Fashion focus: Go wild this winter

Animal print is one of this winter's top trends Pictures: Ginger/Jarrold/Next

Animal print is one of this winter's top trends Pictures: Ginger/Jarrold/Next - Credit: Archant

Designers have gone wild for one of this winter's top fashion trends: animal print. Local fashion experts tell us why it's a look that keeps on giving.

Like red lipstick, animal print has been used to give an outfit an immediate lift for decades. For many women, statement animal print pieces – a bold handbag, a striking scarf or an eye-catching blouse – are wardrobe staples, but every now and then it takes over the catwalk and suddenly we're seeing leopard print spots everywhere.

'It has always been the Achilles heel of every fashionista, and animal print is back for AW18 - but if we are completely honest, it never went away,' says Beckie Kingsley, manager at Ginger, a women's clothes shop in Norwich.

And while some women may be worried about over-doing the animal magic, Beckie says it's a fairly easy look to pull-off.

'Providing you avoid the Bet Lynch all-over look, it's always an absolute winner,' she says. 'Adding a little leopard to any outfit upgrades the look and adds that element of inner sass. It's been around for decades and will always remain a staple in a wise shopper's wardrobe, so don't be scared to invest in quality pieces. Whether it is a coat, bag, shoes or statement belt, it will lift your look – a woman who wears leopard print can do anything, right?'

Jarrold personal stylists Florrie Dunn and Katy Michael agree that it's a style that has wardrobe longevity.

'Leopard print has been a trend for a good few years now, so much so that it has become a classic print for your wardrobe,' says Florrie. 'Anyone can wear this print, you just need to know how to style it to make it work for you. For example, a leopard print dress can create an elongated silhouette when layered with a leather jacket or blazer worn undone.'

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Katy adds: 'Another tip is that wearing the print on your bottom half can balance your figure if you have a larger top half (and vice-versa) and simply accessorising your classic coat with a pair of leopard print gloves and a scarf can give your look a contemporary edge.'

Meanwhile, Style Show's Chrissi Rix says it's good to consider proportion and colour.

'Animal prints are running riot through this season,' she says. 'If you are petite, opt for smaller designs, as bolder patterns will overwhelm. If you are tall, rock some bold zebra or tiger for a stunning effect!

'Those with warmer, golden colouring will look best in the chocolate/mustard leopard or tiger designs. Cooler and lighter colourings will look best in grey python or black and white zebra and leopard.

'If you don't feel too confident, simply 'nod' to the trend with an accessory, such as a scarf, handbag or shoes.'