Slither into this new reptile trend

Zara jacket

$89, zara.com (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / September 8, 2011)

Are you ready for this season's style story? Just say yesssssssssssssssssssss.

Snake is in. Effective immediately.

It's showing up in every possible accessory from bags to gloves to key chains and sunglasses. There are snake prints on dresses and underwear, bangles, hosiery and scarves.

Best news: It doesn't have to cost a lot for you to rock a reptile.

Many high-end fashion houses are showing their own luxe versions of snake this season: Valentino, Prada, Chloe, Dries Van Noten and others. But fabulous fakes abound in leather and pleather, and often it's hard to tell the difference between a $350 belt and one that costs $35. Every item on this page — some of them modeled by my co-worker Amy Winter — is less than $120 and most are less than $50.

"Reptile always looks sophisticated," says Gregg Andrews, a national fashion director for Nordstrom. In natural shades, it's more subtle than the popular leopard prints you'll see in every store in town.

But like leopard, a little snake goes a long way. You're better off not matchy-matching snakeskin shoes to bag to belt. And if you're brave enough to pick an overall reptile print, consider first whether your figure is up to looking as if you're being swallowed by a big, bad boa.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PHOTOS

shopellen@tribune.com

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