The Leopard Coat

leopard coatOr, Sweet Mystery Of Life, At Last I’ve Found You…

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve been searching for a leopard coat for decades. (Seriously, since the late 1970’s.) Or I should say “The” leopard coat: one that wasn’t: too voluminous/too heavy for the climate/too pricey and that had a “good” leopard print. I’ve periodically combed thrift stores, ebay, etsy, every online and brick-and-mortar retailer for years. Many, many “close but no cigars.”

Wearing: earrings | coat | sweater (similar) | necklace | jeans | shoes 

And I just squeaked under the wire with this one. In between the time I saw, ordered, and received it, it seemed to have sold out everywhere (except in size Large at link above). Here’s one that’s similar.

French Kande fleur de lis garnet necklace

The leopard print begs to be the focal point of the outfit, so I have to be careful not to go overboard with accessories. I added this fleur-de-lis pendant necklace on a strand of garnet, smoky quartz and pyrite stones, and a mixed metal stacking ring. Nail color is “Big Apple Red.

Gucci fringed loafers

I’ve been wearing this coat almost daily. I wear it to walk the dogs, run errands, meet a friend for lunch, go out to dinner with le Monsieur…it’s a very versatile piece that dresses up or down.

finally found my perfect leopard coat!

Is there a particular wardrobe piece you’ve spent years searching for?

The Leopard Coat…


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  1. Yes. I was looking for black leather knee boots for my rather thick calves since the 60s. Found them two years ago and a very reasonable price! I really didn’t have the money at the time for something I wanted but didn’t need, but I reasoned that waiting nearly 40 years meant that I wasn’t being impulsive.

    1. Yes, I bought that version last year but sold it a few months later, as the heel was just a bit too high for regular wear. When I saw this lower-heeled version, it was a slam dunk as I still love the style. These are more comfortable and I’ll get more wear out of them.

  2. Lovely! My quest is always, shoes. I wear a size 11 4A. I have an extremely narrow heel. I can’t find flats to fit properly and usually end up settling for something with a Velcro strap. Mary Jane type shoes for walking. There isn’t anything I have found to be dressy that fits. But I will keep up the search.

  3. I found my leopard coat a few years ago…it’s actually a jacket from Laura Ashley. It’s lovely and can be dressed up or down; a classic look from the 1960’s/Mad Men kinda vibe.

  4. What’s your process for searching for a specific something? Do you look on line every day? week? month? Do you keep a running list? I’m not that disciplined and need some guidance. Love the coat. I have been following your suggestions for years now…K.I.S.S…you’re a wonderful teacher!

    1. In this particular instance, experience has shown that fall/early winter is when these coats are most available. So I’d periodically trawl retailers’ sites starting in about October. I also sign up for promotional emails from preferred retailers, and that’s how I spotted this one from Velvet.

    1. Leopard is an endangered species, and it is illegal to sell it. (Or, at least in CO, I don’t know if that’s a state or federal law).

  5. Such a great coat and velvet, a fabric I love : ) Did you purchase medium? I am going to watch and see if Amazon brings it back!
    Merry Christmas!!

  6. I love that coat! In fact, I’ve been searching for the perfect leopard coat &/or shoes (not to be worn at the same time) for quite a while. I’d also like some tall black boots but can’t seem to quite find the ones I like.

  7. Just posted about a leather skirt I finally found, having kept an eye out for some time, every few years settling for one that wasn’t quite right. . . I did find my perfect leopard coat five or six years ago although it doesn’t get out as much as yours does (perhaps it’s not as perfect as I thought? 😉

  8. I’ve also been on a perennial quest for the right leopard coat. I’m beginning to think they exist only in mythical London thrift shops. 😉 I did find one suitable for spring or fall wear, but I’d love something warmer that is winter-worthy.

  9. It suits you beautifully! As do the Gucci loafers. So fun.

    I would love a faux-leopard or faux-ocelot coat, too. But right now I am looking for a really warm navy blue long cardigan, which you would think might be easy to find, but HA!

    I had a beautiful Gigli one for years, but I never wore it because it had a hood that, though cute, annoyed me. So off to donations with it and yet I can’t replace it for the life of me.

  10. Congratulations on finding THE coat – it looks beautiful on you! I’m still an animal print “baby” with only a scarf, and I have my eye on one of the Clare V. clutches at Nordstrom’s if it goes on sale.
    Thanks for all the excellent posts from Paris!

  11. Yes! I found my perfect leopard coat last year, the by Malene Birger leopard coat seen on Solange Knowles and Blair Eadie (Atlantic-Pacific). It’s amazing and I get compliments everywhere I go. It’s way heavier than you would need in CA, but perfect for East Coast winters.

  12. It’s cute on you – very Paris meets LA.

    My sought after item is the perfect pair of pointy toed, low heel shoes. I got close with a pair of Linea Paolo “Opal” shoes at Nordstrom (only $130 and I was willing to spend much more) but they were uncomfortable and too narrow. If I could find basically this same shoe but that fit, I feel like my life would be complete! Well, not really, but you know how it feels….

  13. What a beautiful leopard coat, Susan. I imagine you feel fabulous wearing it! I have loved leopard since age eight when I received a pair of leopard pajamas. I’m currently searching for pieces in cobalt blue, especially a long open sweater. Also, love leopard and cobalt together. 🙂

  14. Congratulations on finding “The Coat”. I was just wondering what your definition of “good” leopard print requires?

    1. For me that means not too light, not too dark, a true three-tone leopard print. It doesn’t have to look super-realistic (this one isn’t) but should at least approach what a leopard’s spots look like, especially with the color. 🙂

  15. It’s funny, I was looking for a leopard coat for the last couple of years as well. And this is the one I finally chose for myself back in October. I liked that its texture felt more velvety and flat than fluffy stuffed animal fur.

  16. Depressing that bloggers often show items that are sold out Even the similar are sold out. But that is the point, bloggers are advertising for the seller. Maybe too many blogging about same items….dunno…….Not their fault but often a waste trying to track down something that looks nice on blogger posts only to find it is no longer available. Not just you….Happens all the time. Gives great ideas but disappointing when one tries to buy….similar…similar….I do love the coat and have been searching for months now. So glad you found it. Yes sold out everywhere. Will keep searching. You have great taste. As you probably know, many things are out of reach price point wise for normal woman. I buy Fisher, most cannot, nor French Kande.
    Thanks though for your posts.

    1. Hi Jude, I really understand how frustrating this can be and try to show items that are still available as often as possible. I never know how quickly something will sell out, especially with the fast retail cycles these days. Hope you’re able to find something that works for you!

  17. The perfect leopard coat is so hard to find! After years of searching, I found one in a thrift store in S.F. That was perfect for that era of my life…it made every outfit glamorous. It’s now a bit “too much” for my age and very casual lifestyle, but I still have it in my closet and plan to keep it forever. Now I get my leopard fix with scarves, bags and sweaters.

  18. I have been searching since university for the perfect pair of brown leather pants — I picture them being jeans-styled, a true medium brown and slightly distressed. Slim but not skinny. At this point, I’m beginning to doubt that they exist!

    Love your coat on you. I like leopard but in smaller doses — a scarf or possibly shoes.

  19. Brava on finding YOUR coat. It looks great on you and as Isaac Mizrahi says: “Leopard is a neutral!” so it will go with everything.

  20. Faux, faux, faux. Great coat – I’m still wearing my vintage 1960s leopard print but sooner or later I will need an update. Happy Christmas, Susan. It was lovely to see you in London this summer & I hope to catch-up again in 2017. Best wishes, Alyson x

  21. Congratulations on finding your dream leopard coat! For years, I have looked for a long emerald-green silk velvet dress. This year, I found it, and I’ve so enjoyed wearing it this week to my son’s civil wedding ceremony and then to the best parts of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (It has long bell sleeves, a plain high neckline and, basically, an a-line cut. I wanted nothing to detract from the stunning color and lush fabric. Everyone who sees it wants to touch it, including babies and puppies!)

  22. Hi Susan! Been a reader for a long time, and this is my first time commenting, but this post was so timely, as I had found the perfect leopard print jacket the day before your post arrived in my inbox!! The coincidence was uncanny! My jacket is a thrift store find, but it fits PERFECTLY and its so comfortable! The brand name on it is Bailey 44, which I haven’t been to find much about, but to me it doesn’t matter. I wish I could send you a photo! I wasn’t sure what on earth to wear it with, but your post showed me that a simple black outfit is the perfect backdrop. Your blog is an inspiration. Thank you for your ideas. I look forward to more in 2017!

  23. I too found the perfect faux leopard swing coat several years ago at Marshall’s. It has the velvety texture, but then it reverses to a dark brown water resistant coat. Even though it’s not heavy, it has kept me warm. I bought it on clearance for $19!

  24. Your leopard coat looks great on you! I found one — about 10 years ago — in a Garnet Hill catalog. It was expensive at the time ($300), but one of my favorite pieces of all time. Mine is tapered at the waist and lightweight enough that it can be worn as a blazer indoors. It almost looks “real” and people have come up to me to ask about it … I think Garnet Hill has offered other versions of the same coat over the past couple of years.