How to Wear Animal Print for a Smart Casual Occasion

October 10, 2018

It might be one of the hottest fashion trends for autumn/winter 2018; however, when it comes to how to wear animal print, it’s not exactly the most straightforward pattern to master.

Why? Well, it’s bold, it’s out there and—if you get it wrong—you could end up looking less like Kate Moss and more like Pat Butcher on a power trip.

Not ideal.

Whether in zebra, leopard or snakeskin form, animal print stood out for all the right reasons at AW18 shows. Givenchy showcased luxe faux fur leopard print coats and Halpern was all about the zebra print midi-length dresses.

Either way, if you want to wow in animal print this season—I’ve got you covered.

When done correctly, this trend is a great way to dress up and add a touch of sass to your outfit for drinks with the girls or a family dinner out.

Read on for how to wear animal print for a smart casual occasion.

Pick Out a Key Piece

First thing’s first in terms of how to wear animal print: stick to one key piece. 

Once you’re down and have got the 411 with this captivating pattern, you might want to consider adding other aspects to your outfit alongside your key piece. (For instance, striking leopard print boots with a leopard print top.)

However, generally speaking, avoid mixing more than one type of animal print and don’t include more than one key piece in your outfit. 

Why? Well, it just looks too much. I mean, if you want to wear head-to-toe leopard print then you might as well be a leopard—and it sure ain’t fancy dress here, pal. (Not until 31st October anyway…)

Are you a complete newbie to animal print? That’s okay—you can always start out small with a simple accent shoe or accessory and then build up your wardrobe from there.

Snake Print

Tone Down the Rest of Your Outfit

How to wear leopard print tip #2: as animal print is loud and proud, the attention should solely be on your key piece. 

FYI bright colours and animal print don’t tend to look good together. (Unless we’re talking about the colour red, because red is baller with any kind of animal print.)

Instead, choose separates in neutral hues (like black, white and beige) that tone down your key piece whilst simultaneously allow it to take centre stage. This will pull everything together to create an effortless yet cohesive ensemble.

Katie Davies Fashion

Amp Up the Ante with Your Hair and Makeup

Another tip for how to wear animal print for a smart casual occasion is to keep accessories to a minimum, but use your makeup to make the look pop.

For instance, a statement lip is always a winner with animal print and can take your aesthetic from trashy to classy in a heartbeat.

You should also plan to make an impression with a hairstyle that’s just as fierce as your key piece, like mermaid-like waves or an elegant chignon.

Either way, use your hair and makeup to add drama and transform your look from everyday cool to smart casual chic.

Snake Print

Try a Unique Print or Colour Variation

If you’re wondering how to wear animal print as a distinctive yet aesthetically pleasing ensemble, then ponder no longer! 

E’rrrrybody knows that the black and white zebra print reigns supreme in the fashion world, alongside the traditional gold and black leopard print and black and brown snake print.

(Am I right?) 

Although, if you want to make a serious style statement, why not try a slightly different take on the classic animal print combos? Whether this is in the form of a different kind of animal print or colour palette, it’s fun to experiment with a multitude of looks for smart casual occasions.

I’m not sure why, but people tend to become more daring with their fashion choices when they’re dressing for occasions out of the ordinary. Maybe this is because they spend more time getting ready or put more thought into their outfits? I’m not sure—but, either way, there’s nothing stopping you from opting for a standout blue leopard print dress as opposed to the conventional colour way.

Or, for that matter, wearing a dalmation print blouse instead of the usual zebra print.

Be comfortable with what you’re wearing, for sure, but also don’t be afraid to mix things up every once in a while. It keeps fashion feeling fresh and exciting!

Dalmation Print

How to Wear Animal Print

Sometimes fashionistas shy away from animal print because it can often look too overpowering for casual occasions. However, for smart casual affairs, it’s impactful, sophisticated and breathtakingly beautiful. Just make sure that you stick to one key piece, tone down the rest of your outfit and try out a different print or colour combo for variety—and you’re guaranteed to turn heads. 


Animal Print AW18


“New York” Tee – Matalan (similar here)

Trousers – I SAW IT FIRST (almost sold out, similar here)

Blazer – ZARA (similar here)

Bag – Michael Kors (similar here)

Sandals – Dune (similar here)

AW18 Fashion


How to Wear Animal Print


Shirt – Boohoo

Jeans – ASOS

Jacket – Topshop

Bag – Michael Kors, as before (similar here)

Belt – ASOS

Boots – Primark (similar here)

Katie Davies Blogger

How do you wear animal print for a smart casual occasion?


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