By: Sarah Felbin –
Leopard print, the undisputed neutral of patterns, is making a major comeback this fall. In oversized silhouettes, it packs a huge punch; in smaller doses, it adds a touch of flair to that faithful fall staple you’ve worn twice this week already. Sure, you could buy a leopard print t-shirt and call it a day, or, you could invest in a statement piece that will have everyone talking.
Leopard print stands out when paired with unexpected cuts and proportions. So, while a patterned boot or sweater will get you far, a structured blazer or a small bag will turn more heads. Our item of choice, leopard print shorts, will set you apart in a sea of black and denim fall basics. Autumn weather may not lend itself to shorts, but we’ve got you covered with layered pieces that will keep you warm and cozy (at least until winter hits).
One: Distressed Denim Jacket and a Matching Backpack
This look is perfect for foggy, rainy fall days. With an oversized, distressed denim jacket and a sturdy, matching backpack, you’ll look just as stylish at breakfast as you will leaving the library after a late night study session. We love this jacket from H&M and this backpack from Herschel Supply Co. Throw your favorite sweater on underneath and finish with neutral sneakers, like these from Adidas, to brave those puddles with flair!
Two: Varsity Stripes and Statement Sneakers
Leopard print goes cool and casual with a few athletic upgrades. A varsity striped sweatshirt ensures maximum comfort, while statement sneakers keep you from looking lazy. Even if you only ever run to lunch instead of on a treadmill, these pieces will give you that always-exercising vibe. Fashion that does the hard work for you – now that’s impressive. Grab a similar top from Forever 21 and find some stunning embroidered and embellished slip-on sneakers at DSW.
Three: A Casual Sweater and Over-the-Knee Boots
With a cozy top and some chic shoes, this outfit is a classic day to night look fit for any fall day. Start with this raw hem sweatshirt from Aerie, which will help block those brisk fall breezes. Add your leopard print shorts, then finish with some seriously chic black faux-suede over-the-knee boots from ASOS. Even if you’re running straight from a meeting to a job interview to a dinner with your boyfriend’s parents, you’ll still look fabulous, so go ahead – you’ve got this!
Four: A Graphic Tee, Tall Socks, and Big Hair
Leopard print makes it easy to upgrade many of the basics you already own. Here, patterned shorts make a graphic tee and sneakers look like a full-on fashion statement. Add your trusty Converse to make the look more casual, or experiment with boots for an edgier look. We love this graphic tee from Romwe with these socks from Urban Outfitters. Big hair gives this look extra personality, so add this two-toned barrette, also from Urban Outfitters, to your usual high bun or ponytail for a pop of color.
Five: Basic Black
For those days when putting an outfit together seems like more work than writing that essay does, pair your leopard print with a simple, black top and an undone updo. This light and breezy top from H&M is easy to throw on and comfortable enough to wear on your longest days. Add your shorts and your favorite shoes – we suggest sneakers or even a preppy ballet flat – and you’re good to go! Pull your hair back with these cute hair ties from Emi Jay to look like you tried, like, ten times harder than you actually did.