks For Summer 2021.
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