There has been a heated debate at Lille for the past 6 months or so over the viability of Leopard as a stylish, youthful print. I’ve been the stalwart holdout, situated firmly in the Anti-Animal-Print column for years, while the Lille girls have been trying to convince me that it is not remotely cheesy anymore. It’s a personal choice one has to make for oneself, and I’ve always thought of it as a bit too “cougar” for my taste, no pun intended. In much the same way that Holly Golightly felt that diamonds were “tacky for women under 40” I feel that leopard can’t help but be tacky on women over 30. That being said, I think it takes a certain personality and the right skin tone to pull it off, and some women do it very, very well. A few simple guidelines can make it less “Endora from Bewitched” and more “Eartha Kitt in her prime.” Avoiding the contrived pairing of tan leopard and fire-engine red, for example (unless you’re Rihanna.) Not decking yourself out in head-to-toe cheetah, as a rule. And never mixing black lace with animal print unless you’re going to a costume party dressed as Melanie Griffith. Opting for just a splash of it peeking out, especially in an unusual color like gray or blue, and you’ve got a trend that even the most print-wary can get behind. I have to admit, I’m anxiously anticipating the return of the best-selling Marguerite Riding Leopard group from Stella McCartney, arriving in Navy in just a few weeks, and the sheer jersey burnout leopard Cat’s Meow collection by Eberjey, has the potential to make even me a convert! I could definitely see myself sporting this sweet teddy on the weekend or wearing the soft bra under a low-cut tank. Tell me, loyal LIL readers: how do you tastefully integrate this recurring trend into your wardrobe?
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