Often the reserve of our female counterparts, leopard print is leading the pack this season as part of the wider animal print trend.
Though it has been around for a while, animal print emphasises menswear’s ever-broadening horizons and continual move in a bolder and braver direction. Long gone are the days of monochrome monotony – a walk down the high street is now an experience awash with colour and pattern.
How To Wear: Leopard Print
Look One: Casual Statement
Our acclimatisation to print over the past few seasons may have reduced its statement-making impact somewhat, but leopard print offers a fresh take that can help effortlessly separate your look from the crowd.
Something as simple as a tee with an all-over print is all you need to really make your casual ensembles pop this season – and that is exactly what we build our outfit around in this first look.
Allow the print to stand out by combining with pieces that don’t distract too much. A pair of grey minimal chinos and dark burgundy desert boots anchors the tee, whilst the layering of an on trend biker jacket over the top is ideal for dealing with the transitioning weather:
Look Two: Casual Accent
If making a statement isn’t your style, or you simply want to build up to a bolder print by experimenting with subtler detailing, then utilising leopard in an accent role is the way to go.
A printed pocket on a plain tee or a pair of socks glinting out between your trousers and trainers will inject a sense of life and personality into any look, without drawing too much attention.
We opt for both within this outfit – with some timeless navy chinos sandwiched between the two. A denim jacket is a year-round staple well worth investing in, and here we layer it over the tee.
Complete this casual ensemble with some minimalist trainers and an of-the-moment backpack, for a look that is perfect whether you’re on campus or simply running off-duty errands:
Look Three: Statement Footwear
Leopard print Derbies were a feature at the Burberry Prorsum AW13 showcase and footwear is shaping up to be a key way to wear the print. Put a casual spin on the trend with some retro runners that feature a printed panel.
With the dressed down feel, light jeans are a great option and a wash that continues to be underused – allowing you to stand out amongst a sea of indigo. Take your first tentative steps into the world of pattern mixing with a sparsely printed motif shirt, before layering up with an off-duty staple, the sweatshirt.
By confining the leopard print to a smaller panel, it doesn’t grab the attention like a pair of full print Derbies or loafers would, yet the detailing still makes a statement in a more subtle, understated way:
Look Four: Unexpected Formality
Bring some unexpected formality to leopard print with a contrast sleeve blazer. Certainly not suitable for the office or a formal event, but at smart-casual affairs or when you want to dress up with an edge, a flash of leopard is an unexpected way to mix it up.
With a white shirt and black trousers setting the foundation, the look above is simple, effective and ready to support the boldness of the blazer and accessories. Although patent leather shoes work extremely well within this outfit – patent double monks are even better.
Accessorise the look to give it an edge. A collar chain and/or half-spiked belt are unusual accessories that bring character to the look and emphasise the pattern’s rock ‘n’ roll connotations:
It’s highly likely that leopard print is going to polarise opinion; the trend nowadays have been seen mostly on youths and can sometimes be seen as razz because of how the are worn but common, there are healthier ways to rock this trend and still come out looking daper
But now it is time for your view:
Will you be taking a walk on the wild side and trying out some leopard print?
Or is it simply not for you?
Do any of the looks above suit your style?
How would you wear leopard print?
Let us know in the comments section below…