how to wear animal print dos donts

As much as animal print is linked with A-listers like Rihanna, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne, it can also very quickly look like something out of ‘The Real Housewives Of Hoochie Town.” Nobody wants that!

Animal print, when done correctly, can look super hot and feisty and with Autumn on the horizon, it’s the ideal time to start layering your printed pieces. It’s important to know not just what to do, but more so what not to do in order to pull off animal prints puuuurrrfectly. Here’s are three head-to-toe looks to take inspiration from.

Play It Coy—Accessories Only

reiss belt misha collection dress linda farrow sunglasses boohoo animal print heels

Reiss Jasper Lizard Metal-Details Belt, £20Boohoo Indi Snake Print Two Part Heels, £24;
Linda Farrow Tortoise Shell Round Sunglasses, £995Misha Collection Cheyenne Dress, £285.94

Too shy to fully embrace your inner animal? Don’t worry, just a guest starring role of the print is sometimes enough. An easy way to keep your look more classy than trashy is to pull your leopard, zebra, tiger, snake or any other animal print of the moment, into your accessories. This could be a hint of a tortoise shell on your glasses, a little leopard on your clutch, or even some Python on your pumps.

You can also use your print to your advantage through clever placement. These kinds of prints crave attention, so if you love your legs, put the accent on your feet; got sculpted arms even JLo would be envious of? Draw attention to them with bicep bangles.

Another great reason to accessorise with animal print is that you can make your office to cocktails-and-dinner transition very easily. Just add a printed shoe or belt to your monochrome work separates and you’re good to go.

Pair With Neutrals

redvalentino blazer lk bennett animal print bag jacques vert lace blouse banana republic pants

Jacques Vert Cream Lace Detail Vest Top, £39Banana Republic Avery-Fit Animal-Print Pant, £69.50;
REDValentino Blazer, £333LK Bennett Mariel Animal Print Leather Shoulder Bag, £195

The more neutral the rest of your outfit is, the more your animal print will stand out. Side by side against subdued, solid color, the print will dominate without going over board. We love power clashing prints but it doesn’t really work when it comes to animal print. It simply demands more attention, so allow the animal in you to take center stage.

Pair a striking pair of leopard print trousers with a simple cream top and finish the look off with a bold shoulder black blazer—flawless for any event. The idea is to create balance. If you have print on the top, keep your bottom half neutral and vice versa.

From The Boyfriend’s Closet

amen animal print bodysuit iro belted biker jacket superdry boyfriend jeans paul smith shawna boots

Amen Leopard Pattern Beaded Tulle Bodysuit, £346Iro Belted Biker Jacket, £690;
Superdry Harper Boyfriend Jeans, £49.99Paul Smith Blue Leopard Print Calf Hair Shawna Boots, £340

When we think of animal print, second to being feisty and sexy, we also think femininity. They go hand in hand unless you’re Ricky Martin. FYI for any men out there, that’s not a look to aspire to! The fact that animal print is feminine in an aggressive and dominating way, it is the perfect print to accompany any menswear-inspired look.

Give your boyfriend jeans, motorcycle jacket or collared shirt a print injection to soften the look and add some sex appeal.

Caution: Road Kill Ahead

The easiest way animal print can go wrong is when we start to play with texture. A bad faux fur leopard print coat looks more Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous than it does absolutely fabulous. While we definitely want you to wear faux (because sporting a dead animal carcass is not cool), you want to invest in quality faux fur. The same goes for leather look-a-likes—the shinier it is, the cheaper it looks!

Finally, the key to pulling off your animal print no matter which way you decide to style it is all in the attitude—timid and shy it is not. You need to own that print and let it shape your posture, your gait, and even your mindset. Hold your head high and put on your resting bitch face, for animal print calls for channeling your inner fiery spirit.

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