Leopards might be known for being stealth-like and quiet, sneaking up on their prey and catching them off guard. But in regard to appearance, leopards are anything but subtle. Their markings, also called rosettes, are intricate, unique, and wild. That’s what makes wearing leopard print so fun. But sometimes, animal prints of any kind can bring too much attention to an outfit, and they may even clash with your personality or mood at a given moment. So if you’ve always liked the look of leopard print and want to show just a touch of your wild side, here are five ways to rock leopard print in a subtle way.
If you like the look of leopard print but aren’t so sure about a head-to-toe ensemble, start small. Even something as small as a silk women’s fashion scarf wrapped around your neck or a small purse with leopard print on it can make a big impact. Plus, it’s a fun way to add a bit of flair to an otherwise “safe” outfit. For example, if you’re planning on meeting the girls after work, you can confidently wear your typical business casual attire during the day, but pack a small clutch or crossbody bag in leopard print for nighttime. Additionally, you can wear a leopard print hat and mittens with your white, khaki, or black coat during wintertime.
The next step up from starting with a small purse or scarf is adding one leopard-print item of clothing to your outfit. This is less subtle than a scarf, wallet, or purse, but it’s still a subtle way to wear the look. For example, if you have a black blazer and black pants, you could wear a leopard-skin blouse. Or maybe try wearing a leopard-print cardigan sweater over a white T-shirt with some black pants or jeans. Since leopard print is typically some form of yellow mixed with black or brown, you could easily substitute leopard print for anything black, brown, or even khaki. Animal prints of all kinds look great with jeans as well.
As fun as you might think it would be to mix leopard print with other animal prints, try to avoid it. The rosettes of a leopard-print piece of clothing when paired with the round dots of a cheetah piece of clothing, can make it look like you accidentally matched the two together without realizing they’re different. In contrast, tiger stripes when paired with leopard print also look unappealing, as it confuses the eye and makes an outfit look too busy. When choosing animal prints, Try to stick with just one, even if the colors are the same.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules about whether leopard print actually has to be a piece of clothing. In fact, it’s becoming more and more common to see leopard print shoes. And if you’ve ever seen leopard print heels with a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt, you know how fun the shoes make the whole outfit look overall. If heels are a little too wild for you or you, prefer the comfort of flats, by all means, keep your paws firmly planted on the ground in flats. Either way, animal-print shoes are great for adding a bit of flair to an otherwise typical ensemble, whether it’s women’s jeans and a T-shirt for a night out, leggings and an oversized sweater for running errands, or a blouse and black pants for the office.
If you’re hesitant about wearing leopard print, you’re most likely already feeling less than confident about it, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because you’ve seen people wear it in the past who wore it in a less-than-flattering way. Or maybe because you’ve been told that it isn’t your style. Get all that out of your head. Trends come and go, and it’s fun to experiment with different styles. The only way to know whether you like something on you is to try it. If you wear it out and don’t like it, no big deal: You don’t have to wear it again. But if you even wear it once, wear it knowing that you don’t need a piece of clothing to define you. If anything, it’s a reflection of how you’re feeling that day and in the moment.
Overall, leopard prints are fun additions to any wardrobe, even if worn subtly. Just remember that the most important thing you can wear with leopard print is a bit of confidence. Have fun with it!