It’s that time again for Signature Style with my chic friends, Cindy Hattersley and Sarah London and this month we are bringing you leopard! Leopard print is a classic and has never gone out of style. Some say it’s a neutral, but I think it adds a bit of punctuation to an outfit and instant style. Do you have leopard in your closet? Well if not, it’s time to add some!
My first memories of leopard are from a leopard print boxy tote bag with tortoise shell looking ring handles my mom had in the 1960’s. On a train trip with her to Chicago when I was five, my coloring books were stored in it during trip. I later used the same bag in the early 80’s to tote my college books to class. It was vintage by then, and super cool, and I sadly wore it to pieces. This bag reminded me of it, with the color and texture of my moms!
I’ve always been attracted to leopard due to its cool factor and rock n’ roll vibe. When I think of leopard, people like Debbie Harry come to mind. I’m not opposed to a little cool in my wardrobe and right now, after the past few years, I want my clothes to be anything but boring. I have a wardrobe full of solids, and yet a lot of patterned pieces and accessories that add a little punk feel and youthful spirit to my mix. I think everyone needs that with your basics.
How to wear leopard:
- Choose a leopard print in an investment piece, like a nice handbag, coat, boot or shoe that can mix into your wardrobe in many different ways over years. Plan on keeping it long-term, so buy well.
- Leopard in a silk blouse or cashmere sweater adds a fun pop of chic to basics.
- Consider leopard in better quality materials and skip it in looks like leggings, tight dresses and stretchy lycras which can look ‘cheap’ and feel more cheesy than chic.
- Be choosy about the leopard print you add. Let it punctuate an outfit.
- Head to toe leopard is a lot, unless you want Alexis Carrington vibes or a big statement look. That said, you can mix leopard prints of different sizes, for a whimsical feel.
- Some of the best foils for leopard are red, pink, black, white and surprisingly floral.
I am fortunate to own a leopard coat I bought a few years ago from Emerson Fry. It’s probably my most favorite piece of clothing and I have get more compliments on it than anything. It’s my go-to when I want to feel stylish and stand out, like when I wore it to a blogger conference.
It gives me confidence, and makes my solids look cool. The heavy linen works in most months here in California so I wear it all year long. Cost was around $350 and I’ve worn it more times than I can count. It was made in Brooklyn (yay), and it still looks like new. I know I have many years more to wear it. Emerson Fry still makes the exact coat, which is a testament to its longevity!
Definitely shop second hand for a leopard look. Vintage leopard coats are the coolest thing on the planet and if you can find one or something that looks like one, you’re lucky. Kate Moss created her signature style from her vintage leopard coat and she has so many..These are just a few..
I was lucky to have been gifted a vintage faux leopard short jacket from my friend Contessa and I just adore it. I have worn it casual, layered over a sweater with jeans, over a leopard dress, and with white jeans and so many ways..
Online there are so many of these vintage coats to be found like this one at ThredUp, and also check your local thrift and consignment. I also found this gem by The Great, their ‘vintage’ leopard coat.
More leopard coats here, and I love this one by Stand – just marked down, below left, and this by Bernardo, right also on sale…
Other options are adding a great accessory like this MZ Wallace tote, or a cute pair of sneakers like these high tops at Madewell, and this Gigi NY Crossbody.
I like this Claire V. Leopard bag top photo (like my mom’s), which is a classic and will always give you look a bit of style. I have a green version from them and they also have a smaller cross-body version below..
I also love the look of these slides by Birdies. People love these shoes and they are highly rated for comfort.
A leopard dress or two in the closet are nice to have in your rotation. I do own a few leopard dresses. One that is versatile and I wear so much is this T-shirt dress from Jenni Kayne. The leopard is so small it’s basically a neutral, but it’s a great basic to go anywhere. My only gripe is that the viscose wrinkles easily, but otherwise, I love the style and I can dress it up or down.
I also just bought this fun leopard shirt dress from H&M. They have a lot of leopard now. I bought this to wear as a top, a tunic, and a swim coverup as well as a dress.. The stores have a lot of this shirt dress, but it looks gone from the website! The material is the same as this dress, also cute in leopard.
Where do you stand on leopard and animal prints? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and I can’t wait to read Cindy and Sarah’s blogs today about leopard! Stop by their blogs at:
Thanks for being here!
You might also like the post, ‘Reloving What You Own- Signature Style.’
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