Darren Kennedy: How to wear reptile prints
2013 may have been the year of the snake according to the Chinese Zodiac, but 2014 looks to be the year of the snake print in the fashion world. Having reigned supreme on the catwalks at Proenza Schouler, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli and McQ to name but a few, reptilian prints emerged as a key trend for spring summer.
Personally, I can't think of a better way to upscale your wardrobe than with a touch of snakeskin print. From floaty scale printed chiffon dresses to embossed accessories and slinky rock 'n' roll blouses, python-print in a palette of striking block and graduated colours provides a surprisingly easy way to work this pattern into your wardrobe. Shimmering metallics were also given the snakeskin treatment.
Tick two of the season's biggest trend boxes by introducing an iridescent snake print top or statement trouser to your style and team with this year's light wash denim for a casual yet cool, dressed down look.
Contrasting florals and snake print, as seen on the runway at Sportmax, is another winning combination. It's easy to incorporate this trend into your everyday wardrobe by choosing one statement piece to update an outfit. But match your look with your accessories. It's over kill, literally.
Q. I invested in a fairly good quality Breton stripe top last season (thanks for the advice!) and I can safely say it has become my go-to top. The only problem I'm having is how to vary up the look. Nine times out of 10 I'll end up wearing it with either a pair of black jeans or navy trousers with a black ankle boot. How else could I wear it?
Susan, 33, Cork.
Darren replies: Simple and classic, a Breton striped sweater is a real wardrobe must-have for both women and men. I have at least three different styles that I regularly wear. Cool and traditional in equal measures, this versatile piece works seamlessly for daytime casual or more dressy affairs.
Perhaps the easiest way to change up the look is to tap into the trend for colour-pop trousers. This doesn't have to break the bank and Dunnes Stores' hot pink ankle grazer trousers (€20) will work a treat and really contrast the horizontal stripe.
Obviously summer is on the way so if you're leg-confident why not try a pair of this season's shorts? 2) Penneys' textured shorts (€13) in bright tangerine orange will add a flash of colour to your look.
If you've got a designer budget, channel Riviera chic with a pair of Céline white, wide pleat trousers (€780, Brown Thomas) for a look that wouldn't look out of place in St Tropez.
Leather and stripes are a great combination, so for a slightly edgier style, team your sweater with the textured 'Laza' leather skirt with asymmetric zip detail from YAS (€165, Bow & Pearl) and finish off the look with a pair of black ankle boots.
A Breton top worn with tailoring creates the perfect dressed-up-dressed-down look.
Try H&M's navy suit with single-breasted jacket (€19.95 trousers, €29.95 jacket).
C'est la classe!