scarfWe're always on the lookout for standout accessories, and we've long sought out an understated, lightweight leopard print scarf (hasn't everyone?). In 2008, we convinced ourselves that the Louis Vuitton / Stephen Sprouse limited edition leopard scarf (which sold out immediately) was a temporary obsession and not worth the $725 price tag. In the years that followed, we burned up in anger each time we saw photos of countless celebrities emerging from airports wrapped in that LV scarf's supple delight. Instantly creating a look that was breezy yet polished, that scarf looked like magic and we cursed ourselves for passing it up. Three years later we finally happened upon a sufficient replacement at Zara, and we're happy to report we are now the proud owner and frequent wearer of a fantastic leopard print scarf. This Zara find is exactly what we'd been hunting for, and it was nearly $700 cheaper than the LV scarf we wished we bought and $525 cheaper than this Yves Saint Laurent option: ysl Sure, the Zara scarf isn't made of silk muslin like the YSL scarf, but we don't know how well silk muslin would hold up scrunched in our work bag or scraped against the pavement the next time we get hit by a car while riding our scooter. And despite the very affordable $35 price tag, this Zara scarf doesn't feel poorly made - it is wonderfully soft and, unlike many lightweight scarves, it feels substantial and doesn't hang limply around your neck (we usually tie it a little differently than the model above). Wrap it up on top of cinched trench, a fitted black blazer or anything else and prepare for departure.

If you don't own any subtle animal print accessories, we recommend you keep an eye out for some. HCG owns a skinny calf hair leopard print belt from Uniqlo that gets a lot of action and a pair of leopard flats that perfect any all black ensemble.

Leopard print scarf, $35 at Zara