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Tight Spots: Seven Unforgettable On-Screen Leopard Looks


Gwyneth gets chicly matchy-matchy as Marge Sherwood in the 1999 psych-thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. We’d say pillbox hats are about due for a revival. Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Today we turn an eye to that most underacknowledged of the neutrals: leopard print. A favorite of Slimane in his reign at Saint Laurent (it’s turned up in some form or another at every one of his women’s shows), it can be channeled to effects from demimonde bad girl to society dame. It’s little wonder these spots have been a favorite of costume designers since time immemorial. For wardrobe (and holiday watching) inspo, here are some of our favorite on-screen spots.


Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A wildcat of another spot? Fashion set favorite The Leopard (1963). What it lacks in actual leopard, it more than makes up for in Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale.


Photo: Courtesy of MGM

Anne Bancroft’s overcoat isn’t her only animal print ensemble in The Graduate (1967). Chances are a good many of you remember her underthings in one of the film’s most infamous scenes.


Photo: Courtesy of Oase Film Essen

Rainer Werner Fassbinder may be best known for his work behind the camera, but also notable is his turn as a boozed-up, leopard-loving police lieutenant in the West German dystopian flick Kamikaze 1989.


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

As the titular girl in Party Girl (1995), Parker Posey sports her spots with granny spectacles.


Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Few leading ladies do more-as-more to such powerful effect as Patricia Arquette in Tony Scott’s True Romance (1993). Push-up bra, crimson halter dress, and leopard topper? Why not.


Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Kim Novak as a comely witch living in Greenwich Village with designs on James Stewart–there’s nothing not to like about the premise of Bell, Book, and Candle (1959).

—Kristin Anderson,

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