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How to Wear Leopard Print at Work 101

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Once upon a time, leopard print was only associated with jungle safaris and Vegas lounges. But in the last few years, leopard print has really moved on to a whole new level. As one very fashionable person I know has said, “Leopard is the new neutral.” But it’s one thing to rock this animal flavor when you are out on the town with the girls, but can you pull it off in the workplace?

Leopard has become more acceptable in the workplace. Even FindLaw believes that female lawyers who are held to extremely strict dress code standards can wear leopard (but probably not while they are in court.)

Start with something small. Style expert Bridgette Raes wrote about the best ways to pull of leopard at work:

  • Small doses: Go for leopard as an accent shade, especially if you work in a conservative environment.
  • Keep it classic: A leopard pencil skirt can be elegant and classic. A low cut, clingy top can look inappropriate and trashy.
  • Don’t overindulge in leopard: Choose one item to wear in leopard, like a pair of shoes, a simple cardigan or a handbag. This is your focal point. Keep everything else you’re wearing simple to avoid creating too many distractions. Nobody needs to wear more than one leopard print item in an outfit at once.

Leopard or really any kind of bold pattern used to be something you had to pay your dues to wear, especially in corporate America, but I really think that may be changing. A few years ago The Business Insider reported that multiple women had been spotted wearing leopard print shoes at Goldman Sachs, which was rather rare in finance. The reporter noted that it was more senior women sporting this look. But I think now you would find younger women, though maybe not in finance, embracing leopard as well as offices become more casual.

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