Style by Claire Lopez

Animal Attraction

I confess I’m an animal lover. Of the print variety more so than the actual four-legged kind. Don’t call PETA on me, I just feel I am coming to the end of the cleaning up mess phase of my life and a little furry addition to the household would put me right back at square one. In the potty training regard, babies win hands down.

This season the catwalks and now the shops are awash with animal print but banish all thoughts of Bet Lynch as animal prints are fast becoming a wardrobe staple. If that brings you out in a cold sweat, then there are definitely more subtle ways of donning the animal without looking too TOWIE or Corrie-esque.

Now to throw you in at the deep end, this is full on animal print for you but it is actually, I think, one of the coolest ways to do it – with a coat. And now is the time to make the investment for the autumn and winter.

Hobbs has this gorgeous little number: Gemma Wool Coat £239. This grey colourway is most definitely less obvious and on the more sophisticated end of the animal spectrum. It is low in stock and not available in all sizes but is in John Lewis so may be worth checking out their website too.

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If you don’t want to spend a fortune then there are a whole host of other options to choose from including this one from River Island: Brown Leopard Print Wool Overcoat £80.

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Now this is great with jeans but also a good option to brighten up your work-wear wardrobe and I am very tempted by it.

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Topshop’s is very similar at £85.

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Mango’s Animal Design Jacket is shorter and only £39.99.

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Got a bit carried away by coats now as the supermarkets have also done their versions with Florence and Fred’s version at a mere £29. I haven’t seen this in the flesh and it is a slightly furry number….but for under £30 worth a go.

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I am not all that keen on a leopard print blouse as have been put off by one I had a while ago which I always felt was the wrong side of cheap when I wore it, so going to park that for this season. However, a leopard print jumper would work nicely with trousers and denim. J Crew has its classic and super soft Tippi sweater in a leopard print now at £89.50.

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Alternatively Warehouse has this Animal Print Jumper £36 in two colours.

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Ok, so if this is all too much for you then accessories are a much safer way to go.

Marks and Spencer’s Leopard Leather Lace Up Trainers £49.50 are the perfect way to update your sneakers and can take you from contemporary work-wear to casual.

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A pair of leopard print boots is another option for winter and you don’t have to go full on animal either. These Head Over Heels boot from House of Fraser £58 are a good heel height for everyday and more interesting than a simple pair of black boots.

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I have worn my leopard print court shoes an awful lot with jeans and dresses alike, but this season’s heels are chunkier and these Acapela Print block heeled court shoes from Dune £75 are great. Ideal with a pleated skirt, perfect with skinnies or boyfriend jeans, and smart with black culottes or trousers.

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Now these may be divisive: Nine West Zipzap high heeled court shoes £69. I could have predicted that they would be man-repelling and my husband’s reaction to these was a fairly predictable, “What the hell are these clown shoes?!” He doesn’t like them at all clearly but they are a good heel height and I happen to like them very much indeed.

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A leopard print scarf is a very useful addition to your wardrobe and this Leopard Cashmere Scarf £159 from Hush is lovely and luxurious.

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But River Island has one for £15…

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And so does Accessorize – Lola Leopard Print Scarf £15.

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Finally you could inject some animal into your bags. Whistles has this Baxter Leopard Print Camera Bag £110 which is a perfect little number for a night out.

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Mint Velvet has its Pippa Cross Body Bag £99 which has a splash of leopard print almost hidden by the black flap. What could be more subtle?!

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There is obviously a whole world of animal out that I could spend hours exploring but should at least be some options to convince even the most animal-phobic out there.

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