Let’s face it: almost nothing works as well as black and leopard print. If you haven’t acquired some combination of these patterns and colors, you are wasting time! Get out there and find your perfect black and leopard print combo.
I found these silk pants deeply on sale several years ago – perfect drapey pants in my closet long before drapey pants were in style. But I knew they would be great for an evening look and then, eventually, they came into style for daytime wear. And, trust me, I’ll hold onto them until they are only suitable for evening wear again. This is an important lesson – if you love an item and it looks wonderful on you, you can always adapt it to current fashion!
Shop my picks:
See another way I’ve worn these leopard pants (an oldie but goodie!):
Sometimes the clean line of a one-color ensemble as you see here is just the ticket. However I couldn’t just leave it there; I was compelled to add this lace-y belt from ASOS.
I haven’t told you about my belt collection – organized by width and color. One can only acquire a belt collection over many years I think. And if I were collecting today – well, I wouldn’t be collecting today because interesting leather belts have gotten way too expensive. The belt I’m wearing today is faux of course, but Ithink it makes the outfit sing.
I am a firm believer in having animal print available for every season of the year. This skirt, in fact, is really better suited for warmer weather but I couldn’t resist putting this combo together. I am also very pleased with my recently acquired faux leather jacket from Asos – a very inexpensive sartorial thrill. And one can never have enough versatile black turtlenecks!
Jeanne says: We never seem to run out of leopard print apparel, do we? I’ve had these flowy silk pants for almost four years and they are STILL in style. I think leopard or animal print is now a style classic, like herringbone or polka dots prints. Kate’s top looks fabulous with her yellow sweater – a combo I need to try in the future!
Kate says: This leopard top from Loft has been one of my favorite items in my closet for a while now. It’s so easy to throw on with jeans and a cardigan (like I’m wearing here), but also looks adorable with a skirt or alongside another pattern. Mom’s also shown us these pants worn several ways, but she looks particularly chic here pairing them with black and gold.
Jeanne says: First of all, these are the very same pants Olivia Palermo wore in a recent Paris Fashion Week photo — be still, my heart! Seriously, these are great black and white print pants — one take on the black and white theme. These pants go with everything and always look crisp and chic. I’m wearing them with my lace/crochet top which has also proven to be incredibly serviceable this summer — covered up enough for business but cool in warm weather. This top can also work in winter under a jacket or sweater.
Kate is doing her “dress as skirt” thing again. This is a fashion change-up that is so versatile, but I always forget to think about it as an ensemble option. Thanks, Kate, for reminding me. Kate’s rendition of black and white is timeless — button-up shirt with tiny black polka dots and a great eyelet strapless dress underneath. If she takes off the shirt, she is ready to go out for a drink or dinner, right?
Kate says: I felt very “sexy librarian” in this outfit, but I just couldn’t resist the combination of the eyelet dress and polka dot shirt — in person this came through much more! I keep wishing this dress were an eyelet skirt, so I just continue to wear it as one, layering shirts over the strapless top. Teal heels and red earrings added the pop of color we all know I crave.
Mom is using the same formula of prints and texture as I am, but flip flopped — that great animal print on bottom, textured lace on top. I love this lace top, which she has layered over a t-shirt here, but could also be thrown on over a dress or collared shirt. Her favorite Dolce Vita sandals add a great pop of color, as well as her necklace!
Jeanne says: I believe these pants are supposed to look like black and white animal print, but to me they just look like black and white speckles. In any case, I love them with this bright cotton sweater. I wish you could see my chandelier earrings better — they were a sale item from J.Crew and they incorporate tortoise shell, blue stones and white stones. I just love them and they’re a wonderful switch-up from statement necklaces.
Yes, Kate’s pants are speckled too, but then she combines them with animal print open-toed shoes; I love the combination! The outfit with the cardigan sweater over the camisole is especially pretty. That peachy camisole is a very hard color to wear alone. She also has on some cute earrings which she has chosen over a statement necklace just like I did.
Kate says: I DO love this berry and peach color combination — so fruity! These Loft pants have really been a wardrobe workhorse for me. I treat them now like a neutral to wear with almost any bright color. The dash pattern is interesting but not distracting, which makes them very versatile.
Mom is showing a great cooler-temperature spring outfit here — her cotton sweater is warm but not heavy, and her cage heels keep the outfit from looking too wintery. Perfect for the Bay Area! She’s gotten a lot of wear out of her Carpe Diem sweater and black and white leopard print pants — goes to show that even “statement” pieces can be very versatile!
Jeanne says: I don’t wear brown much so that seems to leave my leopard top in the closet a lot of the time. But I DO love this top, in part because it was so cheap at Target. I also love this mustard color and I am helpless when mustard apparel comes on the scene. The outfit came together pretty well, don’t you think?
Kate has on a more versatile top, I think. And she is wearing a cute blue sweatshirt over it that I gave to her — so deeply on sale at J.Crew that I bought two and gave her one. Once again she puts together a lot of different colors and I love the final product. I’m also loving the pink belt. I think Kate carries this outfit off with confidence — the mark of a true fashionista!
Kate says: I thought it was so brilliant to wear this silky blouse underneath my short-sleeve sweatshirt! I’ve really struggled with how to wear this sweatshirt — it is just a tiny bit too boxy for my body, and I usually have to wear it belted. But I love how the short sleeves allow this fun pop of leopard!
I love Mom’s outfit — that longline cardigan is so flattering on her! It works perfectly with her leather skirt and leopard top. And do you see the perfect leopard lining in her boots! I find it so interesting that she thinks she can only wear her leopard top with brown — haven’t we been preaching that it’s a new neutral??
Jeanne says: Well, putting aside the fact that my eyes seem to be closed on the top picture, I like this outfit. You’ve seen these pants before; I wore them for New Year’s Eve and other occasions. They are incredibly versatile — easy to dress up and down and they look great with every color. And that, in general, is how I feel about animal print these days: easy to combine and almost a neutral!
Kate’s animal print top was a steal and it is fabulous-looking. I think she can wear it all year long — with jackets, sweaters, and alone. I think her skirt is navy and, of course, animal print looks good with that too! She is wearing animal print as a neutral too, combining it with navy and bright green. And I covet her sandals. As usual, she looks fresh and ready to go.
Kate says: I wore this outfit on one of our very last super hot days of summer. I wanted to wear some of my new fall clothes, and was determined to put together a cool outfit! I love this leopard print top from Loft, and stalked it using Hukkster until it went on sale. And the skirt was a sale purchase from J.Crew. Both will be very versatile pieces going into fall and winter.
I love the way Mom has reworked these dressy pants into a more edgy, casual outfit. Her leather jacket adds great structure to an otherwise very silky and flowy outfit — this is a crucial element of any outfit! Bright orange works beautifully with her neutral animal print.
Who doesn’t love a bright red skirt? This particular one came from J.Crew Factory and is no longer available, alas (here’s a similar one). But it is amazing how this skirt, like a rising tide, “lifts all boats”! It makes the complexion rosy, it brightens up every color worn with it, and it never looks out of style. Here is what we have to say about styling it.
Jeanne says: I was so envious when Kate bought this skirt. I didn’t need another pencil skirt but I was so drawn to this one. It is hard to style a bad outfit when it includes this wonderful skirt. Every color goes with it and it makes every color look good. I love animal prints with red so I styled it accordingly. Introducing turquoise to the mix was a no-brainer.
Kate says: I have loved dressing this skirt up and down. The eyelet material really makes it a super comfy pencil skirt that I’d be happy to wear outside of work. Here’s an example of how I’ve worn it down, pairing it with a blue polka dot tee and sandals. The tomato red color really does lend itself beautiful to pairings with all kinds of colors and patterns!
Somehow whenever most of us think about denim shorts, we think about distressed, faded VERY short shorts with frayed edges – sort of like what we might have seen on Jessica Simpson in the old days. But Jeanne and Kate know better. Denim shorts can flatter many different body shapes and be very appropriate for young and middle-aged fashionistas if they are chosen with care. Interestingly, in this case, Jeanne owns more pairs of denim shorts than Kate does. Let’s hear what we have to say on the subject.
Kate says: As with my other styles of shorts, I really prefer a dark wash, clean cut pair of denim shorts. This pair I found at the Loft Outlet last summer – they are the perfect trouser style short that can be dressed up or dressed down. Below I’ve styled them for a day running errands or picnicking; and also with heels for a night out. Dark wash denim shorts are so versatile – definitely a worthwhile addition to any wardrobe!
Jeanne says: I didn’t have denim shorts for many years because I simply could not find a pair that were both flattering and age-appropriate. Then I found two great pairs in one season and I’m wearing them both here. I use them as casual alternatives to dressier long shorts. They can be worn with t-shirts or fancier options, with heels or flats. They’re also great for beach cover ups. My denim shorts probably work better in the cooler Pacific Northwest since heavier, longer denim shorts would be too hot in a different climate.