Know How: Animal Prints

SPOT ON –  Wild animal prints are the final frontier of advanced styling. Leopard spots (along with jaguar and cheetah prints) are tricky to get right but when you do, you’ll feel great, you’ll look great, and everyone around you will likely be quite impressed.

Moschino and Versus Versace

The Rules


  • Something as simple as a T-shirt with an all-over print is all you need to really make your casual ensembles pop this season.
  • Allow the print to stand out by combining with neutral pieces that don’t distract too much from the main pattern.
  • A flash of leopard print under a suit can be a surprisingly cool way to mix up a smart casual outfit. Definitely don’t try this at the office, though.


  • Use leopard prints to inject some fun into your outfit; don’t try to look like an actual leopard. Leave that to costume parties.
  • While plenty of designers are mixing patterns and textures on their runways, in reality it’s very hard to pull off. So, better play it safe and let the leopard roam alone.
  • Again, it’s all about letting the leopard spots stand out. Avoid bright, vivid colors that would compete with the pattern’s own lively hues.

The Looks


Leopard spots in darker hues work particularly well for sporty looks.
Polo shirt and pants by Tommy Hilfiger, jacket by Kenzo, shoes by Aldo

IN THE JUNGLE (center)

Print-on-print can work with leopard spots. The trick is in finding the right pairing. A lively
shirt with animal prints to go under the jacket works perfectly.
Shirt by Mango Man, jacket by Kenzo, pants by Antony Morato, shoes by Pedro

OFFICE CAT (right)

You don’t want to wear something like this to a business meeting or an appointment with an important client.
But in your own office? Why not, we say?
Shirt and sweater by Brunello Cucinelli, jacket by Kenzo, pants by Ted Baker, shoes by Mario Minardi