top spot

I'm the last person to wear leopard print. Literally. Months after Forever 21, Topshop, Zara et al stopped making them, and the girls spotting leopard anything (belt, headbands, leggings, dresses), I found myself flicking through my mum's closet (I am that bored of my clothes and deprived of shopping), spotting her Topshop leopard chiffon blouse (from early 2006? Late 2005?) and thinking, oh, that's not too bad.

And I wore it. The first time I've done an animal print - so historic a sartorial moment, I had to take a picture of it -

I don't have a problem with leopard print on other people - it can glamorous, it can be sexy, sometimes it's elegantly bold. I just have a problem with actually wearing it, because it's just a little too loud for low-key little me.

To me, leopard is best when it isn't worn in a too-obvious way - when you're not consciously trying to be glamorous. You have it wear with lots of attitude, like the perennially cool Kate Moss here -

Her look here is so not about high-octane glamour, it just feels like she wore because she felt like it. It doesn't have the usual feel of the cliches that come to mind when you say "leopard print" - visions of some Hollywood noir dame in a leopard coat, strippers, etc.

The one and only other time i wanted anything leopard is this -

I love the faded colour, the deliberately spare quality of the tailoring, and how it's just not your usual way of doing leopard. It's also cute to blow the spots up - it gives it a more abstract feel. Miuccia Prada is the perfect person to trust with a leopard print - you can bet she'll never take the obvious route. (That whole collection - f/w '06 - was genius by the way.)

Since I'm unlikely to stroll into Prada and pick up a few choice items any time soon (not within the next ten years), I'll have to settle for its distant cousin, my mum's Topshop blouse. And it is a great spin on leopard. If you look closely you can see that the print has a "fur" texture and the spots are not at all cartoony.

Excellent cut too. Plus I love grey.

So what if it's so last fall? Here and right now, it feels just right for me.

Picture of Kate Moss from ; picture of Prada coat from


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