Stylewatch: The power of the leopard print

Stylist Peta Rooney goes on the prowl with leopard print.

The power of the leopard print

There’s nothing quite like a good animal print, and the leopard print is truly a timeless classic and should be treated as a ‘neutral’ within your wardrobe.

When selecting a leopard print item, be careful not to choose fabrics that appear too shiny, too synthetic or too sheer. I am talking classy and chic, rather than brassy and cheap! The key to selecting and wearing a leopard print is to ensure that the print is not too big or oversized. You should be looking for a small black-and-brown print on a caramel-coloured background. Because the print is the ‘star of the show’, you really don’t need to overdo the styling, so I say keep it simple and let the print do the talking.

There are several ways to approach wearing such a beautiful animal print and quite a few colour options are available. I have seen the traditional colours of a true leopard available in everything from tops to pants and jackets, coats and even shoes and bags. Several designers are also offering leopard-type prints on brightly coloured backgrounds for this season. Some look spectacular, such as this colourful red based leopard blouse, while others such as this yellow top look completely wrong.

Many a famous movie star, including Joan Collins and her sister Jackie, have been ardent admirers and wearers of the leopard print. Jackie has been quoted as saying: “I wear too much leopard print”... but how can that be?

In more recent times, Kate Moss has loved a leopard coat, and wears it well.

Coats
I love these leopard-inspired coats. They look amazing and make a fashion statement while keeping you warm. This long duster coat from Top Shop can look incredibly chic and stylish, and can dress up your whole outfit. Or, if you prefer the faux fur coat that won’t offend any animal rights groups, you might like this one from ASOS.

Tops
My favourite way of wearing leopard is in a simply styled beautiful blouse such as this one from ASOS, or this classic leopard top from Witchery, combined with a pair of tailored pants or even your favourite jeans. A classic leopard print shirt will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, and will always look amazing in summer when teamed with a white pair of jeans.

Accessories
For those of you who would rather accessorise with leopard than wear it as a piece of clothing, here are a few other ways to incorporate this wonderful print into your new season’s wardrobe. Consider a cross body bag from ASOS or this fabulous scarf with a touch of red from Zara.

Do you have a leopard print item in your wardrobe? What’s your favourite animal print?

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