Animal prints -- chic, fresh and understated? Yes, you heard us. The growl of the predator female is simply not the point. The new way to wear these prints, whether they're leopard, snake or cheetah, is not to go for naughty but for nice.
When worn in a classic silhouette, we think an animal print adds visual interest and a bit of pizzazz to your look.
On the runways, we spotted:
Givenchy Head-to-toe python sounds very rock & roll, but designer Ricardo Tisci's monochromatic mix with matching boots conveys serenity and refinement.
Dries van Noten A classic pairing -- tuxedo jacket and a wide-leg trouser -- takes an unexpected turn when the latter is translated into leopard print. The effect? Unabashed elegance.
Bottega Veneta Talk about a statement coat! This patterned trench is an investment piece you could wear for decades. It looks effortlessly chic over a cream sweater and trousers and, if worn belted, could take a LBD and pointy-toe pumps for a walk on the wild side.
Dolce & Gabbana This design duo is hardly known for dressing demure ladies. But, here, they have added some big-time sizzle to an understated chemise with a mash-up of animal prints. The jeweled black collar provides a prim but perfect counterpoint.
Akris Python-patterned leather punches up a timeless sheath dress. Knee-high boots in the same shade create one long, lean line.
When shopping animal prints:
Keep colors natural One of the keys to wearing these prints is selecting colors that are more on the subtle side. You might not expect an animal print turtleneck could find a place in your closet, but this one from Majestic Paris by Neiman Marcus is so the opposite from a racy on-the-prowl number it's practically demure. We also love the Veronica Beard midi dress and Modern Muse snake-print ruffle blouse.
Go for timeless Animal-print pieces can be counted on to fill the long-term classic role. This leopard-print wool coat from Raey is a modern neutral that will never go out of style, as is the See by Chloe skirt.
Easy update These fantastic accessories are the kings of the animal farm. Just one of the shoes (ranging from an Isabel Marant boot to a Stella McCartney slipper), bags (adore the Dolce satchel) or pieces of jewelry will add a glamorous accent pronto. A special shout-out for the Saint Laurent cobra cuff -- it's insanely chic!
Shop the trend at Apprécier