Sophisticated party wear to add to your Santa list

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Party wear images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk – MiuMiu Haider Ackerman Salvatore Ferragamo and John Galliano

Can We Lesser mortals find sensible Party Wear to lust over

Are your baubles up yet? Have you started popping your Christmas corks? And is the only festive spirit you are feeling, the liquid trickling down your throat? I don’t know about you, but I get massive Party Wear envy at this time of year. I lust after all the sparkles and sequins in the shops. day dream about sweeping into a cocktail party in a beautiful low cut velvet maxi dress surrounded by Daniel Craig look alikes, and then wake up to the realisation it’s going to look totes out of place at the “Nags Head” surrounded by men with beer bellies!!! How frustrating.

Can you get round this dilemma?

I would always say to wear your Party Wear as much as you can. It’s nuts that our most expensive clothes are saved for best, where they will date and  you won’t get your money’s worth? Haven’t we all got something we loved, but only wore a handful of times? What a waste. And ok, you won’t look like all the other women storming round Tesco with their trolleys overloaded – but then my philosophy is – why not look better?

Here are some Party Wear ideas which I believe you can dress up or down. For Christmas add a velvet or silk top and heels, and for normal wear, add a jumper and flat boots or brogues. One of the tabs on this blog, is “3 ways to wear”so have a browse at the different ideas, to get inspiration there e.g. metallic skirt or velvet pleat skirt.

My favourites? I like the green jacquard trousers, and the floral velvet blazer. Let me know in the comments which you like best…..

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  1. Berry coated legging. £24. Next Size 6-22 in various leg lengths (petite and tall). Viscose nylon elastane mix. Super stretchy, so perfect for a meal out at night. These leggings can be worn with jumpers and boots for normal day wear or with a super sexy top at night. They will suit anyone who normally wears skinny jeans. (boyish, top heavy, slight pear shapes, hourglass)
  2. Green jacquard taper trouser. £42. Next Size 6-22 with some long lengths available. Polyester cotton elastane mix. These stylish cigarette style trousers would look lovely with a silk blouse for evening wear, or a blazer jacket for work. They will work in summer too, with a cami top or floaty blouse. Suit busty, boyish and hourglass best.

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  1. Leonoria lace panel dress. Reduced to £69. Coast Size 6-16. Polyester polyamide mix. Dry clean only. This simple dress with super flattering side panels will be great dressed up for a party with sheer tights and heels, but will also work with opaque tights and knee boots for a lunch do. It may work in some work environments. This will super flatter straighter boyish figures by giving the illusion of curves. It will also suit some hourglass figures, but not if too busty.
  2. Frilled sleeve guipure lace dress. £29.99 Zara  Size XS-L Cotton polyamide viscose mix. Machine washable. This lovely flirty dress will look darling on Christmas Day with some opaque tights and high heeled shoes or boots. It will look equally as good after Christmas, with a leather jacketr or a jumper. This will be best for flatter chests, so boyish or pear shape will look best in this style.

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  1. Florence printed velvet jacket. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Viscose nylon mix, dry clean only. Super stylish jacket which can be tarted up over sequin trousers, velvet skirts etc or easily worn over a jumper and skinny blue jeans. Suit most body shapes depending on what you style it with.
  2. Mia jacquard jacket. £149. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Polyester cotton. Dry clean only. I love this long length jacket, which works to break up a big bust or big tummy. This will be fantastic over a work suit, or velvet trousers, or even with blue jeans!! It will suit apple  and boyish shapes, but will also suit other shapes, again depending on what you wear it with.

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  1. Metallic pleat skirt. £45. Nine by Savannah Miller at Next. Size 4-18. 100% polyester. Machines washable. Available at Debenhams too. These skirts tend to skim the tummy, and flare out over the hips so are flattering for hourglass figures and pear shapes. They can also suit boyish and top heavy ladies. Apple shapes beware of the gathers over your tummy.
  2. Lela PU skirt. Reduced to £59. Coast. Size 6-16. 100% polyurethane, dry clean only. The extra detail, makes this fun leather skirt quite special for the festive season but equally will work well with opaque tights and woolly jumpers after the New Year. This pencil skirt will suit hourglass and slight pear shapes.  Top heavy ladies may get away with too.

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  1. Thistle bloom Long Sleeve Blouse. £35. M and S Size 8-22. 100% polyester. As florals are set to carry on into spring, this silky blouse will be perfect dressed up with a party skirt or trousers, or on a normal pub night out, with blue jeans. So lots of opportunities to wear this. This will suit most body shapes.
  2. Tie back T shirt. £45. Warehouse Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable.Wear this silky top with coated or velvet jeans for a night time look, or wear over a polo neck jumper during the day, where the split is not so obvious. If you are shy, then wear a blue vest top underneath it at all times. This will suit boyish and pear shapes best. It will also disguise a bit of a tummy, but it’s not a very long length.

So be a savvy shopper and choose things you can wear more than once. Keep an eye out for the sales…..they ARE going to happen soon. New Year is a great time for reflection, particularly on clothes, body and image. A consultation with me may only cost £100-200 and can totally help you to refocus and gain confidence with yourself. It may even be what you need to be more organised with your wardrobe – if you haven’t done it for the last 5-10 years on your own, the chances are, you’re going to need some help. Contact me through comments or Vicky Smith Styling. Skype consultations are possible too.

Further reading:

ways to wear a pleat skirt: whowhatwear

The velvet trend this fall: thefashiontag.com

How to wear coated jeans: glamradar

Best buys for brocade and jacquard trend: pop sugar

 

14 voluptuous velvet styles to tempt, tease and titilllate!

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Velvet catwalk photos courtesy of vogue.co.uk: vetements, Valentino, Haider Ackerman and Akris

Can We Lesser Mortals look En Vogue in sumptuous velvet?

Delicious, sensuous, luxurious velvet. It says Christmas doesn’t it? The pile of the fabric makes it deep and rich in appearance.

“Fabulous, you say! But I don’t need any more special occasion wear, as I will only get to go out once over the festive period and I won’t get my money’s worth”.

A valid point, but apart from your obvious velvet party dress, there are many ways to tone down velvet. I’ll show you next week on Facebook (Vicky Smith Styling) how I style my velvet midi pleat skirt.

The tunic, shown below, can be  worn with jeans, and over a polo neck jumper for warmth.

The velvet body can co-ordinate with a leather skirt and knee boots or a denim skirt and Converses, or you could wear a kimono style jumper over the top.

Velvet jeans or trousers can be worn in exactly the same way as normal smart jeans or trousers – with ankle boots, chunky knit, blouse etc

Break up the suits, by wearing them as separates – the velvet jackets with denim jeans, the trousers with brogues and a leather jacket.

And lastly the pink velvet midi skirt can be worn with chunky knits or a bomber jacket.

So many women think that around the house, you should only wear jeans, but why not look nice when you are at home? You never know who will call, and you nearly always have to nip out for something. Obviously, if you are on your hands and knees doing chores, then you can change. ( and yes, I put my jog pants on in the evening! 😱 )

Velour or velvet? Velour is a knitted fabric, so has more “give” and is cheaper. You tend to get a lot of velour in the low end High St stores, but it can look really cheap. Velvet is a woven fabric and is sturdier and less stretchy, but looks more luxurious and is usually more expensive.

So my challenge for you this week, is to tell me in the comments box, what you think I would wear or buy?

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  1. Pleated velvet midi dress. £75. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. You can see this looks like it’s straight off the catwalk. The high neck won’t flatter big busts, so I think this will be best for hourglass, boyish, and smaller pear shapes.
  2. Feminine velvet dress DZ239. £170. Karen Millen.  Size 6-16. Silk viscose mix, dry clean only. The fitted shape will flatter hourglass, pear shapes and boyish.

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  1. Crushed velvet body. £29. Warehouse. Size 6-16. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. This can be dressed up for party wear, or you can wear with jeans/skirt and a bomber/blazer jacket for smart day time. This is good for boyish, pear and  hourglass ladies.
  2. Blythe devore print blouse. £59. Monsoon. Size 8-22. Nylon viscose mix, machine washable. An easy top to wear day or night. Best for pear, apple, and boyish shapes.

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  1. Katciat Velvet tuxedo trousers. £139. Ted Baker. Size 6-16. Cotton elastane viscose mix. Dry clean only.
  2. Katcia tux jacket. £229. Ted Baker Size 6-16. Cotton viscose elastane mix, dry clean only. Buy as separates, or make a stylish entrance in a suit. You can get cheaper versions at say, Next, but you get what you pay for. The advantage of this suit, is you can wear it as separates too, and get more for your money, You can also buy different sizes top and bottom, if you are disproportionate. Will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass.
  3. Long sleeve velvet jacket. £79. Marks and Spencers Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Dry clean only.
  4. Textured wide leg velvet trouser. £49.50. Marks and spencers. Size 8-22. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Again both these pieces can be worn separately or as a suit. A loose flowing suit which will suit most body shapes, but probably not boyish shapes.

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  1. Cotton corduroy trousers. £49.99. Mango. Size 6-12. Available in green and navy. Cotton elastane mix, machine washable. So although described as corduroy, they are a sort of velveteen. Shown here in a casual manner. These will suit boyish, top heavy and hourglass.
  2. Helvin snake croc velvet jean. £110. Reiss Size 24″-32″ (approx 6-16) Cotton elastane viscose mix. Machine washable. These will suit anyone who wears skinny jeans at the moment – probably best for boyish, hourglass and top heavy ladies.

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  1. Velvet pelmet skirt. £35. Warehouse.  Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This is reasonably straight, so will be best for top heavy, hourglass and boyish. Not great if pear shaped.
  2. Kitty metallic pleated skirt. £125. Whistles Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. If it’s out of your price range, don’t forget the M and S one I mentioned a few weeks ago. Great with knee boots and ankle boots, this will suit boyish, top heavy, and hourglass best.

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  1. Velvet tent make up bag. £14. Top Shop. Viscose nylon mix. What? Nailing 2 trends in one? Leopard and velvet. Way to go girl!!
  2. Suzie square toe platform. £52. Top shop. Size 2-9. 100% textile. 5″ heel. These will really lift a LBD and the chunky heel is more stable on a long night out.

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  1. Monda berry velvet sandals, £170. Reiss. Size 3-8. This doesn’t say if they are leather or fabric. Beautiful high heeled sandals for an evening out with skinny jeans, or the perfect party dress.
  2. Beau velvet clutch bag. £135. Reiss. Available in deep ocean suede(green/blue). The red is polyester elastane. Yep – I’m a sucker for a matching bag and shoes.

Will you dismiss velvet as a waste of money? I bought some velvet jeans last year and will be wearing them this year as well, so I’m getting value for money. Let me know you have an opinion, as I’d love to get some feedback.

Further reading:

20 style tips poe how to wear velvet: gurl.com

How to wear velvet: Harpersbazaar.com

How to wear velvet this fall: pop sugar

The cool way to wear velvet pants: whowhatwear

Trendy tweed to tickle you fashion mojo

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Photos of tweed courtesy of Vogue.co.uk : Chanel, Loewe, Balenciaga and Isabel Marant

Can We Lesser mortals wear tweed and not look like we’re wearing a car rug?

I am astonished this winter, by how many High Street trends have been around for a good few seasons. If you took earlier advice from this blog, you will still be bang on trend, and it hasn’t cost you a penny!! Lets face it, keeping up with trends makes us look younger, which is something we all want, whatever our age? Right?

Can we carry off tweed without looking like we’ve raided Granny’s wardrobe ( which is fine if you are 18 but not if you are 48)? Firstly, to keep tweed looking young and fresh, look at the style of the clothes it has been made into. The culottes and top are definitely modern not fuddy duddy styles. No granny points there. Secondly, you need to look at how you style it. The mini skirt is matched with a leather biker style jacket and the fringed coat is styled with ankle boots and a mini skirt ( if bare legs aren’t your thing, then opaque tights work too). Tweed jackets also look great with skinnies or flared jeans. No granny points there either. And thirdly what accessories? Cardi’s, pearl necklaces and Mary Jane shoes, are going to add about 15 years to your perceived age. I would wear knee boots, ankle boots, converses, heels etc. Chunky crop knits, pendants & cold shoulder tops are all very modern, so again, no granny points. Finally –  no 15 denier flesh coloured tights please.

So do you feel the need for tweed? Can you guess what I’d buy….? The culottes and the fringed coat are my kind of tweed. What’s yours? Answers in comment box below!!

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  1. Likka cropped trousers. £89. Coast. Size 6-18. Polyester wool acrylic mix. Dry clean only. Wide leg trousers are great for pear shapes, hourglass and top heavy ladies. Petite ladies are better with a longer length trouser.
  2. Wide leg checked trouser with wool. £49.50. M and S. Size 6-22. Some sizes are available in short and long lengths. Wool acrylic polyamide mix. Dry clean only. These trousers look quite fitted over the hip area, so best for apple, boyish and top heavy ladies.

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  1. Houndstooth jacket. £79.99. Zara Size XS to L. Viscose acrylic polyester mix. Washable.  This stylish jacket/coat which will look fab with skinny jeans. Probably not amazingly warm though. This style will suit apple and boyish best, but other shapes can wear it too.
  2. Tweed coat. £325. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Alpaca, acrylic, cotton, polyamide, polyester mix. Dry clean only. This style will suit hourglass and pear shapes best. Top heavy may get away with it.

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  1. Fringed tweed skirt. £125. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, polyamide mix. Dry clean only. I  love that this is a feminine pink tweed, and the frayed hem keeps it modern, This will suit boyish and  hourglass best.
  2. Fringed tweed jacket. £199. Karen Millen. Size 6-16. Acrylic, polyamide, cotton, polyester mix. Dry clean only. You could buy both these pieces, and have the option of a suit, and skirt and a jacket. On its own, this jacket is fab with wide leg trousers, flared jeans/cords and any skirt – leather? The high neck and boxy shape is not going to flatter big busts. So best for boyish, and pear shapes if they chose what they wear on their bottom half, wisely.

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  1. Black and white brushed check mini skirt. £28. Next. Size 6-22. Polyester, acrylic mix. Machine washable. (the jacket is £160 and green leather – a good price) It is a straight-ish fit, so best for boyish & apple shapes.
  2. Frayed tweed top. £29.99. Zara. Size XS to Xl. Acrylic, polyester, cotton, viscose mix. Dry clean only. Suits most body shapes unless you are very busty.

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  1. Tweed floppy skater dress. £42. Oasis. Size XS-L. Polyester, viscose, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suits hourglass, boyish and pear shapes best.
  2. Navy harris tweed jacket. £145. Next. Size 6-20. 100% wool. As there are no care instructions, assume it’s dry clean only. The great contrast lining means when you roll your sleeves up, you can see a flash of stripe. This will suit hourglass, and boyish best. Pear shapes will depend what you style it with.

I hope you can see that tweed can be really stylish and isn’t old fashioned at all. It’s pretty timeless too, meaning you can wear it year after year without it dating. If you have any queries or would like advice for a particular event or situation, you can contact me through my website

Further reading:

11 ways to wear tweed without looking conservative: whowhatwear

Victoria Beckham in tweed: dailymail.co.uk

15 ways to style tweed: Brit and co

3 cool ways to wear a chanel jacket: whowhatwear

modern ways to wear Chanels iconic jacket: the Zoe report

 

10 metallic fashions to pack a punch

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Metallic images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Vivienne westwood Lanvin, Valentino and Saint Laurent

Can We Lesser Mortals wear a Metallic, without looking like we’ve just finished a marathon & are wrapped in a survival blanket?

Metallics are quite a scary trend aren’t they? They really draw attention to you, and oh boy, if you get it wrong……..SO – here is a little advice to help you work out whether you can carry off a metallic item of clothing, or whether you’re going to look like a Quality Street wrapper.

First of all – gold or silver? If you are freckly, red, auburn, chestnut headed, brown/green/hazel eyes, and generally warm toned – then gold is for you (this is a guide, not conclusive) If you are very pale skinned, have blue veins which show under your skin, have grey/blonde/black hair, grey/blue eyes – then silver is the colour for you. Also think about whether gold or silver jewellery suits you best, and use that as a guide.

If you have very strong features, and are dark skinned, or have bright eyes, then a bold shiny metallic is good for you, If however, your features disappear  without make up, and your hair and skin blur together, a flatter, toned down metallic will suit you better. Of course, you can avoid confusion and choose to wear the metallic item away from your face (i.e. trousers or skirt). If you choose to wear a metallic coat or jacket, then wear a coloured scarf that suits you.

If you are worried you’ll look daft – a metallic belt, handbag or shoes shows you know what’s in fashion, & can make you look younger. I would suggest that those older Lesser Mortals go less for the full on bling metallic anyway, and maybe accessorise with metallics as a way to express their inner fashionista!

Click here to see how I style up my metallic skirt and here to see how I style up a metallic T shirt.

Which outfit would you choose? Please let me know in the comments box, below.

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  1. Kendal pleated silver dress. £89. Monsoon. Size 8-18. Hand washable. This dress has a V neck and fitted bodice, with a fluid pleated skirt, and will suit hourglass, and some pear shape or boyish shaped ladies.
  2. Pink metallic wrap slip dress. £32. River Island. Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. The bodice on this dress is much looser fitting, and therefore more forgiving. This will suit hourglass and some boyish and pear shapes.

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  1. Gold plunge wrap dress. £38. River Island.  Size 6-18. Polyester elastane mix. Machine washable. Available in silver too. This ties at the waist, and the V neck makes it suitable for bigger busts and hourglass.
  2. Becca Batwing dress. £89. Phase Eight. Size 8-18. 9 other colours – viscose nylon mix, machine washable. A more casual style, this will suit boyish  shaped ladies.

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  1. Metallic pyjama shirt. £46. Top Shop. Size 4-16. and petite and tall sizes. 100% polyester. Machine washable. This relaxed shirt with V neck will suit most body shapes,
  2. Pewter pleated skirt. £46. Next. Size 6-22. Polyester elastane mix. I think this is machine washable, but it doesn’t say on the web site. This skirt is quite a heavy weight, and has a solid waist band. It will suit hourglass, top heavy and boyish. It may also suit some pear shapes, as the pleats fall nicely from the hips downwards.

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  1. Silver metallic super skinny jean. £24. Next. Size 6-22 , regular, long and extra long lengths. Cotton, polyester, elastane mix. Machine washable. These will suit top heavy and boyish best.
  2. Silver faux suede bomber jackets. Reduced to £30. River Island. size 8-18. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Running out of stock…!!! Bomber jackets can be worn just like a cardi, so will suit most body shapes.

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  1. Flatform penny loafer. £70. Dune. Size 3-8. Leather upper. Not so in “in your face” so will suit everyone!
  2. Mayfair chrome heeled boots. £82. Top Shop  Size 2-9. Leather upper. These are perfect if you find metallics all a bit much.

So go on – give metallics a go. So many ladies are set in their ways, or dress prematurely older than their age, and no-one wants to look 10 years older than they actually are. So push the boat out and experiment If you’d like me to come and help, or have a Skype chat, then contact me through my website. here

Further reading:

How to wear metallics 24/7: whowhatwear

25 ways to wear metallic flats: stylecaster

45 ways to style a pleated skirt: closet full of clothes

So heavy metal is in again: fashion tag blog

How to wear metallics during the day: the outfit.com

10 leopard prints to make you purr.

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Images of Leopard Prints, courtesy of Vogue.co.uk: Givenchy, Dries Van Noten, D and G  and Kenzo

Can We Lesser Mortals wear leopard prints without looking like we’ve been taxidermied?

The mercury is dropping, and Lesser Mortals everywhere are vacuum packing their Ibiza outfits away, dusting mothballs out of their cashmere blend knitwear and starting to plan their show stopping outfits for the next 6 months. So what will it be? A puffy meringue parka? Crusty old tweed twinsets? Rich, full of flavour velvets,  or are you going to sizzle sexiness in this season’s Leopard Prints?

Are leopard prints like marmite, or can they appeal to everyone? In terms of what personality you have – leopard prints can be translated into girly Mary Jane Shoes, urban ankle boots, floaty seventies gossamer maxi dresses, hard core T shirts and skinny jeans.If beige isn’t your colour, don’t wear it next to your face.  Choose shoes or bottoms, or go for another colour of leopard print, like those items shown below. It’s often regarded as a non colour, making it easy to blend with any other colour, from reds through to greens and blues. If you’re worried it isn’t age appropriate, remember to just give a little nod in the fashion direction, and stick to a belt, bag or shoes What’s good enough for the PM, is good enough for me!!

So go on……Roar don’t Growl – Keep it quality, and Keep it fake. We don’t need too many Bette Lynches out there.

Click the link to see my “3 ways to wear a leopard print jacket.

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  1. Grey Gemma wool coat. £249. Hobbs. Size 6-18. Wool polyester mix. Dry clean only. Most shapes can get away with this coat, but it will be more flattering on boyish and apple shapes.
  2. Animal print formal T shirt. £28. Oasis Size 6-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Best for pear shapes and  boyish shapes.

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  1. Biba printed leopard jumper. £65. House of Fraser  Size XS to XL. Nylon, viscose cotton mix. machine washable. The V neck flatters bigger chested ladies and hourglass best.
  2. Leopard print wrap midi dress. £59. Top Shop. Size 4-16. 100% polyester. Machine washable. Available in tall, petite, and maternity sizes. The variety of dress fits on offer, means this dress suits most body shapes, but the low cut neck won’t complement flatter chester chested ladies.

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  1. Ruffle animal long sleeve blouse. £34. TopShop Size 4-16. Also available in a black and white animal print and in petite sizes. Polyester and metallic mix. Machine washable. Best for boyish, pear shapes and flatter chests.
  2. Snow leopard flock skinny jean. £80. French connection. Size 6-16. Cotton polyester, elastane mix. Machine washable. Suitable for those who can normally wear skinny jeans.

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  1. Animal print pleated skirt. £35. M and S . Size 6-18. 100% polyester. Dry clean only. Pleat midi skirts are EVERYWHERE this autumn. This style suits boyish, hourglass and large chested women.
  2. Leopard pony belt. £22. Top Shop.  Size XS-L 100% leather. If leopard is too much for you….use this belt to just add a hint of pattern on your jeans, trousers, skirts, or over a jumper, to show you are on trend.

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  1. Graduate slingback shoe. £56. Top Shop. I love that fact these shoes have an “on trend” cuban heel, are leopard print and have a slingback. Fantastic with bare legs or opaque tights, and with skinny jeans and wide leg trousers.
  2. Snow leopard drawstring bag. £199. Boden. Printed cowhide. This gorgeous bag will add a bit of style to a work outfit that needs to be demure and plain. And it’ll instantly make your jeans and overcoat look more eye catching.

So I hope these leopard print designs have inspired you to take a risk and try some on. Animal print is a classic design, which goes in and out of fashion, but will always be around long term. If you have to wear a uniform or strict dress code, then a bag or shoes can be a great way to express your inner tiger mum!!

Further reading:

style tips on how to wear leopard print blouses and shirts: gurl.com

Celebrity style wearing animal print: whowhatwear

9 ways to wear leopard print coat: babble.com

3 ways to wer leopard coat: fashion slave

how to wear animal prints: fashion fix

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