We Try Before You Buy: 8 Ways You Can Wear Animal Print in 2018

Shopping in July 2018 is like a safari—Topshop and ASOS's homepages are both dedicated to wild animal prints, and the likes of Victoria Beckham, Prada and Emilia Wickstead are ensuring that this trend will only get bigger this A/W 18. Wearing animal print is no longer just about wearing a leopard-print dress, so this was an obvious theme choice for this month's We Try Before You Buy feature. I asked Who What Wear's editors to wear a subtle animal look and something full-on David Attenborough—and Joy, Hannah, Isabel and myself really took to the challenge. One of us wore head-to-toe snakeskin and one even braved a pair of cow-print flares. Keep scrolling to see—and shop—our eight favourite ways to wear animal print right now.

1. Literal Animal Print


(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

On Emma Spedding: Victoria Victoria Beckham Printed Silk-Satin Shirt (£350); Lucy Williams x Aeyde Shoes

"For my subtle look, I went for a literal animal print. This silk shirt by Victoria Victoria Beckham that is covered in elephants, giraffes, lions and zebras is an elegant way to nod towards the trend. Perfect for those of you who just don't do leopard print."


(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

2. The Instagram Uniform


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Isabel Mundigo-Moore: Rixo Gracie Leopard-Print Silk-Crepe Wrap Skirt (£225); Chloe Navy Blue and Yellow Roy Horse Embroidered Mini Leather Bag (£1250)

"I don't normally wear prints at all, so this was way out of my comfort zone," says Isabel. "Leopard felt the most comfortable to pull off. I loved this Rixo skirt, which I styled in a simple way with a denim jacket, T-shirt and Chloé bag with a subtle horse print."

Related: Trust Me—These 5 Ankle-Boot Trends Will Be Everywhere You Look in 2024


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

3. The Leopard Showstopper


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Joy Montgomery: Somerset by Alice Temperley Leopard Print Maxi Dress (£140)

"Aside from a rogue zebra-print coat I bought from Zara five years ago, I don't think I've ever owned a piece of animal-print clothing," says Joy. "It has always seemed the reserve of extroverted dressers and glamazons (of which I am neither). Despite being intimidated by the sheer volume of leopard print, I found myself oddly fond of Somerset by Alice Temperley's maxi dress—I'm not sure I would quite have the balls to wear it at the weekend though."


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

4. Double Snake


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Hannah Almassi: Emilia Wickstead Wallace Python-Print Coat (£1625); Giovanna Python-Print Silk Dress (£750)

"I've long been an animal-print freak," says Hannah. "I have more leopard-print jumpsuits than I do sensible pairs of jeans, and I have often bought vintage to find a fabric and print that looks more expensive. This time around, I'm willing to go a step further into the jungle: The more unusual python prints and zebra stripes have been calling to me. IMHO, the best way to wear snake print is in a fairly neutral tone and in more elegant pieces: less Shania Twain circa 2001 more posh woman holidaying on the French Riviera. I'm not scared of going all-out in multiples of the same print, so this Emilia Wickstead combination from Matchesfashion.com really ticks all the boxes."


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

5. Cow-Print Flares


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Isabel Mundigo-Moore: Moon Dreamers Cow Print Flares (£25); Topshop Leopard Fitted Denim Jacket (£45); Wandler Yellow Hortensia Mini Leather Shoulder Bag (£565).

Related: Hear Me Out: This Classic Trend Is Going to Dominate the Next Six Months

"I think it might be a while before I graduate to wearing cow print very often, but it did make me feel oddly confident," Isabel says about her Topshop flares.


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

6. Zebra and Leopard


(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

On Emma Spedding: Topshop Zebra Print Pleat Midi Skirt (£39); Rixo Black Leopard Shirt; Veja Espar Sneakers (£90).

"I'm never usually one for clashing prints, but I loved how the subtle monochrome leopard-print shirt looked with the tan zebra-print midi. I almost added a pair of leopard shoes, but then I decided to stick to a pair of classic Vejas so it didn't look too loud."


(Image credit: Hannah Almassi)

7. Bright Colours


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Joy Montgomery: Arket Silk Boat Neck Blouse (£99)

"I was pleasantly surprised by 2018's animal-print 2.0, which feels altogether more approachable," says Joy. "I am totally won over by Arket's zebra-print top, with its oversized, minimalist silhouette."

Related: 11 Pairs of Leopard-Print Shoes You Can Wear 365 Days a Year

8. Animal Shoes


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Hannah Almassi: Manolo Blahnik Black and White Mafrisa 70 Zebra Ponyskin Mules (£895)

"For a subtler take, the easiest route in is always via a pair of animal-print shoes," says Hannah. "My current obsession is Manolo Blahnik's zebra courts and mules. They're on-trend for now, but they're also the kind of statement investment piece that will be cool forever. Oh, and I'm a sucker for feathers on anything. Not part of the print trend, I know, but definitely part of my vibe."


(Image credit: Emma Spedding)

On Hannah Almassi: Manolo Blahnik Black and White Mafrisa 70 Zebra Ponyskin Mules (£895); 16 Arlington Asymmetric Feather Blazer (£775)

Shop Key Animal Pieces

Related: This £38 Leopard Print Dress Keeps Selling Out—and We Can See Why

Click here to see the rest of our We Try Before You Buy series.

Emma Spedding