Once in a while I’ll flirt with zebra stripes or dabble in Dalmatian spots, but if there is one animal print that has a secure place in my heart, it’s leopard. And while I consider the pattern practically a neutral, I know others have cringe-inducing leopard memories—Scary Spice anyone?—that keep them from embracing the look. But I promise the big-cat print can be downright chic when worn the right way.
Look 1: For Day
You may think leopard lends itself more to eveningwear, but the print can work just as well for day. Simply pair it with casual staples, like your favorite pair of jeans and a comfortable pair of flats.
What I Wore: Raquel Allegra Linen Long Jacket ($738) in Leopard; Roots Cropped Sorority Jacket ($260); Uniqlo Linen Blend T-Shirt ($13, 811.486.4756) in Orange; Citizens of Humanity Skyler Low Rise Crop Jeans ($258) in Legacy; Nasty Gal Serpentine Ponyhair Bucket Bag ($68); Catbird Jewelry Dollhouse Locket ($168) in Gold; Club Monaco Mino Woven Leather Belt ($70) in Dark Brown; Massimo Dutti Loafers ($155, 212.371.2555) in Burgundy; Catbird Jewelry Dark & Stormy Star Ring ($122); Bittersweets NY Teensy Evil Eye Ring ($350); Sarah Chloe Lily Solid Heart Necklace ($119); Prada Teddy Aviator-Style Sunglasses ($353).
Sure, anyone can mix a couple patterns, but pulling off multiple animal prints takes a bit of skill. The combination works here because the leopard coat is muted and the bucket bag’s snake print is slightly abstract.
A layering trifecta (I did a lightweight coat + baseball jacket + t-shirt) adds depth to the casual look. If you don’t have a baseball jacket, try a cardigan or motorcycle vest for the middle layer.
I never leave the house without a set of delicate rings—they complete every outfit.
The unique bridge on these aviators keep the classic style feeling fresh.
Look 2: For Night
Your most basic LBD will look perfectly lovely under a leopard jacket, but choosing a cocktail dress with extra embellishments is a surefire way to make sure all eyes are on you.
What I Wore: Raquel Allegra Linen Long Jacket ($738) in Leopard; Parker Allegra Dress ($396); Zara High Heel Ankle Boot Sandals ($80); The 2Bandits North Star Ring ($98) in Antique Silver & Black Onyx; Bing Bang Moon Chandelier Earrings ($138) in Silver; Kotur clutch (similar style available here).
You can always count on Zara for a solid stiletto. I love the unexpected mix of blue and navy on this strappy version.
A feather-embellished hem is an unexpected touch that makes all the difference.
When it comes to earrings for a night out, follow the mantra: go big or go home.
Ann Taylor Animal Jacquard Coat ($225)
BB Dakota Hazel Coat ($90)
Diane Von Furstenberg Mahala Coat ($299)
Forever 21 Wild Thing Leopard Trench Coat ($63)
French Connection Teddy Leopard Coat ($280)
Sea Leopard-Print Wool Coat ($363)
Nasty Gal Wild Thing Faux Fur Coat ($98)
Topshop Faux Fur Animal Print Coat ($178)