Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography
So 2018 was the year for leopard print. Everywhere you looked there was a subtle, or in some cases, very obvious glimpse of this iconic print, whether it be an oversized coat, trousers or even accessories. It was the trend of the year and there was just no escaping it. I did catch on to this trend, however I must admit, I have always had a love for this print. There were so many beautiful pieces on the high street, making this trend accessible to everyone, with a huge variety shown across the different retailers. H&M did a really good job of varying the print across different pieces in different styles, as well as Zara and Mango. These three brands for me have always been my go to when looking for the most on trend items, and leopard certainly was not an exception to this.
Leopard has always been portrayed in a questionable way, which I learnt quickly when I showed my grandmother this leopard H&M dress that I loved! Safe to say, she didn’t get it!
So, from a fashion point of view, I love the print, nevertheless I do think it needs to be worn in a certain way. As with any print, bright colour, or on trend style, there are rules as to how you should wear it to optimise the spirit of the product and trend. Again, as with everything, this will differ depending on your body type, skin tone and personality, so this is from my own point of view and how I choose to wear it. Leopard works well on me I find, as it always stands out against my lighter complexion, and adds much more variety to my usual plain wardrobe choices. I also love that it is a print that can be taken from day to night and work to weekend.
So my rules of leopard.
The main thing I always go by with leopard, no matter what piece of your outfit it is in, the look needs a bold statement colour to complete it. This can be from an accessory, bag, shoes or additional piece of clothing. I think leopard works perfectly when paired with a statement colour, as it really always brings the whole look together and adds the perfect contrast. In theory, compared to a lot of other patterns, leopard is relatively subtle. Therefore, this addition is in my eyes always necessary. The dress featured here has been one of my go to looks, especially paired with my red bag or some red ruffle boots.
Size of the print
Believe it or not, with the increase in leopard last year, it became suddenly apparent that there is by no means just one form of this iconic print. I became aware very quickly that there was a huge variety, based on size of the print and the depth of the colours. I did find though, that the more you paid for an item, the more realistic the print looked. Don’t get me wrong, this may not be the same for all items, however it was the general rule that I found. Therefore, I also found that the size and style of the print then determined the overall look. As with anything in fashion, the lighter shades of the print go better with certain statement colours and then vice versa.
So, when I think of accessories with leopard my mind automatically jumps to gold. For some reason, that is just the association that I have in my head. However, the more I have explored looks with leopard, the more varied my accessories have been. Personally I like the accessories I wear to be pretty minimal with leopard, as anything too heavy often over casts the print and in my mind gives the wrong impression to an outfit. I like a simple necklace, soft earrings and a dainty bracelet. However, what I have found is that a bold, statement belt does always work well with this print. Also, I find that silver and gold work perfectly, as long as there is only one coloured accessory throughout the look.
One of my favourite looks on Instagram this season has been oversized coats, particularly fluffy ones! With leopard I think a big chunky coat is always a winner. The texture adds depth to the print, accentuating the nature like vibe of the look. Personally, I think if you are going to adopt the oversized textured coat look it needs to be a lighter shade to blend in with the print and not over power it. Mango have done an amazing job this year with their selection of oversized fluffy coats, as well as H&M.
Bold but discreet
Essentially, the look I try to go for with leopard is bold but discreet. I love creating looks that are iconic and memorable, however I never want to stand out too much and draw attention to myself for the wrong reasons. If you balance the accessories well, as well as choice of footwear and outwear, this is very easily done. Follow all rules above and you will be fine!
Shop this post:
Dress – H&M
Belt – Gucci
Boots – Zara
Jacket – Miss Selfridge
Bag – Michael Kors
I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.