Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Leopard Print: I Have Never Been So Wrong

Yes, I'm referencing the often badly-executed Richard-Armitage-in-the-Hobbit meme there.

For years I've hated animal prints of any kind: snakeskin, zebra print, leopard all looked tacky to me. A bit like the sort of stuff you see all through the music video for Macklemore's Thrift Shop (salty language warning here). Only it was usually on just the wrong side of tacky to even be able to wear it ironically...unless you were at a themed frat party. To be honest, I'm still not down with anything zebra or snakeskin or with too much furry detailing. But lately, I've tried to give leopard print a chance.
Exhibit A, via ASOS
Exhibit B, via ASOS

You guys: I love this stuff. But let's be clear, here: all things in moderation. I still think that skin-tight leopard leggings or a dress (exhibits A & B) are just way too over-the-top. But some wisely chosen accessories can keep an outfit looking sophisticated and fun. Let's round up the usual suspects:

1) The Vegass ballet flat by Steve Madden is gorgeous. It's a flat with a simple shape and no extraneous detailing, so the only thing flashy about it is the cat-skin print. Pick one thing and do it well. Kudos, Steve Madden.

2) I've already mentioned the Wanderlust by Feral Watches, but as you can see, the thin band allows for a subtle pop of print as a nice touch. Sort of like neon piping on a burlap pillow

3) This leopard print scarf from Whistles would be great with an otherwise monochrome or basically neutral outfit.

4) This faux-hair belt from Topshop would be great with jeans and a black top, or a pencil-skirted LBD. The overall lesson here is that a little goes a long way, so you don't want to overdo it.

5) H&M's leopard print clutch would look great with a nice solid dress and some sensible shoes.

6) A sign of being a grown-up for good and all - to me at least - will be being able to gift myself with a pair of Christian Loubutins for a special occasion. I don't know that I'd make it this leopard print pair, but if I did, they'd look great with a fun little dress.

I've realised while writing this that it may be a bit difficult to visualize some of the things that I'm talking about. Luckily, I'm now prepared with visual aids. Here are some of the ways I'd add a punch of print to an outfit:

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