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Trendy Thursday How to Wear Animal Prints

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Are you dying to try animal prints this fall? We live a mile from the zoo. A favorite adventure for my daughter. A short car ride in the winter. A short walk in the summer. And at the end of the trek'??tigers, zebras, leopards'??oh my. It'??s not a big zoo, so no lions. Sorry, Dorothy. Also an adventure (one that could end in disaster) is trying to incorporate these fun prints into your wardrobe.

When it comes to wearing animal prints, the '??less is more'? concept is more important than ever. A great wearable staple in fall fashion, here are a few easy tips for adding a pop into your outfit.

Be Classic. Put the quizzical eyebrow down. It's possible. Try a beautiful leopard print coat with a black dress underneath with minimal accessories, so you don'??t overpower. Red lips would be incredibly beautiful with this. For animal printed tops or pants, make sure you do the opposing piece (top or bottom) in a solid color, preferably black or beige. We like this swingy coat from Chico's ($139) and the way they put it togetther.

Don'??t matchy match. The thought of snakeskin shoes with snakeskin print pants. Hisssss-terical. Just choose one piece for the animal print. We think these animal Chariot Heels ($398) from Kate Spade match nicely with the black dresses already in our closet.

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Don'??t mix. Ever see a zebra hanging with a cheetah? No.

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Purr. Don'??t Growl. Tame your wild side with subtle uses'??a jacket lining, a tank under a cardi, a purse or belt. Shoes are the purr-fect way (wow, so many puns'?¦so little time) to incorporate animal prints, but keep the rest of your outfit simple. This top from Piperlime ($178) would be perfect under a suit or worn with jeans.

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Think outside the zoo. Even though cheetah and leopard prints roam freely in the fashion jungle, don'??t underestimate snakeskin, giraffe and zebra. These call-of-the-wild prints can sometime pack more punch because of their scarcity on the catwalk.

Take pride. Ha, pride. A bunch of lions. Get it? Achem. Take pride in one fabulous piece that you'??re comfortable wearing. Don'??t just ride the trend train, herding together piece after piece to satisfy your new jungle love.

Collections from designers Betsey Johnson, Roberto Cavalli and even Prada have showcased animal prints throughout the years. Spend some time looking for what you like and what works for you. Bottom line: Don'??t be afraid to show your wild side.

Cheryl Fenton is a magazine freelance writer, who also blogs beauty, fashion and fitness at was not paid for this post.

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