Leopard can be an intimidating item to incorporate into your wardrobe. How do you pull it off without overdoing it? Is it in season, or out? Do you look tasteful or tacky?
Ah, one step at a time. In my experience, the only way to not overdo leopard is to simply wear one leopard item in your outfit. Too much leopard tends to be an eyesore, and that’s never good. For example, a simple belt or a pair of leopard shoes punches up an outfit to the next level without detracting away from the entire ensemble. The leopard belt here is understated and chic – anything bigger or wider and it would have taken away from the print on her dress instead of complementing the entire look.
Scarves and purses are also great ways to incorporate leopard into an outfit without going overboard, or if you’re like me, a little
apprehensive about going all out with a leopard dress, top, or pants. I love seeing larger pieces of leopard, but sometimes feel like I may be too short to pull off a big all-over print. So for me, having a handbag or a scarf lets me rock the trend until I get the guts to go buy myself leopard pants a la Hilary Duff!
I love the leopard scarf I bought for $5 off of a New York City street vendor, and its thin and light enough to be worn during the summer with an LBD, or tied onto my handbag as an accessory. This Rebecca Minkoff tote gets points for being cute and functional with its subtle leopard print, and I might be a little more than depressed that the matching iPad case is sold out…
As far as being in or out of season, as long as it is worn appropriately, leopard print is suitable year-round. In fall and winter, a leopard coat is a great accessory, but in spring and summer, little leopard dresses have been spotted on celebrities like Nicky Hilton and Vanessa Hudgens (and also on Kim Kardashian – as a jumpsuit!).
But by far the easiest, most accessible way to do leopard, no matter the season, is probably on your feet. You can find heels, wedges, loafers, flats and even sandals all in leopard print. The prices are anywhere from high to low, they come in every size, and remarkably can go with almost any outfit (I particularly like seeing leopard shoes with neutral basics such as brown, tan, white or black, or with bright solids like hot pink, red or teal). CitySlips is not behind on the trend either! The leopard CitySlips (both original and Luxe available exclusively through Neiman Marcus) are a fun and affordable way to see if the leopard trend is for you – or if you’re already a devoted leopard fan, these CitySlips are the perfect back up for your leopard heels after a night out!
Hopefully the answer is clear now as far as tasteful or tacky – in excess, tacky! In moderation, tasteful.