How to wear animal print

Release your inner tiger (or python) this season with the latest gear in animal prints and skins. Read on for great advice on how to wear it from a pro stylist

H&M dress

Animal print dress, H&M

Banana Republic lambskin tote

Lambskin tote, Banana Republic

Zara's leopard print dress

Leopard print dress, Zara

The Gap's snakeskin print legging jean

Snakeskin print legging jean, Gap

Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton in a leopard print blouse

What to look for: Jungle cat-inspired prints have been huge for decades now but the latest trends are veering more towards reptiles. Straight off the Chloé runway, snakeskin now comes in multiple forms and adventurous shades. Either way, no matter what print you choose you’ll be en vogue with anything animal-inspired this season.

How to wear it: “Most animal prints are small, so the scale of design works for all bodies,” says Lynda E. Jean, a Certified Image Consultant in Toronto. “Because animal print stands out, be sure to wear it on a part of your body that you like. Many animal prints are more warm than cool in colour; that is, have more brown than black, so if you are a cool complexion, be sure to stick with the cool animal prints.”

Accessorize it: Unless your animal print is more on the subtle side, keep the look clean with black tights or pants and minimal jewellery. Or wear your animal print as your accessory. A belt, scarf or bag gives you a hit of this trend without a full-on commitment.

Day to night: Animal prints can veer on the sexy side so keep this in mind for daytime wear. For a night out, try a sheer animal print blouse with a cami underneath or a waist-cinching pencil skirt. For day, the same look works but show less skin and dress it down with opaque tights or flats.

A little hit of style: “If you are a bit wary start small, with a scarf, for example, and then graduate to clothing with a print that you love,” advises Jean.

Animal prints we love (pictured in the gallery above):
1969 mid-weight snakeskin print legging jean, $80. Gap.
Leopard print dress, $60. Zara.
Croc-embossed lambskin tote, $150. Banana Republic.
Animal print dress, $35. H&M.