Let’s Play Dress up in the Animal Kingdom

Balenciaga, Victoria Beckham, Michael Kors… The list of designers who have let animal instinct take over the catwalk in A/W 2018 goes on.  I have featured animal print before, but as the weeks go on you can see that it really is the King of the fashion jungle. This week, I discuss my favourite pieces around the centre that will have you feeling like you’ve just stepped off the runway. Another prominent trend this year is the dress – especially dresses that can change their look as a leopard does its spots. Will it be a dress for evening, work, or a city break - you decide. 

First up this week is this Red Herring @Debenhmans dress that channels Balenciaga. With a twist on the shirt dress in the must have midi length, I love the rich autumn tones with accents of orange that really bring it to life. The main feature and something I really covet is the long cuffed sleeve which exudes elegance and femininity yet mixed with a bold print for complete contrast - genius! You can pair this with trainers or nude ankle boots which will allow for a longer, more flattering silhouette. The orange accents are picked up by a Jasper Conran Handbag - and who could forget the statement earrings from Warehouse - what an amazing combination! As the days grow colder you can add a long sleeved polo neck, thick tights, and boots to create a stylish winter look. While dresses aren’t for everyone, Debenhams also have this print in a shirt that looks fabulous with jeans, or paired with cigarette pants for chic evening outfit! 

All the charm of snake print is up next, a timeless print that’s a more subtle variation of the bold leopard. The Principles effortlessly chic dress (image on left) with high neckline is very reminiscent of Victoria Beckham’s style this season. Featuring the super flattering hank hemline this is one dress (image to the right) making its way to my wardrobe. Pair with orange to lift and frame or with black to anchor the print. It’s definitely a versatile addition to your smart-casual capsule wardrobe and I’ve a feeling it would mix very well with some sparkle for evening. 

Although in two different colours, it’s as if this handbag and these boots from Carvela were made for each other – they’re the perfect pairing. A handy style note is that your shoes and handbag don’t always need to match but only need to complement each other via tones, print or style. These would slot in well with above dresses and add richness to your autumn/winter wardrobe.

Since I’m still on the lookout for a winter coat, I thought I’d share my two hot contenders with you from Debenhams – rust colours will have a very strong presence this year – it’s so lovely and warming particularly paired with navy and black to add some richness. I’m considering the leopard print coat as, as I discussed in last week’s blog, it would certainly make a lasting impression. What’s fab about this particular style is that you can wear it as smart-casual meaning that you get more wear for your money - it’s a win/win. The Warehouse saddle bag is very popular this year thanks to the Gucci influence and this is also on my wish list. As for the boots - quite frankly I want them! 

On a final note I’d like to touch on well-being, with so many of us leading extremely busy lifestyles it always helps to start the day well by having a nourishing breakfast and by getting a good night’s sleep. The one thing that really sets me up for the day is my L’OCCITANE almond shower oil, as a soon as I open the bottle and smell the wonderful almond aroma I’m instantly calm, and it simply melts into the skin. Self-Care is so important to mental health and well-being, which is something I’m very passionate about. I have just run out and needed to replenish when I spotted this cute little pampering set featuring shower oil, body cream, soap, and more all my favourite Almond scent for only £20! This would be perfect while travelling to leave you feeling rested and smelling oh so sweet. I’m definitely going to stock up! 

Farewell for now my lovelies and good luck embracing your inner animal instinct - it’s always fun to play dress up. Be Beautiful, Be Happy, Be You. Until next week, Amanda x


Amanda Latham is the Eastgate Centre’s personal stylist, who provides a free personal shopping service every Wednesday. You can book an appointment with Amanda by contacting us on Facebook or by emailing marketing@eastgate-centre.co.uk.


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