Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You Can Never Have Too Much... Leopard

Andrea Martin as Edith Prickley

Edith Prickley aside, you can never have too much leopard. OK, you can wear too much at one time, but should you ever ditch a piece of leopard? Never. It keeps coming back, to the point today where it has never left (see below).
Bill Cunnigham's On the Street for November 27, 2011

Today I brought home my third leopard coat as if I were a 19th century Sportsman of the Raj, without a trace of shame, to add to my collection. This one, from Macy's, is part of a smart, cute, well-made and well-priced collection for Macy's by the not-very-well-known Giambattista Valli. It's blessedly simply— straight cut, collarless, bracelet-length sleeves in a faux silk brocade lined in cream faux satin. Well it is faux leopard... The leopard print has squiggles of shiny gold in the print. A tad Versace. I love the possibilities of it— from a white t-shirt and gold jeans (just remembered I have leopard jeans too) to a black silk blouse with pussy-cat bow and black pencil skirt. Good thing we've already booked a trip to Miami.
Giambattista Valli for Macy's $139 but $90 after sale and Macy's card discounts

The other two coats are an ancient circle coat from a resale shop and a leopard coccoon from Zara two years ago. We live in Texas. One does not wear coats that much. I own leopard gloves and earmuffs as well. There are numerous pairs of leopard shoes— silk slingbacks, flats (furry and velvetized), sensible suede oxfords and stretchy knee hi boots (which happen to be very comfortable). There are a couple of leopard skirts and a pair of pajamas with slippers to match. Oh, and a set of sheets when I want to disappear in bed. I've had my share of turquoise leopard or orange leopard but those spots don't last.

Leopard can be uber-trendy or evocatively vintage. You can wear it with a smile or a come-hither stare. Loving leopard is ageless, unisex and harmless to the animal population.

I take that back. Hidden away in the dark recesses of a drawer, is a genuine leopard belt of my mother's, circa 1955. She had it made at a furrier. It's about 2 1/2 inches wide with a simple square leather buckle. It may have cost $50 ($422 in today's money), obviously quite a splurge for a usually thrifty lady. I'm pretty sure it was a deserving purchase ("I deserve to own this belt") and thus served its purpose. She wore it, but I can't. Ever.


  1. Michelle- I have a confession to make... I don't own a single spit of leopard! Can you believe it? I need to remedy that! Love this post!

  2. Leopardaniacs will tell you that the urge to sport leopard starts small and escalates quickly. Be forewarned!
    Glad you liked it!


  4. Oh, I have a leopard addiction. I have been wearing my leopard coat all over Europe the past two weeks.