Leopard Print Is No Longer Just For Ladies

Leopard print has been an acceptable, if not staple, part of a women’s wardrobe for years. It isn’t even only a casual pattern: it’s perfectly acceptable for women to wear tasteful leopard print cardigans or sweaters to the office. I’ve even see women in leopard print blazers!

This is potentially excessive!!
However, as is usual in the divide between male and female dressing, such an outlandish pattern has been traditionally considered inappropriate in a male wardrobe. For men, wearing leopard print indicates that you are a) a member of a glam rock band, b) a stripper or c) a stereotypical Hollywood caricature of a camp but sadly tasteless gay man. In short, it hasn’t been considered stylish or dignified in the same way it is in women’s wardrobes, and it most certainly hasn’t been considered understated.

However, 2014 has changed all that as the SS14 collections have brought a flurry of animal prints into men’s departments. I have one thing to say to this: GIMME. GIMME. GIMME. Liking a trend in womenswear and wanting to find an equivalent in menswear sometimes feels like my life, so I am really excited that leopard print is suddenly so much at my disposal. To the extent where, “Stop buying leopard print!” has become my new daily mantra because I’m actually getting worried my existence is turning into a massive leopard printed blur.

Maybe you want in on this new trend. Maybe you don’t believe me that leopard print is taking over not only my world, but the world of menswear. Either way, to help you out on that, I’ve listed some articles of clothing you can now wear leopard printed and where you can grab those goodies below.

1) Shirts
There are a whole lot of leopard print shirts around now! Asos have had them, and I bought a very nice short sleeved leopard print shirt by Brave Soul through asos. As ever, I think a loud print works better with short sleeves so it is less overwhelming.

Shirt by Brave Soul, through asos.
They are also selling shirts with leopard trim on boohoo.com, which I think are a lovely design. However, I bought a small and a medium to try and they sadly couldn’t have fit me less well if they tried. I do not have particularly wide hips (I’m a 30 – 32 inch waist) and they barely did up! Furthermore they were much too long for me – a hazard which comes from male bodies having a long top half and shorter legs, and female bodies being the opposite. Disappointing!

Loved these shirts from Boohoo but not
a good fit for a butch!

2) Jackets
H&M are stocking charcoal leopard print men’s blazers. Very subtle.

3) Trousers
H&M are also stocking trousers in the same material as the aforementioned blazers! They are a slim-fit chino style and on seeing them I threw myself upon them and wept with joy knowing they were what I’d been waiting for my entire life. Or that’s what I did in my head. In actuality, I purchased them then hurried home to show my girlfriend and my Instagram.

4) Sweaters
Leopard print sweater by Zara Men.
One of my favourite recent purchases is a grey leopard print sweater from Zara Men! So obsessed with it. And might I add, very formal friendly! I have also seen more casual versions in Forever 21 men’s department and H&M men’s department.

5) Bags
Again, asos are selling bags with leopard print. Maybe this article should have just been about how asos is stocking leopard print.

6) Underwear and Socks
The ever-lovely asos has been fuuuulllll of the leopard print socks and underwear! I have to say I’m a little hesitant about full-on leopard print boxers. It does feel a little Ron Jeremy. But if you feel you can rock it, please do!

7) Formal Shoes
A year ago, I bought a pair of suede desert boots with leopard trim from All Saints. They retailed at about £200 and I actually thought I missed out on buying them when my size went out of stock. I then came across a Size 7 in a sale and was so super excited that I have to admit I dropped over £100 on them. They are lovely shoes but a large part of my excitement stemmed from I HAD NEVER SEEN LEOPARD PRINT IN A MEN’S DEPARTMENT.

My All Saints boots!
Now, as we’re seeing, leopard print is old news. River Island are stocking desert boots which are totally leopard print (and will be less cardiac arrest-inducing when they pop up on your bank statement than mine were, let me tell you). Asos also had a leopard print desert boot in. The other formal shoe that’s been loving the leopard is loafers. You can find leopard print loafers everywhere – guess where’s a good place to start. Hint: begins with an A.

River Island's more affordable alternative!
8) Sneakers
Leopard print is all over sneakers right now. Stores like asos and Primark which make shoes in the iconic Vans style are selling leopard print ones. I’m also seeing a tonne of leopard print chukka boots. They’re, again, everywhere, but a good first stop is asos.

Leopard print embossed
tie clip from asos.
9) Accessories
H&M stock grey leopard print ties! They are lovely. Also, good old asos (I swear they’re not paying me) are selling leopard print pocket squares and, my own personal favourite, LEOPARD PRINT EMBOSSED TIE CLIPS. I’ve just bought one and we’re so in love we’re considering eloping.

10) Tops
It’s not just on shirts, but is also appearing on t-shirts and vests in a number of different ways: on pockets, in text, even on the whole top. I’m not even going to bother listing shops for this one because you can find it everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

What do you think of animal print in menswear - dashing or disastrous? Have you been rocking any yourself? Let me know if you're loving or hating it in the comments!

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