All leopard print is NOT created equal

leopard print sandals

exact sandals: HERE  (and ON SALE!!)

I’ll admit it, I LOVE leopard print items. (Especially shoes). But I often find it is one of those patterns that either looks really great or really horrible, and people can be afraid to wear it.

Today I wanted to break it down for you and talk about how to wear leopard print, what pieces to wear, and what pieces to avoid. I’m going to use the phrase “less than classy” to describe bad leopard print, instead of another not so nice word.

Personally, I believe leopard print should remain in the accessories – belts, shoes, bags, boots and bracelets, are all safe. Unless you’re wearing a platform stiletto, you can avoid looking “less than classy” by keeping your accessories leopard print.

I have worn a leopard print shirt before (here) – but it was a snag from the Target kid’s section, and definitely not the most mature top.

I believe it is okay to wear a leopard print clothing, AS LONG THE COLORS ARE MUTED. for example, I have a black and gray leopard print winter coat (here),a muted pencil skirt (here) , and a cardigan (here) – the muted gray and black tones keep it from looking “less than classy”. Last winter LOFT had a really pretty navy muted leopard print coat (also safe!)

Leopard print I believe you should stay away from:

  • anything skintight, short dresses, pants, leggings, platform stilettos, etc.

Leopard print tends to mix quite well with the following:

  • red
  • black
  • black and white patterns
  • denim
  • burgundy/wine
  • olive/army green
  • cobalt/royal blue

PS. Now that I’m looking back – it appears I broke my own rules with this jacket.

See below for examples:

leopard flats in London

leopard print clutch and distressed denim

navy skirt burgundy heels and leopard clutch yellow cardigan floral top and leopard heels

army vest and leopard booties Grid Print Dress and Leopard Heels leopard clutch blue heels and white jeans leopard flats & army jacket leopard heels chambray and burgundy skirt Nine West Leopard Print Bootiesplum blazer and leopard clutch

blush moto jacket and leopard print booties

Original posts:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 //  7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to style leopard print – definitely share in the comments.

Have a great day!


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  • Reply Liv

    Nothing beats leopard print. Such a staple in any wardrobe.


    May 19, 2016 at 1:10 am
  • Reply Nermisa

    Love how you styled ALL of the leopard prints!


    May 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm
  • Reply Sarah T

    Love how you styled it. I think leopard print can be worn on clothing and doesn’t always have to be muted. A big thing though is material and fit. Silk (or poly that at least looks like silk) works well for tops. Cardigans can be great too as long as the fit is good. Even dresses and skirts work well as long as they’re not too tight (as you stated above). They don’t necessarily have to be muted but they definitely should be the focal point when worn as clothing and definitely shouldn’t be worn with leopard accessories. Jewel tones tend to work very well with it: burgundy/wine (as you noted), as well as deep purple, teal, army green. And stripes look fantastic with it as well. A black and white striped skirt or dress with a leopard belt looks fantastic. Also, floral (in either deeper/brighter tones) works surprisingly well with pops of leopard. As you said, it can be tricky but it definitely can add a lot to a look and give it interest.

    May 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm
    • Reply madelinewp

      I agree – there are so many great ways to wear leopard print! Teal is one I haven’t mixed a lot with it but I bet its gorgeous! thanks for following & sharing 🙂

      May 23, 2016 at 9:17 pm
  • Reply alissa

    This is SO true! I have two pairs of very similar leopard patterns BUT I always end up going with this one pair of shoes because that one leopard is just a littlllleeee bit better! Not all leopard is equal!

    The Adored Life

    May 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm
    • Reply madelinewp

      I’m with you 100% – I play leopard favorites all the time haha

      May 23, 2016 at 9:18 pm
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