THE BLOG
01/23/2011 08:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Thing About Leopard Print...

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Recently I wrote about my adoration for (obsession with) leopard print. I put panels of leopard print silk on my walls and printed it on my business cards... I'm truly falling hard. But to really delve into my innermost feelings about it, I find it necessary to tell you a bit about my past.

My relationship with the pattern began when I was about 3 or 4 years old and lasted until I was about 11. I had a brief leopard print (which shall henceforth be referred to as LP) hiatus in middle school... then the flame re-ignited somewhere around junior or senior year of high school. During those first 7 or 8 years, my LP wardrobe took on various forms. Sometimes it was in the form of an actual leopard costume (a spandex ensemble replete with a tail and a hood with ears), sometimes it was a shirt, and sometimes it was leggings... or shorts... which were actually just the cut up leggings once they got holes in the knees. In my high school years the LP took the form of mini skirts and bell bottoms (yeah you read that right).
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This leads me to now. I have the panels on the wall, I have the business cards, but my feelings have changed about LP in the wardrobe. I recently visited my family at home in Oregon and partook in some major vintage shopping. I'm sure you can imagine the leopard print treasures I found -- fur coats, blazers, flowy skirts, blouses -- picture it in your head and it was there. At first it was exciting because recently I've been thinking about (obsessing over) this print more than usual. But as I picked each item up, held it in front of me and analyzed, I couldn't picture myself wearing it for the life of me! It looked trashy and awkward and cheap and... animal like. Like, not human... like, I was actually a leopard. My distaste for the LP shocked me at first and kind of made me upset. I'm sorry if it's making you upset too. You'll get over it. Because I have. Once I stopped trying to make sense of it, I started feeling more okay about it. I love leopard print as a design concept... as a theme... as a mood and an inspiration. As a blazer? As a leotard? Pass.
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Ohbutwait. I'm still very okay with leopard print on shoes:
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I can't explain that either. Shoe leopard print remains fierce regardless of time or trend. Kinda like black leather. It's sexy, it's tough, it's animal. Rawr.

How does everybody else feel about leopard print? Have you found a way to make it work in your wardrobe? Do tell.