It's the Year of the Snake, according to the Chinese zodiac, and that's reason enough to celebrate with snakeskin prints on accessories, clothing, lingerie and even home decor.
While more traditional reptilian colors of black, cream and brown dominate the fashion trend, snakeskin often gets a wash of bold color or is paired with one of the season's favorite hues for a striking combination.
Snakes frequently trigger feelings of fear, but put that print on a blouse or pair of shoes, and it ups the style quotient.
Like all trends, snakeskin prints come and go in popularity, but in anticipation of this year's zodiac, the print started slithering into view last year, and the look is getting more bold and prevalent.
“Fashion is embracing the Year of the Snake. Don't be afraid,” said Mary Ann High, owner of The Lime Leopard. “Designers are creating fun and contemporary wearable garments using techniques known as biomimicry to duplicate reptile skins, other prints and other textures seen in nature.”
The trend spans all prices, from designer to discount. Manolo Blahnik pink iridescent snakeskin pumps are $865. A Nate Berkus snakeskin pillow is $24.99 at Target. A snakeskin bikini at J.C. Penney is $40. For an even cheaper option, try Essie's magnetic snakeskin nail polish for $11.
Snakeskin prints are considered a neutral by many and therefore can be paired with almost any color. Traditional snakeskin colors look good with this season's bright orange and green, as well as pastels such as peach and mint.
Designers have taken note of the Year of Snake by incorporating serpentine inspiration into their apparel and accessories, said Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's Department Stores.
“If you're feeling bold, go all out with a brightly colored snakeskin-print top or wrap dress,” she said. “If you prefer only a hint of the trend, mix in accessories like a snake motif ring or snakeskin clutch.”