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Animal Print Everything: Frank Hits the Zoo

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You know Frank—he's been writing about menswear, sales, television, new shops, the recession, Lisa Loeb, the Golden Girls and getting blasted for Racked for almost two years. Well, we think it's time you got to know him and his quirky-irreverent views on life and fashion even better with his column: Love, Frank. Taking the form of an open letter and always signed with love, Frank will rant about whatever style-related conundrum he encounters in a given week. So buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, it's going to be ? Something.


Our animal prints were slightly higher end, but you get the idea. These via Polyvore.

Dear Potential Zoo Visitors,

We just went to the zoo, the Bronx Zoo, and we have some pointers.

Obviously, the group of us planned to wear animal print—as much animal print as possible. And not just, say, your run of the mill leopard or zebra prints (which were important foundation items if not necessarily a focal point); but garish-to-some prints of animals by Marc Jacobs, Duckie Brown and Phillip Lim: Beetles and roaches, panthers, what have you.

And we looked cute! We looked absolutely crazy, but we looked cute!

You see, zoos are actually sort of for kids. And we clearly do not have kids. Some of our crew can't even handle plants. So, by and large, other visitors were harried by babies and strollers and picnic lunches and remembering which area of the parking lot contained their Subaru Outbacks.

Our biggest issue: Dippin' Dots or soft serve?

We went with soft serve.

Needless to say, at least amongst people who are grounded in reality (basically, not us), we were almost the only people at the zoo in zoo-themed outfits. Most of our contemporaries donned free-with-purchase sweatshirts and standard issue mom (or dad) jeans. Even the gay couple was sporty: Under Armour, futuristic graphic tees, those terrible toe shoes.

That said, there was a lesbian couple from northern Europe in matching, many-pocketed safari outfits. Also, a little girl in a zebra-themed tee (not Stella McCartney) and another little girl in a leopard-themed tee (not Sophia Vergara for Kmart).

The moral of the story: Don't over do it. You will stick out. You will get looks.

A couple of other notes: Don't over-layer, even if it's cute. The bird and reptile houses get hot and there is no coatcheck (just stroller parking). Don't curse. Don't look at anyone. Don't expect children to look where they're going. Which means that, for once, you should. Take your sunglasses off when viewing nocturnal animals in darkened rooms—even though they are an integral part of your look. And avoid observations of the "that snake would make a gorgeous belt" variety.

· Love, Frank [Racked]

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY