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Leopard Loafer Season

I made that's not a thing. That I know of.

My loafers (Nine West via thredUP) that I've had since 2018

But when the temps dip below 60 degrees, one of the first items I go for is my leopard loafers. (What's your favorite fall closet staple?)

I'm all for year round animal print, but there's something about the natural/neutral patterns that come from our animal friends that just feel so right in the fall/winter. And they mix so well with nearly any solids you have in your closet, elevating even the most basic pieces. If your fall style is feeling a little blah, these shoes will help you take a walk on the wild side (aka feel cute at preschool pick up and the grocery store.)

Why do I love leopard loafers for fall? Let's count the ways:

  1. Loafers are a classic flats style that conceal the toes but bare the ankles making them perfect for chilly, but not freezing, temps. Go with a rounded or pointy toe - your preference.

  2. Leopard is a neutral (a mix of neutrals) that is a perfect beginner pattern for solid-loving ladies. Especially in a small dose at your feet, this is a great way to spice up your basics without pushing you too far from your comfort zone.

  3. You don't have to stick to leopard/cheetah. If that pattern feels a little bold for you, I also LOVE snake and it looks great in warmer tan/brown tones or cooler gray/black tones.

  4. They are plentiful on the secondhand scene! Find them on your favorite online thrift site or be on the lookout for them in your local thrift/consignment stores. If you are shopping online, try sticking to brands you are familiar with to avoid surprises with quality and sizing.

In case you don't already have this style in your closet, here are some tips for finding your perfect leopard loafers*:

  • Look for natural materials - leopard CAN look tacky when it looks cheap. Search and/or filter online for animal fur/leather to narrow your options to higher quality shoes that not only look better, but hold up for longer. Pony/calf hair is a very common material for this pattern. (If you go with snake - textured leather enhances the natural pattern.)

  • Pick your perfect neutrals - leopard/cheetah/snake patterns can be made up of cooler tones, warmer tones, or a mix. There can also be as few as two tones or many. Select a pattern that works with the most colors (and prints) in your existing wardrobe to ensure the greatest versatility.

  • Consider the vamp - how much coverage you get on the top of your foot. Some styles expose a lot more of your foot than others, possibly leading to less wearability due to temperature and conditions. More coverage also means it's easier to wear a no-show sock/liner.

  • To embellish or not - tassels, horse bits, studs & bows are all options that you'll see on leopard loafers. These embellishments can make the shoes feel even more like you (preppy tassels vs. edgy studs), but they may limit the versatility of the style a bit too. For example, if you only wear gold jewelry and accessories, a loafer with silver horse bit detailing may not be your best choice.

A few of the ways I've worn my leopard loafers

I hope you're inspired to pull out and start styling your animal print flats or to begin looking for your perfect pre-owned pair! Remember, buying secondhand means you'll be able to get higher quality at a lower price point if you're just making the leap into leopard.

Will you style your loafers with basics/solids or create a mix with other prints?

*thredUP and Poshmark are my favorite online options for shopping secondhand (sometimes I even cross-reference and price check between the two sites) and if you're new to either, the links will give you (and me) shopping credit so thank you for using them!
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