Updated: Jan 30
Tastefully pulling off animal print can be quiet tricky, but you might be surprised how effortless it can be with footwear and accessories. When it comes to styling, shoes are what generally ties a whole look together by complementing the other pieces. But when it comes to wearing animal print footwear, the shoes become the focal point, so its important to balance the rest of your ensemble to complement the statement you are making on your feet.
Understanding the correct proportions and balance when putting a look together, will ensure your outfit never feels overwhelming or excessive.
The most common question I get asked on the daily from my customers is how to wear LEOPARD PRINT SHOES and how to incorporate them into your existing wardrobe.
Believe it or not, leopard print shoes are actually a lot easier to style than people think and I guarantee, you will already own most of, if not all of these items in your wardrobe without having to invest into new fashion pieces.
For me, leopard print is like a wardrobe staple and I wear it like I wear my denim. You can dress it up or down and pair it with literally anything. It’s classic and neutral all at the same time, it looks great next to bolder colours, but can stand perfectly on its own, making a bold statement with a flirty but fierce undertone.
Leopard print shoes are any easy way to inject the classic print into your outfit without it feeling overwhelming and this has certainty become my signature panache most people associate with my personal style.
When it comes to styling, if your anything like me, you'll find your wardrobe already complements a foundation for introducing the distinctive pattern. As my personal style lends to minimal classic tailoring in a neutral colour palate, the little pops of leopard print and the occasional hint of colour keeps things interesting and adds visual interest to any outfit.
Whilst these basic rules can be applied to leopard print clothing in general, I feel they are most effective when it comes to wearing leopard print shoes. Below are some of my favourite ways to wear my Bella Leopardo's and some of the easiest styling tips I've learnt along the way.
No matter where you’re going, there is an all-black outfit to suit any occasion. Not only does it lend to effortless dressing for any occasion, but there is something so timeless and effortlessly chic about an all-black outfit that just never gets old.
I do confess, 90% of my wardrobe is in fact black (sorry mum) so this is the easiest styling solution for me. It’s my go to look on the days I don’t know what to wear, or when I don’t want to be overdressed or underdressed but still want to look like I’ve made an effort, and it's always my go to when I want to look a million bucks at a special event.
An all black outfit tricks the eye to key focal points you want to draw attention to. This might be a colourful handbag, a statement piece of jewellery, a bold red lip or your Bella Leopardo leopard print shoes. Whatever it may be, the seamless blend of an all black ensemble will highlight the little pops of interest your intentionally making with your accessories.
A trick I always follow when styling black on black is mixing the textures. If your vibe is black jeans, try styling them with a silk cami or metallic black top. Seemingly, consider styling luxe leather trousers with a cotton tee or chunky wool knit. Mixing your textures not only adds dimension to your outfit, but it will completely elevate the entire look, making it appear more considered and expensive then it possibly is.
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A Chic black ensemble styled with a fierce pop of leopard print is simply, a style match made in heaven.
Denim transcends everything we know about fashion and its seasons, and at the same time embraces every aspect of them too. No matter the season, weather or occasion, you can always find a suitable piece of denim clothing to wear. Just like leopard print, denim has worked its way into mainstream fashion as the 'new neutral' of choice, particularly when it comes to tonal dressing (aka denim on denim).
As mentioned above, I wear leopard print shoes like I wear my denim. You can dress them up or down and pair them with literally everything. Leopard print can be just as versatile and hard wearing as the denim in your wardrobe, equally complimenting your favourite denim pieces, while offering an understated statement at the same time.
But if tonal dressing isn't your thing, your leopard print shoes will style with any top in your wardrobe with your favourite denim jeans, shorts or skirts, toughen up your look by adding a denim jacket or shirt over a feminine spring dress or be bold and try a denim dress, playsuit or jumpsuit / boiler suit for a complete and effortless look. The styling possibilities are endless when it comes to a denim and leopard print combo, you simply can't go wrong.
Whether you like your denim in black, grey, white or blue colour, solid tone or acid wash, skinny or boyfriend cut, dressy or distressed, I guarantee you will never find a shade of denim that your leopard print shoes don’t love.
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I love styling my Royal leopard print pumps with a great pair of high waisted distressed straight leg blue jeans, a tucked in tee or bodysuit and finished with a blazer or leather jacket. The juxtaposition contrast between relaxed casual and bold luxe is the perfect balance for effortless chic dressing.
Im sure by now you've all heard the term that Leopard print being a ‘neutral’, and rightly so, given the print is predominately made up of browns, beiges, tans and blacks, it naturally complements a neutral tonal palate. Being categorised into the neutral box, the outfit styling possibilities are just about endless, regardless of the colour base foundation your starting with.
With that said, styling your leopard print heels with an all neutral outfit couldn't be easier and the result is always fresh and classic especially in the warmer months.
Crisp whites, beige creams and mid-toned earthy neutrals like camel, greys and browns are ideal for pairing with the neutral-hued colour of leopard print because the tonal palates are complementary and effortlessly blend to achieve a cohesive and pulled together overall look.
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I love styling a crisp pair of white tailored trousers or high waisted shorts (I love the Penelope wide leg pants or Oyster shorts from Kookai) with leopard print for an unexpected pop of interest or mixing neutral basics together like a nude bodysuit and white bottoms so the shoes are making the statement and do all the talking.
Gone are the days where mixing patterns and prints was considered a fashion fopa!
In today’s era of fashion, it seems anything really goes, but there is definitely a fine line between 'fashion forward' and outright tacky when it comes to mixing prints and this is a category you definitely don't want to fall into.
I do believe however, there is a right and wrong way to approach this style and when I'm feeling bold enough to tackle this trend, there are a few basic rules I like to follow to achieve a cohesive look without it feeing overdone or 'tacky'.
Taking a page out of Olivia Palmero’s style book (does anyone really do mixed print better than her), one trick I follow is to keep the prints of the same tonal palate. By doing so, the eyes attention is drawn to the overall colour scheme of the outfit rather than each individual pattern. This allows the mix of prints to harmoniously blend and complement one another as well as offering the addition of superficial texture and dimension to the overall look.
If I'm feeling really wild, I love the juxtaposition of mixing leopard and plaid (any colour plaid for the matter). I don't know why, but it just seems to work.
Another trick to consider if you are pairing the same prints, is to mix the size of the patterns or introducing a textural contrast to add dimension and define the separate pieces. This brings the focus back to the overall tonal palate rather than the mix match of prints.
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My go to shoe for styling prints, is always the Bella Leopardo patent leather Icon pumps. The glossy sheen of the patent leather upper is always a failsafe choice when mixing prints (especially leopard on leopard), thus giving dimension and a luxe polish to the overall outfit.
If a bold statement is what you are after, the additional pop of colour will not only enhance your leopard print shoes, but also inject your outfit with more personality and make it just that bit more fun.
I don't typically incorporate a lot of colour in my wardrobe. Perhaps a result of working so many years in a corporate office, I'm not sure, but I do love styling leopard print with the occasional pop of colour and I've learnt that some shades definitely work better than others.
Just as you would mix a pop of colour with a neutral or black base, leopard print can be styled using the same method. Treat your leopard print shoes as the neutral base to build your coloured outfit upon from there.
Leopard print perfectly compliments soft pastel colours and can equally stand against vibrant and bold colours like vivid red or hot pink. It also styles exceptionally well with deep autumnal like brown, burgundy, navy, forest and khaki green.
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For a cohesive look, try matching the colour tone of your outfit to the tone of your shoes. For example, if your leopard print shoes are deep rich browns, try warmer / darker autumnal colours like burgundy and olive green. If your leopard print is more on the lighter, mid-toned palate, try styling them with pastel colours.
I've always been someone with quiet an eclectic style and depending on my mood or where I'm going for the day, my outfit will often reflect the tone of the occasion. I equally love vintage and modern fashion and live for classic tailoring, but I also love stripping everything right back with a relaxed pair of distressed jeans and a basic tee for those off duty days.
No matter what kind of day it is, I struggle to find an outfit my Leopardo shoes don't suit.
There really are no rules or boundaries when it comes to fashion and it should be a constant discovery of your evolving style while finding new ways to be inspired by your clothes.
Keep it fun and don't be afraid to experiment with your style and outfit possibilities. Step out of your comfort zone and start walking on your own wild side of fashion, you might just like where it takes you.
Love Bella x
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