I have long preached that leopard print is a neutral, and as such, can be worn and matched with anything. That is, with the exception of itself. Leopard on leopard always seemed like something no self-respecting person could/should pull off. Then I saw this photo last week of Gwen Stefani wearing leopard-on-leopard-on-leopard while out promoting the first No Doubt record to be released in over 10 years.
I'm starting to re-think my position. She's really working it here. That broad has insanely good style. I like to think that I don’t ever copy anyone, but Gwen is the reason I dyed my hair pink years ago and asked my dentist to put some fake braces on my teeth. He declined to do so.
I'm thinking that maybe head-to-toe leopard isn’t the world’s worst idea, and when done right, it can be quite thrilling. A lot of people pointed out on my post about wearing a white dress this summer that they were terrified of how dirty white gets. Well, leopard print hides a multitude of stains. You could barf on yourself and it would never show.
I spent valuable hours that I could have used for sleep (my Olympic sport) cruising the web for some examples of hot babes (as per usual, celebs & bloggers) rocking the head to toe leopard look successfully.
I love the way leopard print looks on all skin tones. I think what these ladies are doing right is wearing their multiple leopard pieces in very conservative, buttoned up styles. Leopard by itself is a pretty bold statement -- there is no need to add in overt sexiness. Also, they are keeping the scale of the prints either exactly identical or severely contrasting in size.
A jumpsuit may be the easiest way to wear full-body leopard print. Add a pair of matching leopard shoes like I did for extra craziness.
I'm not saying that I am pulling this look off successfully, I'm just saying it's interesting. Luckily I was going to watch a movie in a graveyard, so most of the attendees weren't alive and were therefore unable to judge my outfit.
Head-to-toe leopard print could also work if it's done in fun colors with a few classic brown leopard print pieces grounding the mix.
I love the inherent "Mob Wives" feeling in an all leopard outfit. It's blissfully, ironically tacky. Normally I am diametrically opposed to irony in fashion, but this combo would be so perfect to wear on a lunch date with Big Ang that I'll allow it:
I also kind of adore the idea of leopard on leopard when you mix in a very large dose of funky via crazy neon colors, studs & spikes and a kid's style backpack:
A good starter kit for the first time you try wearing this look would be to match a leopard dress to a leopard bag. A clutch is a smart idea because it's small and doesn't add much extra to the print party. Bare arms and legs also help to break up a giant expanse of leopard, so the end result is quirky, not gaudy.
Don't forget to wear matching long line underwear under your dress, in case the wind blows your skirt up. IT HAPPENS! This is one way leopard-on-leopard is your friend -- the pattern is so busy, it fools the eye. Nobody will ever realize what they are seeing, even if your dress is over your head.
I can totally hear everyone shaking their heads at this idea in disbelief, but I honestly am going to keep trying to work a bit of leopard on leopard into my everyday outfits. Maybe I wouldn't wear it on a job interview, but otherwise, why not? I'm only ever dressing to entertain myself, and fashion isn't supposed to be so deadly serious. It's supposed to be fun. Live a little! Make people think you're a nut. It keeps them on their toes.
What do you think? Tacky or terrific?