Leopard print is in. Has been for a few years, and yet I never really took to it. A shirt or a jacket, not to mention leopard print pants, seemed too much leopard pattern on my body. Lately, however, with the resurgence of this fashion trend, I’ve started paying more attention to how fans of this pattern wear it, and have noticed some very interesting and successful combinations. So if you’re considering including leopard print in your wardrobe, read on for advice on how to mix and match old clothes to make new fashion statements around a leopard print item (shirt, jacket, pants, scarf, etc.). You may find that wearing leopard print is easier to pair than you thought, and will not require a major overhaul of your wardrobe. Following are some style tips that I hope even seasoned wearers of this fashionable pattern can find useful.
How to Wear Leopard Print
Useful style advice for women on how to make classy statements of style with leopard print clothes and accessories.
Leopard Print Cardigan with Denim or Striped Shirt
My favorite clothing items right now of all you can find with animal / leopard print are jackets and cardigans. You may think that if you were to wear them you had to keep your shirt and pants in solid colors and neutral tones but that’s not necessarily true. I’ve seen them with denim shirts and they look fabulous. (In fact I prefer them with denim shirts and black pants rather than with black or white shirts and blue jeans.) I’ve also seen them with black and (light) beige horizontal stripes, in a combo that's rather common these days, and enjoyed the look. When pairing with such a shirt though, make sure the stripes are much lighter than the beige in the jacket.
Leopard print with stripes
Leopard Print Jacket with a Red Dress
Leopard print also works extremely well with red, and red is in this season. In fact, a leopard pattern item with a red one can be just as stylish as a red and black combo. So if you have a red pencil dress (something that follows the shape of your body but is more elegant than sexy), you can pair it with a longer leopard print jacket. There’s something about beige, black, and red together that makes the combo very appealing. Also, the print makes that outfit shine.
Make sure you also make a statement with your shoes. Rather than choosing simple black pumps, go with something with a little more detail, not print-wise but shape-wise. A pair of buckle pumps in two colors would work great. I’d go with patent leather shoes, as I’ve seen in one photo, but I think faux leather shoes wouldn’t be amiss either. And they don’t have to be black and beige. Black and steel gray works just as nicely; in fact, I think they’re even better, as they open up the outfit.
Get this dress in red
How to Wear a Leopard Print Shirt
Leopard shirts and blouses go well with black pants, of course, but off-white pants work equally well. You can also wear them with a solid-color skirt (I prefer red, dark aubergine, and merlot) or pair of pants. You can then choose a black jacket and large faux pearls to complete the outfit.
While a leopard jacket works nicely with blue jeans, I think you should avoid jeans when wearing leopard shirts – unless you’re wearing a shirt that only has a leopard breast pocket, or one with leopard trimmings). You need something to open up the leopard print, and that can be achieved either by wearing a pair of black pants that will make the print pop, or by wearing a pair of red pants (including red denim pants, especially with a flimsy blouse) and a black jacket, for instance, that will create a push and pull of color.
I love this shirt with leopard trimmings in black
Leopard Print Cropped Denim Jacket
Get these jeans in red
I have to admit I’m not a big fan of leopard print skirts (and pants), unless the skirt is a mini skirt. But I have seen leopard print skirts in black and white; they can be wonderful.
I prefer black and white leopard print scarves myself. There’s a nice model on Amazon I really like. Not quite leopard pattern (it's a stylized leopard pattern), but still very fashionable and wonderful with so many outfits! If you’re tempted to wear a leopard scarf with a striped black and white shirt, I’d say go for the beige and black pattern; otherwise the result is too flat. You can also wear the beige leopard scarf with a shirt that's striped in large red and black bands. I'd go with a women's rugby shirt as well. I could only find a men's rugby shirt on Amazon. I'm showing it so you see the look.
Pendleton Boiled Wool Jacket in Aubergine with Black Detail
Pippa Middleton was spotted wearing a similar scarf with a light aubergine jacket
Click to see it in red and black as well
My favorite leopard shoes are ballet flats. They make a bold stylish statement in a casual shape, which is great, I think. I much prefer them over leopard high heels. I think one of the main tricks when wearing leopard print is to be careful not to overdress in other ways. Also, to combine stylish elements with casual ones.
Nine West Ballet Flat
Jessica Simpson Leopard Flats
Leopard sneakers work great with a white shirt or T-shirt and jeans, of course. You can also wear these, too, with a striped black and white shirt. You can get shirts with stripes of various widths to vary the look. I think both thin-striped and large-striped shirts look great.
Converse Leopard Stud Sneakers
Sam Edelman Fashion Sneakers -- click to see the leopard slip-ons
Suspenders are fashionable these days, and they are wonderful for leopard print, because they add a playful, casual yet chic touch to your outfit that goes well with an outfit incorporating leopard clothes or accessories. You can go with beige and brown leopard suspenders, or with black and white ones. My favorite are the latter. If you choose the former, they would go well with a white or black shirt and merlot or red jeans. For a more powerful fashion statement, you can choose a black and white striped top and merlot jeans.
Calvin Klein Ladies' Cotton Stretch Dress Shirt
I hope this has been helpful
I hope this article has helped you make some fashion decisions that include leopard print! Have fun wearing it! And if you're already wearing leopard pattern a lot, I'd appreciate a comment from you on some of the outfits you build around it.