Leopard print can be a tricky pattern to pull off. Many people think it looks tacky or loud. However, with the right styling, leopard print can look elegant and sophisticated. Here are some tips for making leopard print look classy.
Choose high-quality pieces
The quality of the garment makes a big difference in how leopard print comes across. Cheap fabrics like polyester with a shiny finish can look costume-y. Opt for leopard print pieces made from luxurious fabrics like silk or high-end cotton blends. The richer handfeel and drape of fine fabrics will lend a touch of refinement.
Focus on classic silhouettes
Simple, classic silhouettes ground leopard print and keep it looking polished. Try a leopard print midi skirt in an A-line or pencil silhouette, a silk blouse with a French tuck, an elegant wrap dress, or a trench coat style jacket. Structured garments like sheath dresses and tailored blazers are also great choices.
Use leopard as an accent
Resist the urge to wear leopard print from head to toe. Instead, use it strategically as an accent. Pair leopard print shoes, handbag, scarf or belt with solids or tweed for balance. Leopard print is eye-catching, so you don’t need much to make an impact.
Scale down the print
Smaller leopard print patterns tend to look more refined. Oversized leopard prints can border on garish. Aim for smaller spots and narrower print layouts. Macros and nanos are tasteful leopard prints to try.
Mute the colors
Bright, saturated leopard prints look bold, which can undermine the sophisticated effect. Muted color palettes help tone it down. Earth tones, burgundies, navies, and blacks give off an elegant vibe.
Mix in metallics
For some added glamour, mix leopard print with metallics like gold, silver and bronze. Try a leopard print skirt with a metallic sweater or top. Or opt for shoes or a handbag that combines leopard and metallic fabrics. The sheen of metallic pieces plays up the luxe look.
Choose knee-length hemlines
Short, tight leopard print skirts and dresses tend to look more trashy than classy. A knee-length pencil skirt in leopard looks refined. Midi and maxi skirts are also safe options that keep the look sophisticated.
Layer tailored pieces
Create dimension with layers of leopard and solid pieces. For example, start with a crisp white button down shirt. Add a fine knit leopard print sweater in a matching color family. Finish with a fitted blazer. The layered look is polished and purposeful.
Add opaque tights
If wearing a leopard print skirt or dress, opaque tights help elevate the look. Black, navy or burgundy tights work well. The tights balance the statement of the print while also making the outfit more work-appropriate.
Mind the occasion
Leopard print may not be fit for the most formal or professional occasions. Save it for date nights, social events and weekend wear. Leopard print is likely too bold for conservative workplaces or black tie dress codes. Know when to abstain.
Go minimal with everything else
Leopard print stands out. Keep other elements of your look minimal. Avoid loud jewelry, patterns and colors. Simple silhouettes, muted solids and minimal accessories allow the print to take center stage.
Look for real leopard prints
Authentic leopard print with variation from hide to hide can look more luxe. The imperfections add character and dimension. Faux uniform leopard prints often appear flat. Seek out specialty brands using real leopard fur or hides for a touch of exclusivity.
Add some edge
While overt sexiness can cheapen leopard print, adding a subtle edge can modernize it. Try pairing a ladylike leopard print midi skirt with an oversized moto jacket. Or mix delicate leopard print with pointy toe stilettos. The contrast creates allure.
Invest in timeless styles
Trendy leopard print pieces come and go. For a classy look season after season, invest in timeless silhouettes like a leopard print trench coat or softly draped midi skirt. Well-made classics in leopard print become wardrobe staples.
Keep accessories sleek
Skip chunky belts, wide headbands and statement jewelry. Keep accessories sleek to complement leopard print pieces. Opt for narrow belts, dainty layered necklaces, stud earrings and simple hairstyles. Less flashy accompaniments ensure a refined look.
Wear it with confidence
Owning leopard print with confidence is key. If you feel uneasy wearing it, that will come across. Have fun mixing and matching leopard pieces with your wardrobe. The right attitude makes leopard print look cool rather than costume-y.
Leopard print projects a strong, daring image that can come across as trashy if not styled properly. But with luxe fabrics, toned-down colors, classic silhouettes and minimal accessories, you can easily make leopard print look ladylike. Use it as a playful neutral in your elegant wardrobe.
What once seemed flashy is now refined. Approach leopard print with confidence and class. Keep pieces tailored, layer thoughtfully and add your own flair. Leopard print has evolved into a sophisticated staple when styled with polish and panache.
Embrace your wild side in this iconic print. Leopard doesn’t have to just be for vixens and divas. With these tips, anyone can incorporate a touch of ferocity into their look with elegance and flair. Leopard print can be stylish, versatile and even a little bit brave.
So go ahead, unleash your inner leopard! A touch of sassy spots adds spirit to any outfit. Leopard print is no longer just a trend but a new classic. With the right balance of restraint and attitude, you can look timelessly chic in this ultimate symbol of fearless fashion.