How and Why to Wear Leopard Print as a Neutral

Leopard print — the best pattern to wear if you want to feel like a vampy sex goddess. Fact. Paired with a red lip and some heels, leopard print is ideal if you’re going for a sexed up outfit for a night out, but how the heck can you incorporate leopard into your casual daily wardrobe? And why would you want to?
First, the whys. Leopard print, and animal print in general, was all over the catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2013. It’s fun, cheeky, and fashionable. It’s pretty much the clothes version of a wink – you’re showing that you know you’re sexy, but you don’t take yourself too seriously. Worn in the right way, leopard print can fit into every look you want to capture, from 50s glamour to off-duty model. It can look classy and nonchalant, elegant and effortless, and always confident and understatedly cool.
Worn in the wrong way, however, leopard print runs the risk of looking tacky and cheap, which is why many people are put off even trying to wear it. True, if you wear a tiny leopard dress with super high heels, it does tend to look a little try-hard, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try out this super versatile print. Here are our rules for wearing leopard print as a neutral:
1. Careful with the sex appeal. Leopard print is inherently sexy, so it needs to be toned down a little with your other pieces. This might mean a casual jumper, a slightly longer hemline, or boots rather than stilettos.
2. Don’t be afraid of color. A lot of people just pair leopard print with black. That’s fine, but it can get a little boring. Try burgundy or teal. In terms of which colors leopard print looks best with, the safer options are always the darker, richer shades. Go too light and bright in your color palette and you can end up looking a bit brash.
3. Layer. Break up a large area of leopard print with items layered under and on top. One huge block of leopard print can be a little too much.
4. Mix your prints. Leopard print can be mixed and matched with stripes, florals, and other leopard print pieces, and will look awesome when done right. I wouldn’t advise mixing different animal prints unless you’re really confident – so yes to leopard on leopard, no to leopard, tiger, and zebra all in one outfit.
5. Add leopard print where you would usually add denim, black, or brown. Use leopard print as you would any other neutral. Swap out your standard jeans for leopard print pants. Trade brown boots for leopard ones. Be brave, and make simple swaps. You’ll be surprised how good it looks.

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Would you wear leopard print as a neutral? Leave a comment below!

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