If you're simultaneously obsessed with the latest micro-trends but too intimidated to test them out, you've come to the right place. This is Ways to Wear, a monthly series where editor Eliza Huber offers a dose of outfit inspiration centered around current trends that feel intriguing and overwhelming at the same time. Consider it your guide to actually wearing the coolest items of the moment, no matter how puzzling they might appear at first.
As someone who tests trends for a living, it's rare for one to stump me. Whether it's wearing underwear as pants on the streets of New York or trying a whale tail, I'll wear anything once—and probably a few more times after that. One of the only fashion trends to ever throw me is snakeskin. While I can wear a leopard-print bikini or a cow-print coat, something about snakeskin has always felt especially intimidating, making the print seem hard to style in a nonchalant way.
But when I noticed the print gathering momentum after spring/summer 2023 runway shows last September—it was especially prevalent in Khaite and 16Arlington's collections—I knew it was time to crack the code and figure out how to wear snakeskin right. Four items, five looks, and plenty of discarded combinations later, I can finally say I'm no longer intimidated by spring's fastest-growing print. In fact, I'm more than ready to embrace it. Prepare yourself for the same conclusion by scrolling down.
How snakeskin was styled on S/S 23 runways:
How I'm styling snakeskin in 2023:
A snakeskin belt is the easiest way to add the print to your wardrobe in a low-key manner. No matter how simple your outfit is, finishing it with a python-print belt will take it up a few dozen notches in five seconds or less. Just look what it did for the simple barrel-leg jeans and black top I'm wearing above.
I've always loved a leather motorcycle jacket but never thought about expanding my collection to include new prints. Now that I think about it, every moto jacket I've owned has been black. But for the sake of this story, I ventured out of my comfort zone and chose a snake-print alternative for my latest addition, styling it with my go-to denim maxi skirt and a high-neck black tank. Whether it's with the outfit above or over a classic jeans-and-tee ensemble, this jacket has been surprisingly almost too easy to throw on.
I love an everyday bag that goes with everything just as much as the next person, but sometimes only a statement purse will do the trick—especially when your outfit leans toward the plain side and needs something to liven it up. If and when that's the case, I suggest grabbing the snakeskin version of Staud's iconic Moon bag.
There's almost nothing I rely on more sartorially than a really good coat. As someone who's never had the pleasure of living somewhere with perpetually good weather, I've long required them to not only keep me warm but also cover up my laundry-day outfits. So, when I stumbled across this floor-length faux-snakeskin coat at Nanushka's SoHo store the other day, I knew I had to test it out. My analysis: It's a keeper.
The snakeskin belt trick doesn't work only with super-simple ensembles like jeans and a tank top. It's just as effective with suit pieces, a maxi dress, or a chic maxi skirt. Above, I paired it with a waistcoat and trousers that needed something in between to break up the monochrome look. It was just what the doctor ordered.