From snakeskin and leopard to everything in-between, animal print has been pouncing up on catwalks everywhere for AW18 (miaow!) and naturally, I couldn’t help but put a little paw stamp on the trend myself. I will admit I’m not usually its biggest fan- while I can just about manage to rock a snakeskin boot or bag here or there, when it comes to taking all-round inspo from our furry friends, issa ‘no’ from me. So how to work around this style struggle? Add a little ‘rawr’ to a simple outfit with a few statement pieces, and bam! Just like that, problem solved.
Now everyone knows that the first step to building a great outfit is to lay the foundations, so I started off with a black crew neck jumper, bought from New Look’s ‘tall’ section a while back. At first glance, it may be a little ‘basic b….’, but who says ‘basic’ has to be such a bad thing? I feel like you can never really go wrong with black, and ‘goes with everything’ knitwear is definitely one of those staples that every woman needs in her wardrobe for the cooler months. As someone who’s a bit of a magpie, I also adore the sleeve detailing; the sparkly threads keep it on the good side of basic, where it doesn’t scream ‘look at me!’, but it doesn’t yawn ‘bo-ring!’ either. If I were really reaching (and trust me, I am) you could also say the stripes tie in with the whole animal print theme (tiger or zebra anyone? No? Ok). You can at least give me props for the fact that the rust-coloured stripes blend beautifully with the background… Was this planned, I hear you ask? *Flips hair* Maybe.
To take this look from Basic to Baddie (or maybe… Basie?*), I slipped on a faux leather skirt, and added a leopard print belt, both from (you guessed it!) New Look. Belts are an ideal way of adding a bit of shape to a solid block of colour, while injecting a subtle slither of animal print if (like me), you’re not one to wear it head-to-toe a la Cruella de Ville. The large square buckle is very 70s, plus it’s completely covered leopard print fabric for a little extra ‘pow’.
Now, can we talk a little more about this skirt, because, I mean… Ok, if it’s not completely obvious by now, I LOVE New Look. And I’m not talking that sort of love where you love something, kinda… but you could just maybe do without it for a little while. No. I mean I’m completely head over heels crazy in love; if for any reason we couldn’t be together, my heart would break. But all that aside, can you, me, or anyone believe this skirt is from the ‘tall’ section? Yes. I repeat: This. Skirt. Is. From. The. Tall. Section. And sure, perhaps they did give me some an inkling when they put the word ‘mini’ in the description (*note to retailers: Tall girls don’t specifically tailored mini skirts; if we want to (almost) flash our booties, we can just stride into the regular section), but this little lady is more micro than ‘mini’ for my 6′ self. Little rant aside, I am totally for the quality of this piece- it doesn’t have that cheap, shiny feel that’s typical of a lot of faux leather clothing, and I do like how it adds a little sass to the outfit.
When it comes to animal print, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t mix and match, so to switch things up a little, I threw in a snakeskin cross-body bag, which also doubles up as a (ridiculously large) clutch. The key to success (no one wants to look like they’ve just popped on a ton of roadkill) is choosing varying shades in the same colour palette. With its rich, tan tones, this bag complements the belt’s sandy hues beautifully, and snakeskin is just the thing to add a bit of texture if you really want to bring your look to life… Hopefully, all your prints are faux, and this is the first shot at life they’ve had anyway.
Like snakeskin, tortoiseshell is a classic which is always on trend, and is one of my go-tos for making a subtle style statement. Of course, this look was no exception, so I picked out these gorgeous oval earrings from Aliexpress. These beauties are literally the stuff of dreams because not only does the resin make them look super authentic, but they’re also really lightweight, so no need to worry- if you have to do that last-minute run for the bus, there’s no need to hang on to your ear lobes for dear life.
They say you should always save the best till last, so now onto the piece de resistance: These. Indescribably. Stunning. Leopard. Print. Boots. Can we please just have a moment of silence to just appreciate how amazing they are? I’ve never clicked ‘add to basket’ so quickly as the minute (ok, nanosecond) I spotted these at Stradivarius. Partially because they’re total stunners in their own right, but also because they’re almost an exact replica of a pair I was after from River Island yeeeeeeeeeears ago which went out of stock… talk about ‘the one(s) that got away!’ While they may not be ‘twinning’, this boot and bang combo is something out of mix and match heaven, and I really love the contrast between the boots’ faux suede fabric and the patent finish. The flared block heel also provides way more comfort than you’d expect from such a sassy shoe: Yes, ladies it is possible to slay in style and comfort- you saw it here first.
And so, with a loud ‘rawr’, here I conclude my tour of the wild side. See below for alternatives to all the items featured in my post so you can bring out your inner animal side, and don’t forget to let me know what you think of my ‘Wild Thing’ style in the comments below.
Tall black crew neck jumper: New Look
Black velvet choker: H&M
Snakeskin chain strap cross-body bag: Mango, available from Asos
‘Basie’= That sweet spot when you’re not quite basic, but you’re also not willing to put in the effort needed to ‘glow up’ and reach baddie status.