As a general rule, one doesn’t wear leopard print to blend in. But this fall’s take on the classic trend has a striking yet sophisticated nuance that makes it totally wearable all around. Erin Nadler, Toronto stylist and founder of Better Styled, agrees. “It can be bold or subtle,” she explains. “You can wear it layered underneath suiting or as an accessory—it’s an easy way of adding a statement without making a huge commitment.” Here she lists five ways to mix in our favourite print at every level of comfort.
1. Try a tone-on-tone look. The animal print in muted tones—think grey, black and neutral—is a sharp way to introduce this trend into your office look. ‘Build your outfit around a single item,” explains Nadler. Pair a black cardi with a leopard print embellishment with a black pencil skirt and heels for a subtle take on this runway trend.
2. Pair with solid-colour pieces. The thing about leopard print is that by nature, it stands out on its own. Try a leopard pencil skirt—yes, you can!—with a white blouse or black turtleneck. “The mix of classics with a print makes this trend wearable,” she says. Or toss on a chunky print scarf in a camel tone over jeans and a T-shirt and add a black blazer over top.
3. As your investment shoe. Seriously—consider adding a leopard pump or ballet flat to your shoe wardrobe. It’s something that you can pull out and wear over again, says Nadler. And will always pair beautifully with jeans or slacks, depending on the look you’re going for.
4. Go bold, colour-wise. Pick one piece in a bright solid colour and pair with your print. “It’s saying, ‘I’m going to look OTT and I’m OK with it!’” Try an oversized leopard print sweater with a solid pencil skirt in a fuchsia hue.
5. Think print all over. An exaggerated print in head to toe was a recurring theme on the Fall 2014 runways (thanks, Gucci!). If you’re going for bold with a leopard print coat, add black tights and ankle boots to complete the look. “There’s no hiding,” says Nadler. Not that you would want to anyway.
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