Spot on: this season’s best leopard print jackets & accessories

“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste-it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical…”

–Diana Vreeland

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a “thing” for leopard print. When I was very young it seemed oh so glamorous; later it acquired a louche appeal. Leopard print is the sartorial equivalent of a martini bar: equal parts nostalgic and timeless. And it always adds that little splash of paprika.

One of those items that’s been on my wish list for years is a leopard print faux fur jacket. I spotted this one on the rack a couple of weeks ago, and it came home with me.

Leopard print jackets

Susan wears a leopard print jacket, cashmere sweater, jeans and brown patent loafers.
My sizes: jacket – Small, sweater – Small, jeans – 27

(Yes, I know it’s technically more of a cheetah print, but brands seem to use leopard and cheetah interchangeably these days, so I’m following suit. And yes, I need to get the sleeves shortened.)

What I like about this one is that it’s not heavy or stiff. And the spots, lining, and fabric detail on the pockets are all dark brown rather than black. (Though spots look black in photos.) The pattern is small enough that it doesn’t overwhelm me.

It is a bit spendy though. Here’s one with a similar look that’s less so.

I haven’t seen this particular jacket in person, but I’ve purchased other items from this brand in the past and found the quality to be quite good.

Here’s a slightly longer style jacket in a more traditional leopard print.

Here’s one for those of you with cool palettes, currently 30% off…

And though it’s not a jacket, this satin top is another way to incorporate leopard print into a cool palette.

Leopard print accessories

While leopard print can be a fun addition to most outfits, a little goes a long way. I like to keep it to one leopard (or other animal print) piece per outfit. But if a jacket or other clothing item is just a bit too much “cat” for you, here are some fun accessories you might want to try.

Susan B. sitting on wooden steps wearing leopard scarf, red cardigan, striped tee, jeans and boots.

I’ve had this scarf for several years, and it’s still a favorite. And one I always pack for travel! I love the traditional leopard print, but if you like something brighter, it’s also available in Navy, and in colors for every seasonal palette.

Adding a belt is a great way to make a simple outfit look finished. This leopard calf-hair belt is one of my current favorites. (There’s also a skinny version.)

A classic penny loafer gets the leopard treatment…

Leopard trim adds a fun accent to these lambskin gloves.

A classic ballet flat with a twist…

I love the combination of leopard print and the color red on these soft flats!

But these Dr. Martens are a whole ‘nother vibe… 😍

Do you wear leopard print or other animal prints?

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  1. Hi Susan,
    Yes I do! I’m a lifelong fan of animal prints too. I think it started with 101 Dalmations! I own ballet flats, scarves and a blouse in warm animal prints. I’m glad they still suit me now I’m no longer a brunette.
    I have never thought to wear it as an outer layer, I’ve only done the reverse – topping it with a darker colour like dark brown or tan.
    You look great in your new jacket. Will it be your wildcard for Paris?
    Best wishes,

  2. It’s funny how what goes around comes around. I used to wear leopard print all the time, mostly in belts or shoes. Then, I just stopped wearing it. Now, this fall I’m enjoying it again. The coat looks cozy and fun. And…it can’t be in too bad of taste if my style hero CBK wore it in the ‘90’s. Now, I’m looking for cool toned snake print loafers and belt.

    1. I’m also cool toned Robyn (dark summer) and struggle to find animal prints that work for us. Wish you success!

  3. I have loved Leopard print for over 50 years. I wore it when it was not in fashion. I would love one of those jackets but the prices are too expensive . I live in Florida so I would not have much occasion to wear the jackets. I love seeing people rock a good leopard print in anything. Yes, I have several leopard print shirts.

    1. At one time cool toned snake prints were everywhere. My daughter has a very faint snake print dress she bought from Anthropology years ago, right after she got her first “grownup job”. The dress is beautiful. Madewell used to have great snake prints shoes and boots. And.. if anyone anywhere sees the above mentioned let us know. I sill wear the leopard but not against my face.

  4. Would love some of these in black grey prints rather than brown. Any idea where I can find them. Those colors look better with my gray hair. Would love a black grey tote.

  5. I love leopard/animal prints too. I bought the scarf after seeing you wearing it, and I LOVE it! I’m also looking at a leopard print denim jacket at Chico’s – have you seen it?

  6. I wore my leopard print scarf today, against black jeans, parka coat and boots. I wore my tan crossbody Coach bag whose colour is picked up in my scarf.
    You’re right, just a touch of animal print is enough.

  7. I love leopard print. Like you I wear it sparingly. I have a JCrew belt and some shoes and a bootie. I like how they add a little pizazz to a basic outfit. I purchased a longer leopard fur coat last year from Johnny Was. It’s a neutral ivory background with warm brown spots. It drapes very nicely and doesn’t overwhelm my petite frame. I actually haven’t worn it anywhere yet!! I’m hoping to find a way to wear it this season. It’s a lot lol and I need to have the guts to go for it:)

  8. Hi Susan,
    do you know that they are using your image on the link for the scarf “Black” site?? I will hope it is with your permission.
    I LOVE a good leopard print & kind of giggled at the Diana Vreeland quote! It does make one feel rather wild & trashy! You know, in a good way! 😉

  9. I love animal prints but since having my colours done I’m struggling to fit them into my palette. I’m a deep summer. Somehow blue cheetah doesn’t seem to hit the mark! Any suggestions? (And I live in a year round warm climate to complicate things!)

  10. I always wanted to wear leopard prints, but as a Winter, they weren’t flattering. Then, lo and behold, a few years ago I found a SNOW LEOPARD faux fur jacket in shades of gray and black. It was way outside my comfort zone, but I loved it and bought it. Now, it’s one of my absolute favorite things to wear.

  11. Leopard print is my ‘secret spice’ for making an outfit just a little bit less basic! You can throw on a leopard accessory with an all black or brown outfit and suddenly it’s special. It literally goes with everything. My favorite clothing item is a Ganni A-line long jacket that’s a lightweight cotton fabric that makes me feel like a 60’s movie star when I wear it

  12. Susan, I agree with absolutely everything you had to say. I have always loved leopard and cheetah print, but just a splash. I, too, bought a cheetah coat a few years ago from Anthropologie and it never fails to get compliments. (Although I don’t wear it much here in the coastal south where I live.) No matter, I love it! It’s a neutral, but never boring.

  13. I love my leopard, JCrew, classic silk blouse. I wear it with a black moto jacket, black jeans, and booties. I like a feminine/edgy look and always feel well dressed in this outfit.

  14. Susan you showed a longer, thin leopard coat from Velvet by Graham & Spencer a few years back. I hunted it down and have worn it in my travels. Hard to find…I must have purchased the last one!!!
    Not much use in the south but I do love the coat. So thank you.

  15. Hi Susan,
    I have never commented here before (I’m not much for commenting) but I’ve been reading your blog for years. I love leopard and other animal prints. As an Autumn, I find leopard is very versatile and easy to incorporate. I have some leopard print shoes (ballet flats, block heels, loafers), as well as several items of clothing in leopard, cheetah, tiger and giraffe prints. I try to keep my overall look subdued, though. So my patterns are smaller and the colors more muted.
    I appreciate your blog in that you cover both seasonal color analysis as well as style archetypes. It’s very helpful! Thanks so much!

  16. Hi Susan, love this darling jacket on you, I especially like it with the jeans. The sight of leopard on the post perked me right up. I have lots of leopard scarves, most of which can still be worn with my now silver hair. I recently picked up a deep plum tonal leopard shirt from Chicos. I’ll be looking for a red cardigan and some leopard print shoes now too. I love your outfit with the striped tee, cardigan and leopard scarf. I’d bookmarked that a while back when you first shared it, it’s a favorite look of mine from your blog. Oh, my first leopard print was a pair of pajamas at age 8, I’ve never forgotten them!

  17. Not only does leopard print have louche connotation, I’ve found that wearing it risks giving the impression you condone trade in wild animals. I love animal prints but as a conservation biologist I have to be careful which prints I wear and when I wear them. I can usually get away with a monarch butterfly print silk scarf, but I only wear leopard or cheetah prints when I’m off the work clock.

  18. Love the loafers and the docs! Yesterday a scarf I had ordered arrived, the first leopard print in a long time. It is quite dark brown and will be beautiful with my new winter coat – I made it and am impatient for a little less rain and a little more morning crispness here in northern England. Too much leopard looks slightly too…louche….for me but a touch here and there is perfect. I once tried a tiger print scarf but no, definitely not right. I inherited a pair of leopard print loafers and loved them but they fell to bits and are no more. A sign of being well worn.

  19. Such a sweet jacket. You inspired me. I will search in my wardrobe for my leopard items. I could do with another leopard belt and I like the J Crew one. They should start selling in Europe.