What I Wore When I Loved Leopard

Has spring sprung at your house? It’s limping along here. Some days it snows, some days it’s sunny and warm-ish, but mostly it’s rainy and meh. So I guess it’s doing the usual here. This means I go between cashmere and tees, boots and sandals, parkas and rain jackets. But no matter what the weather is doing, I’m craving leopard.

I’ve included leopard in my own capsule wardrobes since last fall (a true mark of a staple if it makes the capsule cut) once I found some items that worked for me. Leopard print has been considered classic wardrobe staple ever since Jackie Kennedy wore it. Jenna Lyons sealed the deal with her declaration:

“These I like, because as far as I’m concerned leopard is a neutral”

— Jenna Lyons former director at J. Crew

And who would disagree is Jenna Lyons? Even though it’s a classic wardrobe print, it’s having an extra big moment this spring, which makes it a great time to snatch it up. Leopard is huge, and you’re bound to find something perfect for your closet.

Reintroducing leopard into my wardrobe started last fall when I found my perfect leopard flats. I picked up a pair of leopard socks (I have a huge collection of wild socks. I love them). Then I found another pair of flats. I got a belt. I FOUND A SKIRT! There is a purse I’ve been eyeballing, but haven’t pulled the trigger on. And then I got THE SWEATER. Which I love with all the heart eyes. And I still want more, more, more leopard.

I’ve considered leopard boots, but I haven’t found the right ones. I’d love a leopard coat. I’ve seen the one I want, but it’s several years old, and I haven’t been able to locate it on Poshmark or eBay. I need some warm weather leopard items. I don’t want to go months and months without it in my wardrobe. Perhaps some sandals are in order!

Maybe it’s my Edgy Classic side that craves it, but I’ve always loved leopard. I gave it up for a while, but I’ve been figuring out how to reintroduce it to my wardrobe in the right way, and these pieces all qualify. I love it mixed with stripes or plaid. I love it with bold colors, I love it to liven up a neutral outfit.

My 8-year-old daughter’s favorite print is leopard (or sparkles, but preferably sparkly leopard), and she can’t get enough either. One day her brother said something about my leopard belt and she piped up, “That’s not leopard. It’s cheetah.” I asked her how she knew that, and she said, “By looking at it.” #thatsmygirl

If you are tempted by leopard, but a little overwhelmed by it, try a small dose. A shoe, a belt, a bag. Accessories are my favorite way to incorporate a statements and trends.

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The outfits

These are the flats that started it all. You can read more about them here, but I wore them over and over last fall, like in this outfit. I missed them all winter (it’s too cold for anything but boots around here), and can’t wait for it to warm up enough to wear them more this spring. These and these are very similar!

I also love these flats. They are black, slightly off white, and the center of the leopard spots are hot pink. Of course I love the studs too! The studs are that really light gold color that is sort of “is it or isn’t it?” I will probably eventually end up painting them, but for now since they aren’t overtly gold, I’ve left them. I’ll get a lot of wear out of them this spring. This is a subtle dose of leopard that I wore for Valentine’s Day. These shoes are by BCBGeneration, and only available secondhand somehwere like Poshmark or eBay.

Here’s how I came across this skirt. I was out to lunch with my girls when I saw a woman wearing it. I asked her wear she got it, what brand it was, and then I went home and bought one for myself. Yes, I will ask complete strangers where they bought their clothes. I’m so excited to wear this year round! I’ve got big plans for it this spring and summer! What makes this tan color work for me is it has a rosy undertone, instead of a yellow undertone. Also, I’m not wearing it by my face. I haven’t put it next to my face to see what would happen if I did, but as a skirt, it doesn’t matter!

I had to stalk this skirt a bit. It sells out and comes back. I just refreshed once a day for a couple of days, and there it was! I’m wearing an XS, for sizing reference.

This belt is really a cheetah print, but it accomplishes the same thing. The tan is the same as my skin color, the hardware on the belt is silver, and the spots are black. I love this belt as a whisper of danger in a very classic outfit. I have been seriously tempted to take a sharpie and make the pattern bigger and leopard. Does that make me crazy? Or determined? This belt is from Express, but not currently available.

THIS. SWEATER. It’s one of those special items that only comes around occasionally, and I happily paid full retail for it. It’s a super dark, inky navy (my favorite), and the large scale leopard pattern is in a tan color that matches my skin color. The super soft cashmere is so comfortable, and it’s a nice quality weave. Sometimes cashmere pills as soon as you look at it because it’s poor quality, but this one is going strong! No pills. It also comes with a heart pattern on it for all you Cute Classics out there.

So once you start feeding a beast, it wants MORE. I wanted MORE leopard (and that would make me the hungry beast, wouldn’t it?). My friend found this beauty for me on Poshmark, and I snatched it up! I love the large scale leopard pattern mixed with the stripes. I’ve worn it several times since I got it. L-O-V-E. It’s from Banana Republic if you want to hunt it down.

So once you start feeding a beast, it wants MORE. I wanted MORE leopard (and that would make me the hungry beast, wouldn’t it?). My friend found this beauty for me on Poshmark, and I snatched it up! I love the large scale leopard pattern mixed with the stripes. I’ve worn it several times since I got it. L-O-V-E. It’s from Banana Republic if you want to hunt it down.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME CLASSIC STYLE INSPIRATION?

If you’ve been nodding along with this article, you’re a woman with classic style. Check out these posts  to find more style inspiration. Or take our Classic Style Twist quiz here, and then read about the different Twists here to learn how to bring your own personality type through while still embracing classic style.

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