I am so obsessed with leopard prints, and hold so many and varied extremely strong opinions on them, that I sometimes think I could start a Tumblr on the topic and never run out of material. I can’t think of another print that can go so many directions depending on who’s wearing it and how. But one must exercise caution here: there is also no animal print that can skew quite so tacky.
My general rule is to avoid anything too tight, cleavage-baring or otherwise overtly sexpot: a fantastic straight skirt—like this one from Christopher Kane—would be my sole exception, and even then only if the rest of the outfit is comparatively subdued.
As for sweaters, I like a sloucher take—this Zara v-neck hits the exactly right note.
And I’m so batty for this pre-styled-for-your-convenience piece (the flash of leopard at the hem is part of the sweater) that after I’m done with this post, I might reward myself by walking over to my neighborhood Rebecca Taylor store to try it on.
A good, clean-lined leopard jacket is always hard to find—and it almost never comes cheap. Too often, designers revert to a retro, 50s-ish shapes, or use cheap faux fur that can make you look a little bit like you’re wearing a plush doll. This By Malene Birger number gets it just right.
I was obsessed with this Elizabeth and James coat last winter, because the tailoring looks so dead-on, and those leather lapels are fantastic. Thrillingly, it recently turned up at Neiman Marcus Last Call, way-discounted.
Leopard print dresses are tricky business—they can come off so costume-y—and definitely require strategic styling. I’ve been thinking about this one since I saw it front and center in Anne Klein’s fall ad campaign. I’d definitely throw a cardigan on with it, though, to break it up a bit.
As a rule, I am not in favor of the leopard print shoe. No matter how fancy or fabulous the designer, they always look cheap to me. But I kind of love this Loeffler Randall pair: the red adds the right playful touch, and takes them to a delightfully new wave place.
I feel about tops in this category the way I feel about sweaters: the less seriously played, the better. This tee from Freshman is fantastic and my love for it would be complete were it now cropped just a pinch higher than I like my t-shirts to be.
And how cute is this? I can’t decide if it’s maybe too young for me, but I’m in love with the clever interplay of colors. The green just totally works with that red, which if so cool and unexpected.
My ass and I are a few years beyond the time when leopard jeans would be advisable, but that has not dampened my enthusiasm for what Current-Elliott has been doing with the print for the past few seasons. I like how subdued the wash always is, which keeps it from looking too 80s metal. So does the fact that this pair in particular is grey. And I like them with just a bit of give. Don’t be afraid to size up.
Leopard print scarves abound. I prefer ones that go colorful. How cute—but not cutesy-sweet—is this pink and red one?
And this is rather unexpected in the green, no?
As for bags: that’s a topic unto itself, and I shall address it another day. You can be certain.