Adding wild style to your wardrobe with animal print apparel is the best! When it comes to cheetah vs. leopard print, you’ll find both of these feline-inspired patterns easy to wear. But they look so similar, what is the difference between cheetah print and leopard print? We’re here to help you understand these prints and ways to wear them, along with ideas for other animal prints to add to your wardrobe:
Leopards are large jungle cats known for their distinctive spotted coats. Nocturnal and for the most part solitary, these sleek predators are excellent hunters and climbers. Most leopards have tawny coats with black spots called rosettes—although there are black leopards with black spots.
One of the best things about leopard-print clothing is that it can be neutral and bold at the same time. Although the light tan and black colors of the print are versatile and understated, the print itself adds an eye-catching look to any outfit.
The cheetah’s claim to fame is its incredible speed—and its beige-and-black dotted coat. These cats are the world’s fastest land mammals, clocking in at a maximum estimated speed of 80 mph. They differ from leopards in size, as they’re a bit smaller. Cheetah print is similar to leopard print but not identical. Its beige hue is lighter than leopard print, and the spots are closed and look more like polka-dots than rosettes.
As mentioned, there are a few minor differences between cheetah and leopard print. The base color of cheetahs and leopards are similar in tone, with cheetah being slightly lighter and cooler. Cheetah spots are smaller than leopard rosettes and are often positioned closer together. When it comes to cheetah and leopard prints in the fashion world, there are a few distinctions.
Leopard print can look wild or demure, based on how you wear it. Some fashion enthusiasts will say a cheetah print is superior to leopard. We think both of these animal prints are equally stylish—and equally easy to integrate into your wardrobe. Even if you’ve never worn much animal print, you’ll find it’s a great way to refresh your look and add flair to any outfit.
There are lots of ways to wear these feline prints. If you want an understated look, pair a leopard print top with women's black jeans or slacks. Or carry a cheetah-print handbag with a cashmere turtleneck and chino pants to impart a glamorous touch to your look. Speaking of turtlenecks, you could also layer a lightweight fitted turtleneck in one of these prints under a black sweater and your favorite women’s jeans. There are leopard-print down puffer vests to keep you warm and add visual interest to any outfit, along with soft fleece pullovers in quarter-zip and snap-neck styles.
Leopard print midi skirts are another wardrobe piece to consider. Wear a mid-length skirt with a black tunic top or sweater for a well-coordinated look that works for casual and semi-dressy occasions. There are also fit-and-flare dresses in leopard and cheetah prints, which you can wear with a women’s cardigan sweater if extra coverage is desired.
You’ll even find a great selection of leopard-print women’s PJs in a variety of styles. Wear flannel leopard print women’s pajama pants with a matching PJ top for a coordinated look that’s ultra-cozy. Or pair wide-leg leopard print lounge pants with a black cotton tee for an outfit you can wear all day, even if you pop out to get the mail or grab a few things from the store.
Women’s long underwear also comes in animal prints. Thermaskin tops and bottoms are designed to be worn beneath winter apparel for added warmth. The way this fabric works is pretty ingenious—it generates heat by absorbing body moisture. The remainder is wicked away to keep you warm yet dry all day. A hint of spandex imparts a gentle stretch to the Thermaskin fabric, so you’ll never feel constricted. Another feature you’ll appreciate is the flat waistband, which is comfortable and virtually invisible under whatever you’re wearing.
If you want to keep the animal print minimal, there are leopard-print moccasin slippers for wearing around the house, along with leather loafers that go with women's dresses, jeans, slacks, and even leggings. Another option is a handbag or tote with a leopard or cheetah print.
In the summer, consider leopard or cheetah print swimsuits. Women’s swimsuits come in styles to flatter every figure, including one-piece and tankini. You might also want to opt for a leopard-print women’s rash guard cover up shirt. These tops have UPF 50 to protect covered areas against the sun’s rays.
When it comes to mixing prints, we say go for it! The days of adhering to stuffy fashion rules are gone—today, it’s perfectly acceptable to combine two different prints in the same outfit. Leopard and cheetah are similar enough that they won’t clash, so feel free to wear them together if you like a casual, eclectic look.
Another idea is to wear either leopard or cheetah with a different type of pattern, such as stripes or plaid. Leopard and cheetah prints also go well with virtually any solid colors. They coordinate perfectly with black, of course, but you can also wear them with vibrant hues such as fuchsia, orange, turquoise, or bright green.
In addition to leopard and cheetah, there are various other animal prints you can choose to lend a wild touch to your wardrobe. Zebra print is one option—the black-and-white striped print goes with almost anything. Snakeskin-print clothing is also a popular choice, especially when talking about accessories and footwear. Experiment with different looks to discover your favorite way to wear animal print.
There’s no clear winner in the cheetah vs. leopard print debate—both of these prints are equally fashionable. Explore the selection of leopard and cheetah print apparel at Lands’ End to find plenty of timeless and on-trend styles.