Meeowwr: How To Wear Leopard Print

I've always held a mix of fascination and apprehension toward animal print, in particular leopard. The fascination began when I was nine and the youngest in my drama class; we were preparing several plays, including one called Villa à Vendre by Sacha Guitry that had among its characters a very eccentric American diva. I attended all the rehearsals, watching with wonderment and envy an older student (she was fourteen then, but quite impressive) swirling on the stage in a leopard faux-fur coat.
 It took me a few years to overcome my fear of looking tacky wearing it; as for many things, like vintage, fur, red lipstick, it's only after high school that I became daring enough to take the plunge. I decided to do so for this New Year's Eve, wearing this dress I found on sale at Target. Fortunately, it hadn't taken me me long to determine how to wear this print in a way that is not tacky, but elegant and flattering:

- Choose hushed tones: avoid leopard fabrics that are bright yellow, or worse, neon colours. 
- Find a figure-flattering item: this is more important than anything, since something that creates bulges or keeps riding up is worse in leopard. I like sheer satin leopard tops and tunics, like the one pictured above. 
- Keep the rest of your outfit neutral: I wore the above dress with black accessories; I chose however to vary the textures (fur, lace, snakeskin, jet) in order to make the outfit a little more interesting.
- In terms of hair and make-up, go for glamourous, especially if you're going out: last Tuesday, I went for Rita Hayworth curls, retro eye-liner and red lipstick.
- If you're intimidated by leopard, start with small accessories; a silk scarf, shoes, a clutch. Be sure to keep the rest of your outfit as simple and neutral as possible. 

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