I don’t remember when my affinity for leopard print first developed, but I have to believe it was pretty early on. Leopard’s aura of upscale glamour from my childhood years in the early 1960’s gave way to a more louche, rock-and-roll appeal in the 70’s, when the best pieces were snapped up quickly from thrift stores. I don’t think leopard print has really ever been “out” since the 1980’s, but this fall it’s everywhere. I’m really picky about my leopard prints, but have recently spotted (ha!) many that hit the right note for me. I always seem to have at least one pair of leopard print shoes in my wardrobe and love the zing they add to a casual outfit.
Above: these loafers have a very padded insole, and one of my favorite features on any calf-hair shoe, a strip of leather on the back of the heel to prevent wear. The 1″ heel gives a little lift without sacrificing a whit of comfort.
This modern-old-school wristwatch is perfect for those who prefer their leopard print in small doses.
I find leopard print easiest to incorporate into an outfit with accessories, but if you stick with the “one animal print at a time” guideline, an easy-fitting top like this one perks up an outfit without coming across as predatory. Looks fabulous with olive, berry, burgundy too.
Here are some ankle strap pumps with a reasonable heel and that will look as great with jeans as with your LBD. (Runs small, order 1/2 size up.)
If a suggestion of leopard print is more your thing, here’s a scarf with a whimsical perspective.
I’m not the first person to say it, but leopard print can be a neutral. A classic black/brown/camel leopard print will go with just about any other color and mixes well with other patterns if that’s your thing (think leopard and stripes, leopard and florals).
Are you a fan of leopard print? What do you wear it with?