Animal prints have long been the back bone of the fashion industry when it comes to pattern, and rightly so, it's instinctive one might say. Caveman was wearing animal prints before he even knew it was fashionable, albeit in the form of real skins and fur! So, it makes sense that animal print has largely dominated the style arena - the foundation was set in history, relegating the reptiles to shoes and handbags. After all, how many snakes would it take to make a loin cloth, or more importantly a dress? With the invention of textile printing and the social lean toward "fashionable faux" this or that, it matters not in this era. Now we can have endless lengths of Boa Constrictor or friendly Python wrapped about our person having materialized from a 100 yard by 54-inch bolt!
I speak not with fork tongue (laugh here), but snakeskin and snake print slithered its way back into popularity several months ago. Big fashion houses such as Gucci, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta and Roberto Cavalli presented python mimicking prints on the Milanese runways in spring, and not just for accessories, but pants, skirts and dresses were hissing out some major statements in both neutral tones as well as bold colors.
The lambskin coat shown here in a beautiful blue and black print by Alice and Olivia is a stunning example of a bold colored snake (linked HERE).
The reptilian prints are holding strong and snaking their way into some of the fall's hottest pieces among an overwhelming surge of animal prints trending in every shape and color. High street stores are embracing the animal prints revival and giving some serious leverage to the snake, with an array of garments as well as accessories. The following display is right as you walk in the door at Zara in Scottsdale!
So how does one wear snake print, without looking like Medusa's offspring?
Let me introduce you to my friend Sunny Leigh Sherman, former fashion designer and one of my favorite style icons whose everyday looks combine high street and high couture pieces to create ensembles that make age look like it stood still about thirty years ago #agelessstyle!
In the picture above, Sunny combines Zara snake print side stripe trousers (linked HERE) with a black blouse and studded sandals. This is how we snake, rattle and roll! If you're a little shy to go all-out reptile, just pick one piece and work it into your outfit! This look is one of my favorites this season.
This is me in my very old snake print pants by Joie! Similar look to Sunny, but much more appropriate terrain, don't you think? Ha ha! I was planning to add side stripes to my pants to modernize them but decided to add black knit cuffs to the ankles instead, they could use the extra length. I tried out the idea with some black tennis wrist bands - it looks super cool (minus the Nike swish)! Will post on Instagram when done! Never discredit a little tweaking to modernize existing pieces.
Here Sunny pairs her snake print pants with the coordinated top also from Zara (linked HERE). This could pass as a jumpsuit. Her funky red sandals add a distraction from the all-over snake print and lend a casual vibe to the outfit, but this would look equally cool with heels and a leather jacket for a night out in the fall! These are great transitional pieces for this time of year offering maximum versatility, either together or as separates.
If you're still coiling at the thought of wearing all-over snake print, then go for an accessory. A snakeskin handbag or shoe has been an elegant classic for decades. Shown above, the printed leather bootie from Zara (linked HERE) is a crowd pleaser, easy to wear with jeans or trousers as well as a midi skirt. Imagine an all-black outfit with these boots, uber cool!
In an article written by Who What Wear in July this year, they predicted that snakeskin boots will be the hottest boot trend in three months. I'm there already, (bought the Zara boots above) ... roll on October!
Here's another snake boot with a lower heel and equally chic print. This one is the Nettie Bootie by Splendid (linked HERE).
Here's an inexpensive way to add some snake print into your wardrobe. This TopShop snake effect cross body bag also comes in red snake effect and a yellow version. (Linked HERE)
Another cute bag from TopShop, somewhat "Chloe-esk", will work well with the tan and amber tones we will also see this fall! (Linked HERE)
Animal prints have been considered a neutral among fashionistas for some time, I think we can safely say that snake prints are a neutral, the new neutral! Not only do they work well with a monochromatic pallet but can be mixed with other animal prints and daring colors alike.
Let me know if you add some snake print to your fall wardrobe, I would love to hear how you incorporate it.
Oh, and Sunny would love to meet you too, you can follow her on Instagram where she is known as @oldfashionguru and posts daily pictures of her outfits along with great style tips.
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Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50