How To Wear Leopard Print 

By  Emily Konatella

LAST UPDATED - December 11, 2023

Leopard print makes a great fashion statement. It's bold, unique, and fun. But, if you go too far in one direction, wearing leopard print can become muddy and tacky. So, how can you balance out your leopard print?

The 4 Basic Rules With Wearing Animal Print

Whether you just bought your first animal print piece or have a closet full of leopards, these are the four general tips to stick to. If you're ever unsure about an outfit, check back to this guide.

1. Less Is More

Like all animal prints, leopard print is loud and eye-catching. But that doesn't mean this print can't be sleek and stylish.

If you're just starting, try wearing a simple outfit with only one piece of print. The item can be in the form of a top, bottom, or accessory. To take a baby step to discover your personal style, check out animal print bags or leopard print flats first. If you are ready to be bolder, try a leopard print skirt or leopard print pants. The key here is not to go overboard with the animal prints.

2. Tone It Down With Solid Colors

Leopard print will often be the statement of your outfit. You want to draw attention to the piece and make it the focal point. To do this, tone the print down with solid colors.

For instance, you could wear a leopard print blouse, black leggings, and a complimentary boot to match. Naturally, everyone's eyes will be drawn to the blouse, and the muted tones will only accentuate this.

3. Stand Out With Clashing Colors

Pairing your print with bright and vibrant colors is a surefire way to stand out. If you don't want to tone it down with muted colors, you can go the opposite direction. Make sure you stick to only one color. If you go too wild, your outfit will become tacky and cluttered.

Some good colors to keep in mind are greens, pinks, and reds. The bright colors act in the opposite way to the muted tones yet achieve the same result.

Pairing leopard print with bright red is a great way to utilize this. Alternatively, wear leopard print with a bright white or emerald green if you're not as daring.

4. Pair Accessories For A Cohesive Look

When it comes to leopard print, the rule of thumb is less is more. Fortunately, this rule doesn't always apply to accessories.

Try matching your leopard print stilettos with a printed clutch. These two pieces will play off each other, creating an eye-catching and cohesive look.

Less can still be more here. Your goal here is to look stylish and sleek by adding pops of pattern where you can. Matching too many accessories will make your outfit look more like a uniform.

More Tips On How To Wear Leopard Print

Now that you understand the basics, what are some more tips you can incorporate?

Build Your Confidence


If you're starting out to discover your personal style on how to wear leopard print or not as daring, you may feel cautious or hesitant wearing a printed piece. Don't worry; this is entirely understandable.

Building up your confidence one piece at a time will help you to ease into the animal print trend. Start by wearing a leopard print belt or a similar accessory. Next, try putting together outfits before wearing them out and see how you feel. Finally, wear the outfits around the house and pay attention to whether you feel confident or not.

Go Back To Black

leopard print

If you're unsure of a final outfit or how to style a particular piece, revert to a solid black. Reverting to black is the easiest way to make a leopard-printed item classy and sleek.

A solid black goes with every print and color. Black is slimming, elegant, and works with all skin tones. Try pairing a leopard print coat with a black maxi dress. The black dress will make the coat stand out and give you a chic look.

Play With Textures

leopard print

One way to up your fashion game, in general, is to play with textures. But, of course, this applies to animal print as well.

Pairing a faux fur coat or leather with leopard print will give your look a slight edge. Or, try wearing a complimentary cashmere coat with your outfit. Alternatively, you can pair a flattering satin skirt with a printed top.


leopard print

Accessories can make or break an outfit. Therefore, the accessories you choose will play a vital role in your final look.

Keep your accessories minimal. Remember, less is more and you need simple accessories. You want your jewelry and accessories to accentuate the print, not take away.

For earrings, sticking to neutral and complementary tones is a good measure. For necklaces, you want to go in the opposite direction. Neutral tone necklaces can get lost in the outfit when it comes to leopard print. Instead, try a vibrant layered necklace to add a pop of color.

For bags and purses, you can go either way on the color wheel. The key here is to add to the outfit and not take away from the print. For example, paring a mid-sized orange bag with a leopard print dress will give you a stand-out look. On the other hand, you can try a chic black clutch to keep the outfit minimal.

How To Wear Leopard Print For All Occasions

Now you know some excellent rules of thumb for wearing leopard print. How can you apply these rules to different events and situations?


One thing you can avoid when wearing leopard print casually is not getting too elegant with your look. The pattern is a statement piece and gives your outfit a sense of power. To avoid coming off too strong, you want to dress it down.

Try combining one of your typical summer outfits with a pair of leopard print shoes. An oversized printed tee can give you a stylish look while being casual. Don't forget the bottoms either. Leopard printed shorts or mini skirts are a fun look you can dress down.

Another outfit for a casual day could be a leopard print dress with a denim jacket. The denim jacket can act as a barrier and tone down the leopard print.


You might be considering wearing leopard print to the office. Leopard print can bring fun and elegance, but don't overdo it. Overdoing it can look tacky and unsophisticated.

For the office, you want to focus on paring the print with neutral tones. Wearing something too tight might also be considered unprofessional. Instead, focus on your silhouette, and don't go too tight or baggy.

You can also try mixing in print by using accessories. For example, a printed pair of earrings or bracelets will add fun to your overall look. Just don't go overboard with statement pieces. Instead, keep it classy and fun.


Significant events and parties can be a great time to break out a printed piece. You'll have an air of elegance, confidence, and style to your whole look.

These events are where you can wear a fully printed item. For example, leopard-printed maxi dresses and jumpers are sure to make you stand out. Alternatively, an oversized printed coat can give you a sophisticated look.

At these types of events, focus primarily on your whole outfit. Pay attention to your accessories and silhouette. Make sure your outfit is complimenting your figure. Keep the accessories minimal and bring everyone's attention to the print.

Consider what type of emotion you're trying to evoke with your look. Considering the feeling is a good rule of thumb for all your outfits, especially for formal events.

Now It's Up To You

Now you know how to style and put together a leopard print outfit. There are endless options and possibilities. Always keep in mind the rules of thumb and type of occasion. But don't forget your style is a reflection of who you are. Play with different styles, patterns, and textures. Find out what works for you and own it!

About the author

Emily is a fashion consultant, designer and creative director with more than 15 years experience creating, designing and developing clothing & jewelry. From managing pageant shows to turning concepts into actual designs, she has experience with almost all fabric types and jewelry designs and is in touch with the latest fashion trends.


Creative Design

Get a Weekly Dose Of Tomorrow's Trends & Best Products!

We don't share your information with anyone!