Leopard Print [Science of Seduction]

The science of fashion is always a curious thing. I recently learned that animal prints make you more attractive (at least when it comes to male/female dynamics, can't speak for the others). The scientific term is "Misattribution of Arousal." Since you probably don't want to sift through a bunch of medical journals, I will boil it down the main points: 

Ravenous wildcats have sharp teeth and want to eat you, therefore when one wears wildcat print men think of sharp teeth and being devoured, inciting a fear reaction, which somehow also increases feelings of attraction. 

Basically, according to this principle, men are attracted to what they fear, in this case... you.

A Fashion Statement that Survived the 1920s, 1930s, and ON

Perhaps this instinctual science explains why this fashion statement has withstood the fashion storms of time.

I'm not saying leopard and cheetah print hasn't had low points. Think Peg Bundy from Married with Children. In spite of such images, the look has resonated so powerfully that it has stuck around from yesteryear's silver screen stars to today's Kardashians.

See ‘em sizzle in the big, buxom, beautiful musical!
— Tagline for "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes"

But how did this animal pattern become a fashion staple in the first place, you might ask? Sadly, it has controversial roots in the early 1900's when African safaris were just becoming popular and travelers would return with their exotic furs. :(

So you have a situation where everyone who is anyone is wearing the newest and greatest trend. Until...

Jeanne Crain and Jane Russell in "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes".

Jeanne Crain and Jane Russell in "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes".


"If you are fair and sweet, don't wear it." 

That didn't go over to well. The response of women everywhere? A collective, "Um. Don't tell us what to do, Dior." 

Maybe Dior's admonition was tongue in cheek. In any case, wildcat print became the fashion anthem for powerful women everywhere. Thankfully nowadays no animals are harmed to show a little rebelliousness!

Channel the Wildcat Look: My Dress is Thrifted. But I love this metallic interpretation. For a more casual and affordable look, this sleeveless version is super sassy and I love the vibrant blue pencil skirt bottom. / Booties Already Owned, Similar Pictured Below Here.  Photo Taken by the truly incomparable Chris Blackburn Studios

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Leopard/Cheetah Print Style Tips:

This week I challenge you to join the fashion icon ranks by wearing some leopard print. Yes, this week. 

  • First of all, the question is not should you or shouldn't you wear leopard print... you SHOULD.

  • Because of its brown tones, leopard and cheetah print are considered neutrals. I know, I know. But go ahead, be brave and mix them with other colors and patterns. Except other animal prints, which I guess is the animal kingdom fashion equivalent of cannibalism?

  • If ever there was a time to wear leopard print on just about anything, it seems to be now. So have at it and stop just short of looking like Peg Bundy.

About the Photographer: Chris Blackburn Photography goes above and beyond mere digital... he has taken the time to learn lost art forms such as wet plate photography and cyanotypes. Pictured above is one of his paper negative portraits. Follow him on Facebook to see his amazing work that at times makes you feel you are walking through a modern art museum, and at others that you have traveled back in time to a steampunk-esque masquerade ball!  

Also, If you buy from the above links rather than going straight to the vendor site, I get a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. :)


enjoy more fashion inspiration from the golden age of cinema: