Why everyone should love a leopard print!

Ok, anyone that knows me will know that I love a bit of animal print – whether it be a bag, coat or a cashmere jumper but for some women they wouldn’t be been seen dead in it!  I think this can be traced back to Bet Lynch in Coronation Street or Pat in Eastenders who were often seen wearing head-to-toe leopard print, bright blue eye shadow and lots of bling earrings – yes cheap and nasty. In its day leopard print was definitely short-hand for tasteless, tarty and tacky! But who am I to judge, maybe we all have a bit of that hidden somewhere deep down!

How times have changed.  Far from being seen as tarty, nowadays leopard print has gone more main stream with everyone from fashionistas to royalty and our own Prime Minister wearing it.  There’s been a definite shift in my perception of animal prints and the type of person who wears them. Even so, I think a degree of caution is required if you’re aiming for understated elegance rather than to unleash your inner Bet Lynch!  As with so many things, it’s how you wear it.

Many fashion editors regard leopard print as a neutral that can be paired with lots of different colours and prints.  This look will certainly appeal to you if you have a creative or dramatic style personality and it can look particularly fresh and funky on younger women.

But as a classic/dramatic, I prefer a more paired back look, so I keep my leopard print to one off quality items, such as a silk scarf, a skinny belt and, my latest winter acquisition, a leopard print coat from Autograph for M&S– none of which I wear together at the same time. However I have learnt to push and challenge myself and wear bold colour’s with it – for example anyone that knows me knows my love of the colour red – so I mix both my love of animal print & red together resulting in quite a dramatic statement.

If you are new to wearing leopard print or favour an understated more classic look, I would suggest the following:

  • Keep it simple and buy quality. Tailoring works well with an animal print. Avoid garments that are too fussy, flimsy or overly feminine.
  • Don’t flash too much flesh! Short skirts and or low cut/crop tops will just look tacky.
  • Choose natural fabrics . Shiny synthetics will cheapen the look of your print.
  • Keep to neutral colours such as browns, blacks and taupes for a sophisticated look. (If you love neon brights and other coloured prints, the chances are you’re creative or dramatic style personality and you will have already embraced animal prints long ago!).
  • Keep the rest of your outfit fairly plain – let the print to do the talking.
  • Consider the size and placement of the print. If you’re larger on top, wear the print on your bottom half and keep your top half plain, and vice versa.
  • If you’re still nervous about animal print, start by wearing it as an accessory.  A leopard print scarf, belt, gloves or bag can add interest and sophistication to an otherwise plain outfit whilst at the same time subtly indulging your inner vamp. Animal print is a timeless print which is certainly not seasonal. So go on, take a walk on the wild side!