The leopard print is one fashion trend that never seems to die, finding itself reinterpreted season after season. Every time it shows up on the runway, whether it’s fall or spring, it always seems new and young. For some tastes, this exotic pattern may be a bit too flashy and loud. But amidst the dark and bland colors that we usually turn to during fall’s chillier days, there is no better element than leopard to bring some life to an outfit. Don’t think that incorporating leopard into your wardrobe will make you look like ‘that girl’ dancing in the club. When worn in small bursts, this wild print is more chic than vulgar. Dries van Noten and Rebecca Taylor provide us with the inspiration to wear leopard in a more luxurious and youthful way that is both decent and fashion-forward.

Rebecca Taylor infused leopard prints in her downtown city girl interpretation for fall. She made a basic white tunic and black skinny pants look new again with a faux printed coat. To follow suit, take one element of an outfit, be it your shirt, your jacket, or even your socks, and replace it with a leopard print version for a fresh take on fashion’s most recycled pattern. There are no rules when it comes to surrounding small bursts of leopard print with vintage-inspired shapes and uncommon designs. The result is a kitschy look that is modern, tasteful, and extremely wearable.

For newcomers to the world of faux animal prints, try your hand at this trend first by accessorizing. Start with a cuff bracelet, a pair of gloves, or a headband covered in the striking print. When worn against a dark colored outfit, it really becomes attention-grabbing. Once you become used to wearing this outrageous print in small amounts, you will soon come to realize how much more you’ll want to adorn yourself with it.

For those of you who are already print-wearing veterans and show no fear of even the most wallpaper-esque of patterns, try pairing leopard with other types of prints and textures. Don’t pair leopard with black leather or distressed denim, as this has been way too overdone ever since the invention of punk rock. Take a more unexpected and eclectic route by pairing it with girlish flowers, classic Breton stripes, artfully disarrayed shapes, muted khaki colors, or whatever captures your attention.

Dries van Noten set a notable example of print mixing at his Fall 2010 show. A leopard print scarf was paired with a black and white jacket in a jumbled geometric print that was worn over a watercolor splashed blouse. A leopard vest was brought down to earth with a utilitarian A-line cargo skirt. Mixing and matching leopard with other patterns is international in flavor and far from the storybook character of Jungle Jane.

Try your hand at a look with these simple yet outstanding leopard printed accessories.


These classic sunglasses are begging for attention. Betsey Johnson Animal Print Wayfarer – $55.00

There is no better way to wear leopard than with this sparkly Sequin Leopard Wedges by Forever 21 – $25.80

Try a little bit of animal print on your wrists with this Classic Leopard Wrap Bracelet by METALSKIN – $92.00

This purse is easy to carry, and its compact size doesn’t make the print too overwhelming. Leopard Bow Mini Messenger Bag by Felix Rey – $175.00

This headband is perfect for those of you who are just trying out the print. It’s small, but totally rock and roll. Leopard Chain Headband by Forever 21 – $4.80