How to wear animal print

Animal print is a timeless trend that returns each year, and this summer is no different. Seen on many SS23 catwalks from Versace, Gucci and Ganni to Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana (the kings of leopard!) it’s a print that doesn’t date.

From leopard to zebra, neutral tones to multi-coloured, we're covering all the animal-print bases this season. And if you’re thinking, ‘But how do you wear animal print in a classy way?’, we’ve asked our fashion stylist Lynda Bell for her advice. ‘Start by channelling Kate Moss rather than Pat Butcher,’ advises Lynda wisely. ‘Once you have the correct muse, animal prints can be stylish, subtle and sophisticated.’

Go bold or go home

Leopard print is becoming a bit of a neutral in your wardrobe (yes, really), which means you can mix and match it with more than you think. If you're confident with print, go all in with a full-length look. ‘The puff shoulders on this animal print dress are bringing all the drama,’ says Lynda, ‘So grab some statement earrings to go with it.’ If you prefer a skirt, you’ll have even more styling options. ‘Pair with a denim shirt and trainers for the weekend, or a lacy cami or plain black vest and heels for Saturday night,’ suggests Lynda. ‘The yellow-gold tones add to the summery feel.’

Add some colour

Colourful leopard is a fresh new take. Green gives the print a more casual, current feel and our midi has side ties and long loose sleeves for cover on summer evenings. ‘Leopard and rock and roll are a match made in heaven,’ says Lynda, ‘So wear your green midi skirt with a graphic T-shirt, layered necklaces and a bracelet stack to nail the look.’

Easy does it...

If you're just dipping your toe into the trend, look for accessories to instantly refresh your look. We have a feast of animal-print trims and details on our bags, so that’s an easy place to start. Or update your favourite cross body with a printed bag strap.

‘Lift an all-black outfit with a fun animal print hair accessory or sandals’ suggests Lynda, ‘Or for a playful pattern clash, mix zebra stripes with florals. But stick to two prints maximum – you don’t want to overdo it.’

Try a subtle nod

Leopard print scarves are a gentle way to layer on some animal print, and multicoloured styles add even more interest and stop it from looking too ‘safari’. ‘Choose a sleek satin style for a variety of styling options,’ says Lynda. ‘Drape it around your neck, tie it into your ponytail or even around the handles of your bag for a simple way to work the trend into your look.’

Coming soon...

‘For an exclusive peek at our upcoming styles, we have this season’s most talked-about animal print – zebra – making its debut very soon here at OB,’ says Lynda. ‘We love the contrast of the stripes with this zesty green colour (summer 2023’s hottest hue) and our eye-catching lilac. They'll make some showstopping looks for summer parties and special events.’