The Wild Neutral: Leopard Print

When thinking of “neutral” clothing pieces, perhaps shades of black, gray or white come to mind. Neutral colors are foundational pieces, meant to be mixed and matched and capable of grounding your look. We all depend on these solid staples, but what if we told you a print could be just as versatile? Peeking through the layers and folds of closets today is one wild print–one that has been emerging in the mix and delivers a promising transitional versatility. From pumps to coats, leopard print has been popping up across sidewalks, on catwalks and in shop windows. We thought we’d take a brief look back at the history of this animalistic style.

Leopard, or cheetah, print has a scattered history with roots ranging from Jackie Kennedy’s iconic coat to Azzedine Alaia’s 1991 collection to Michelle Obama’s cardigans. It is a print with a rich history peppered with powerful women in all walks of life. We can thank designers such as Christian Dior for popularizing leopard as a print, rather than a fur, in the mid-1900s. As the pattern moved from fur to fabric, its association with old-school money began to move as well. Over the next few decades, leopard reared many different faces on materials as diverse as real fur to spandex. Perhaps it is due to a past full of contrasts, but leopard print has arguably neutralized to a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. The charged history of this print has quieted, and a staple has emerged.

We’re wearing leopard this season in many different forms. From shoes to dresses, from tops to trenches, there are countless ways to incorporate this wild style into your wardrobe – bold or subtle. Take it timeless and pair with black, white or brown pieces or go wild and intentionally clash with stripes or other prints.

Our Leopard Print Maxi Trench Coat gives a sartorial bite to a timeless essential. Contrast this wild print with a striped tee and dark denim, and finish your look with black kitten heels and shades. Or, let the trench do the talking with a black jumpsuit. Sling a bright red purse over your shoulder, tie on some white kicks and be on your way.

Looking to ease into this trend with something more subtle? Accentuate a monochromatic outfit with our Leopard Print Rectangular Scarf, or pair our Dillon Classic-Fit Leopard Print Blouse with classic denim or our Sloan Pant

However you decide to wear it, this print is a nod to the strong woman within all of us. Show us how you rock leopard this season: Tag #ItsBanana and @bananarepublic in your caption on Instagram. We can’t wait.

Shop more on-trend styles in our New Arrivals.