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They have been around for years – and they can be a sight for sore eyes or cringe-inducing: animal prints. Recently reptile prints have turned up on the radar alongside leopard and zebra prints. On the catwalk these can look amazing, as a cheap version not necessarily.

I’ve been wearing the red and black H&M leopard print scarf and the vintage reptile bag constantly, whereas the cheap leopard print scarf has only ever accompanied me to a bad taste party.

In order to make animal prints look luxurious, it’s crucial to follow these rules:

1. Quality

I've discovered a very similar scarf in a heavy viscose fabric at TK Maxx for just 25€

This print will always attract attention, so you have to be mindful of the quality of the fabric when choosing a piece. Shiny polyester fabrics are easily associated with the red-light-district, so please steer clear! Instead, choose pieces like this—————->

2. Cut

For the same reason, you should avoid too much décolletage or leg on show.

That’s what prevented me from buying this H&M bargain, I was afraid to go into Snooki’s direction.

3. Styling

One eye catcher per outfit is enough! Therefore, you should limit yourself to one item of clothing or accessory with an animal print, be it a dress, a pair of pants, a bag, a pair of shoes or a scarf. Also, please don’t overdo it with the jewellery, no chunky gold creoles!

If you follow these principles, animal prints can look great. But what’s most important – with every trend – is to feel comfortable with it and project self-confidence. Hara (Fashion Tricks) has compiled these and more stellar examples of how to rock this look: