Why they keep coming back: "Animal prints play off the idea of women being vixenish, wild, and fierce," says Steele. So it's no surprise that fashionistas have been spotted in the prints since the cave-dwelling days―though the trend is most strongly identified with the 50s and 60s, when it was favored by sultry pinup girls, like Bettie Paige and Ann-Margret.
Keep them if: The pattern is in the "large cat" family (cheetah and leopard prints) or black-and-white zebra zigzags, which have the most staying power. Accessories like handbags, belts, and ballet flats hold up well, as do blouses and basic sweaters, like cardigans and V-necks. And stow coats and dresses with enduring silhouettes, such as wrap and A-line designs.
Toss them if: "The print is really bold―giraffe or spotted pony―or in unnatural colors, like lime green or pink," says Kressley. Also ditch larger-than-life patterns that aren't true to scale.