Can a woman of 47 wear leopard print?
by Michaela Mir
Earlier this month, I turned 47. It coincided with a busy week at work. One morning, reaching for my usual wardrobe staples of black, neutrals and more black, I thought about how dull my wardrobe had become.
I look at lots of my friends of a similar age (they’ll remain nameless) and I stare in wonder at how they effortlessly seem to pull off the most fabulous colour and clothing combinations.
The bold ones even mix, colour, patterns, the whole damn lot! (Photos below).
I, on the other hand, can occasionally throw in a bit of colour, a pale pink, a navy blue (does that even count?) or, if I’m feeling adventurous, a bit of red. I often blame it on my skin tone; I’m blonde, pasty and pale. Throw in a bit of fake tan and you might get me in a splash of colour, but mostly it’s black, with a hint of black and a bit more, well…black! The most adventurous statement for me is a leopard print scarf. I do love a scarf! And if I had a pair I’d wear these Laboutin shoes.
Trawling the dregs of the Sale last week, I attempted to change this. Searching through the rails I came across what I thought might be a good solution.
Mostly black, but with a hint of mustard and pale green. I’m not selling it very well, am I?
I tried it on, with black to tone it down, and was quite taken with the look. It was a bit different and maybe not too young for me.
Now, here’s the problem: the pattern is obviously LEOPARD print! (There is no hiding this fact.) I can, at my ripe old age, just about cope with an accessory, but a top?
I did buy it, but it’s still in the bag. With only a few days left to return it, my question is: can a woman of 47 wear leopard print?
In fact, can we wear any animal print? Or does it simply say Bet Lynch, or Doreen from Birds of a Feather? Does it belong in the Core Collections as a timeless wardrobe staple or on the clearance rail?
I’ll leave that one up to you to decide, but for those of you who do fancy a bit of animal print, read Dominique’s blog @irrelevant_styling on how to wear it well that she'll post later this week! She really does know her stuff.
As for the interior variety for styling your home, some will say it has its place.
Think a leopard print cushion with acid orange piping or a cerise pink velvet back, or Jonathan Adler for zebra print accessories like the Gold Carnaby Zebra Stacking Dish (above), Graham and Green for animal-inspired vases or Or & Wonder Interiors for a local gem like this zebra head wall hanging.