Leopard print is set to be a big trend this Autumn/Winter. The AW16 catwalks were awash with various wild animal prints from snakeskin to zebra. The high street has predictably picked up on leopard print as it is the most widely appealing of all the safari prints.
So what do you think of leopard print? Does it appeal or do you find it tacky and tasteless?
Do you associate the feline print with the 1980s Dynasty divas and Peter Stringfellow/Sam Fox types who wore it to demonstrate their erotic prowess? Or perhaps it recalls Kenny Everett’s hilarious, inflatable leopard print leggings in his unforgettable send up of Rod Stewart?
Leopard print has never really been out of fashion. Popular since the 1930s, and according to Vogue has been favoured by a series of strong women ever since. It can be worn dressed up or down, and suits any age… just avoid looking too obviously sexy. No low-cut cleavage or thigh-high splits please!
Several years back, I bypassed a leopard print, Crombie-style coat on the sale rack at Next, which had been reduced to a ridiculous price… thinking it would make too much of a statement and I couldn’t carry it off. I regretted not buying it and still think about that coat (do you ever do that???)
Now leopard print is so much more mainstream, it is even being touted as the new ‘neutral’. This means you can supposedly wear it with anything as you would black or denim. I’m not so sure about this… leopard print and stripes have too much going on for me so I’ll leave this to the fashion crowd to experiment with!
Certainly, if worn badly you could end up resembling Bet Lynch, the iconic leopard print-wearing barmaid from Coronation St. In my opinion, the key is to wear one quality piece in a luxe fabric or an interesting cut to keep the look classic and contemporary.
So will you embrace your inner animal and adopt the leopard print trend?
If you are truly adverse to leopard print clothing, then my advice would be to opt for footwear. Either loafers or ankle boots are bang on trend, and in leopard print they will add a stylish edge to your outfit. I have a pair of leopard print slipper-style loafers in my wardrobe from a couple of year ago, which I shall be digging out. And on my wish list is a pair of low-heeled, leopard print ankle boots like the ones from Boden, below. BTW, my 70 year-old mother-in-law owns a pair of leopard print boots and she looks fab in them, so you are never too old!!!