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Leopard Print Trend: The Background

Posted by Tabby Howes fashion blogger

7th Apr 2016

When exactly did adorning yourself with the skin of a deceased animal become such a desirable trend?

In our primitive era our ancestors first used animal skins as a means of keeping warm (think Leonardo DiCaprio in the Revenant) Fast forward a few years, and the wearing of animal fur became associated with aristocracy. Kings would adorn their homes with the most ostentatious tiger rug one could buy in order to prove to their friends they were both exotic and wealthy. It wasn't really until the 1920s that animal print became a real wearable trend.Marian Nixon was one of the first to parade around in a beautiful leopard print coat (she also paraded around an actual leopard, how cool).

However, it wasn't until leopard was featured in a 1947 Christian Dior show that it became more universal trend. They were the first fashion house to use leopard as a print and not an actual fur, setting the foundations for leopard to become a timeless fashion staple that would be used to exhibit style and elegance for years to come. Fortunately, for me and for you, many designers  have continued with Dior's faux fur stance, and there are thousands of faux products available on the high street. Which is great for all the animals.

I absolutely adore leopard print. When I walk into a shop I use my expert animal print vision to scout out all the things I am probably going to buy.  I do however know that some people are absolutely terrified of leopard. Whether this is due to  fearing being viewed as promiscuous, or perhaps you are just scared of being nicknamed Kat Slater. Here are five classic leopard print items, all bought second hand, that everyone should have in their wardrobe.

Here are some of my favourites:

Shoes, glorious shoes. Technically these are not leopard, they are cheetah, but I can't help but love them anyway. Loafers are a real classic shoe that go with literally anything. And they make me feel like Jane Birkin who has been rocking loafers since the 60s.

Nothing says timeless piece like a bag with a chain strap. A leopard print bag is the perfect statement item to finish off an all black outfit.

As seen on the likes of Alexa Chung, the faux pony fur leopard print mini skirt is a stylish wardrobe staple. Dress down in the day with a polo neck, and glam it up with a crisp white shirt or in the summer a black cami top.

Finally a leopard print shirt. Tuck into a pair of high waisted jeans, or wear underneath a jumper for a subtler look.


Here are some of my favourite leopard print items from the Oxfam Online Shop:

Summer is coming, and these shorts would look great with a navy vest top and a pair of wedges for sipping sangria on the beach.

I adore this dress! In fact, I'm not sure why I've put it on here because I definitely want it in my wardrobe.  It is vintage and leopard print, what more could a girl want? This would look amazing paired with a denim jacket for a casual spring look.

I'm really into silky scarves like this one at the moment. Tie it round your neck paired with your favourite shirt to utilise it in a more traditional way. Or if you fancy doing something a bit different use it as a belt for your favourite jeans.

Go to the Oxfam Online Shop

Blog post written by Tabby Howes

fashion blogger

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