One of my favorite things to do every Christmas (and every time we're together) is flip through J.Crew catalogues with my mom and sisters. Just like a hard copy of a book in the age of Kindles, there's just something about thumbing through a tangible catalogue instead of endlessly scrolling through Pinterest for fashion inspiration. We all sit at the kitchen counter, or snuggle up on the couch, and crowd around the iconic catalogue, as we ooh and ahh, pointing out our favorites.
Over the years, J.Crew has moved away from a "matchy matchy" preppy style to more color-blocking and mixing patterns. I have seen models wearing outfits that I never would have thought to put together, or a piece I would have never picked out until admiring how the model wore it. Reading the J.Crew catalogue became more than a shared wish list for my mom and her girls, but rather motivation to try new clothing combinations.
Following my incredibly stylish and elegant mother's lead, I began to see leopard print as a neutral rather than a print. It could be paired with any color, or even any other pattern. Likewise, I began to see new ways to wear old classics, pieces which I've owned for years, which never seem to go out of style. And best of all, I began to learn the art of layering—a trick which makes outfits instantly more interesting and re-workable (as I did in these two outfits).
Layering makes getting dressed easy. Just put together a winning combination on top (like this chambray shirt, leopard sweater, and red vest) and simply change up the bottom (or vice versa), throw on a coat, or add accessories. No one will notice that half of your outfit is the same (and if they do, they'll probably applaud you for the change-up!).
While the Christmas season is a perfect time to wear pops of red and every variation of plaid, these combinations can be worn throughout the winter months. Dare to work a little leopard print into your holiday outfits this year, too, rather than save it for other times of year or events. Don't forget that leopard can be worn as a neutral, so it will work with bright colors and paired with other prints, like these plaids. Finally—layer, layer, layer! Oh, and of course, a red lip to finish out the look.
* All photos courtesy of Catherine Spitzer Photography *