Leopard is fall’s biggest fashion trend: Here are 9 ways to wear it in and out of the gym


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Photo: Getty Images/Luca Sage

It’s common in fashion for certain colors, prints, even silhouettes, to define an entire season—take, for example, summer’s tie-dye resurgence, flashy pops of neon, and the return of bike shorts.

The fashion forecast for fall is no less full of potential trends, even though it’s yet to officially start. There is, however, already a frontrunner for the one most likely to go mainstream: leopard. The timeless print’s already being, ahem, spotted on everything from activewear to accessories.

“Leopard print was by far one of the biggest trends to hit the runway this season and was shown in a bold way,” says stylist Laura Pritchard. While done in a “look at me” fashion on the runway, the pattern is super wearable IRL whether you’re for top-to-toe tailoring like what came off the catwalks or prefer a tempered interpretation.

“Designers made a statement in their styling, but I take that as inspiration,” Pritchard says. “Instead, choose a bold leopard print jacket and style with clean, neutral colors underneath. Something simple to let the leopard stand out. If you do decide to wear a head-to-toe leopard suit, make sure to keep your accessories and beauty super simple to offset the loud print.”

If you’re about a full-on fashion moment at the gym, leopard print totally translates, according to Jodhi Meares, founder and creative director of the luxury activewear brand, The Upside. “Leopard print has had many former lives,” she says. “It’s now coveted by the latest athleisure hysteria.”

“It’s an ‘I am woman hear me roar’ kind of season.” —Jodhi Meares, founder of The Upside.

The iconic print, which was featured in Meares’ first collection with great success, is a mainstay for her brand six years later. “For me, leopard conjures up everything I love about fashion—a little rock ‘n’ roll, a little ‘40s glamour, and the effortless cool of the ‘60s.”

When it comes to styling the animal pattern for a workout, Meares says to really go for it with a leopard-on-leopard look. “It’s an ‘I am woman hear me roar’ kind of season,” she says.

If leopard print sounds like a lot of look but your interest is piqued, start small. For a subtler take, Meares suggests starting with a pair of leopard sneakers. “There are no rules but if it’s your first time, I would pick a traditional darker toned, small-scale print,” she adds. “A smaller piece such as a leopard crop is a good place to start then as you become more comfortable with the print, work your way back into a legging, crew or track pant.”

From polished to sweat-proof, here are 9 leopard-print pieces to shop now.

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