Everyone needs a leopard or a snake

Leopard, snake and even dalmation..animal prints, you ought to have at least a few of these items in your wardrobe.

(Annie D Double Bow Mock Snake Print Court Shoe, Dune, £85)

While back in the 90s, leopard print was associated with the Pat Butchers and Dorians from Birds of a Feather of the world, things have significantly moved on since then. These days shops are rife with tasteful, chic animal-print accessories and feature on anything from printed jeans through to coats.

So, where to start? Admittedly animal print isn’t always easy. Your first stop should be a pair of shoes or a handbag as you can keep your outfit simple and add interest with these. But be sure to check your print – the more authentic ‘animal’ the better – there is nothing worse than a shiny, leopard-tribute shoe. I think those which have a texture akin with the animal they are trying to imitate are the best. Plus, you’ll avoid falling into the cheap-and-nasty category.

(J.Crew Edie leopard-print calf hair bag, Net-A-Porter, £450)

If you’re looking to make a statement, pick up a pair of printed trousers (very S/S 2012) or a dress in a tasteful animal print. Look for good tailoring and fabrics as this will again keep you out of market-stall cast-off territory. For cocktails and dinner with the girls, I think this jersey dress from Coast below hits the nail on the head. This could even fit into a working wardrobe if paired with simple accessories and a blazer. Just give it a go – you may be pleasantly surprised!

(Jules Snake print Dress, Coast, £95)

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