Style by Claire Lopez

For the love of a good animal

Well I never thought I would be writing that Sainsbury’s inspired a post … oh the glamour, but it did.

The other day when I was doing my weekly food shop, (it has occurred to me that I am one of the few people who still actually visits a supermarket on a regular basis as I just can’t seem to get myself organised to know what I need, before I need it) I happened upon this jacket and thought how much I would like it. Well now I can’t find it on the website at all. Should have picked it up there and then but I didn’t.


However, when prints come and go, and look dated as soon as one season morphs into another, there is one print that has been around for years and years and still looks great – and that my friends, is the good old animal print. And more specifically the leopard print. I like the other creatures too but I am a serial buyer of the leopard variety – shoes, boots, bags, scarves, t-shirts, cardigans to name but a few – although obviously never worn more than one piece at a time (unless at a ‘Touch of Essex’ themed party – more of that later). So can I convert you and make you a glorified member of the Bet Lynch tribe?

Undeniably, one of the easiest ways to ‘do animal’ is with accessories but you don’t have to stay traditional. M&S has this nice little Animal Print Scarf £15 which will look great worn with blue denim, white trainers and a sweatshirt or a jumper.


Oliver Bonas can always be relied on for a great scarf and they have a few options including the more traditional Aisha Animal Jacquard Scarf £28 which would look great worn with lots of different coats – camel, grey, black – as well as with a striped top and jeans or black trousers.


However, if there was one scarf I would go for, it would be the Lola Giant Leopard Print Scarf £18 because with the splash of yellow it looks perfect for this season. Yellow is quite a difficult colour to wear, particularly in great swathes the only outcome is giant human banana, so this is a nice nod to a key colour for the spring.


Shoes are the other super easy way to add a splash of animal to your outfit. Particularly if you want to draw the eye-line away from other parts of the body, going for a fun and interesting shoe can be just the thing. If you are in the corporate world, this bit of Leopard Suede Print Pointed Flat £45 would work very nicely with a black trouser and shirt/jacket. Equally, wear with a pair of dark denim jeans.



These little lace ups from Boden are also very nice Florence Flat Point £79.50. Modern and pretty for the summer.


I have a great pair of leopard print heels that I have worn so much – much more than my black court shoes. Mine are from Nine West and are not high at all but I cannot find them again. Office does have a pair of On Tops Point High Heels £65 but they are very high indeed. Too high for me but maybe not for everyone.


The open-toed mule is one of the styles for SS16 and Boden’s Cicely Heel £129 would be the fashion choice. Although could I walk in it? Probably not entirely successfully.


For more of a casual fashion shoe this Laurel Leopard Print Slip on Trainer is down to £69 at Kurt Geiger and is a winner with a pair of boyfriend/girlfriend jeans for the spring and summer.


Office also has a bargain with these Idyllic Cone Heel Boots down from £78 to £28. These will liven up any pair of jeans for when a black boot just feels, well too black.


If full on animal print feels too trashy for you then you could always go for a more subtle approach with some embossing. Whistles has a lovely selection of mock croc bags in various colours and let’s face it Whistles is definitely not trashy in the slightest. For the subtlest of them all, go for this Shiny Croc Perry Chain Clutch £75. So subtle you can’t even see it!


At the other end of the spectrum Mango has a Leopard print clutch £17.49.


Boden has its Chancery Clutch which is reduced to £39.50. Not bad at all.



On the clothing front, I used to have a leopard print shirt but I always felt like I was erring on the wrong side of cheap whenever I wore it. So it is no more. Unless you are Kate Moss, I just think it is a tricky thing to pull off and look cool. I also used to have a leopard print silk dress but again that had a time and place in my life, which I can say is not now. But when I went to the aforementioned ‘Touch of Essex’ party, perhaps rather embarrassingly, I didn’t buy anything special (other than some false eyelashes and revolting French manicure glue on talons which didn’t come off for days) and just looked to the contents of my wardrobe.  Although I didn’t feel cheap or tarty because I love the old animal so perhaps Essex is my motherland.

For the record, I do most definitely, draw the line at H&M’s leopard print leggings (yuk yuk yuk) so regrettably, despite hankering after this Tu coat ( and possibly the Mango one at the top), I do find myself thinking that less is probably more when it comes to animal … maybe.









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