I’m gonna get this out of my way right at the start: I am not normally a leopard print fan. I once heard someone say that (paraphrased) it is a print that is abundantly used in the fashion industry by the very cheap and the very expensive, and I think that perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the print on the whole. When done well, it’s sexy and chic and luxurious. Done badly, it looks…well, cheap. And while there’s nothing wrong with building a wardrobe in a thrifty manner, I think we all tend to hope our £3 bargain we were excited to snag doesn’t actually scream ‘THIS COST £3!’ We just want to be able to say that in an enthusiastic half-bragging fashion when someone cooes over how gorgeous it is. There’s a difference.
So with leopard print, I feel it’s a fine line. For that reason, I’ve stayed clear of it in the past, overlooking it in favour of prints or patterns that are less difficult to ‘get right.’ In recent months, however, I’ve found myself drawn to the print. Perhaps being in the pinup community means I’ve simply been exposed to a lot of brands who have got it right by leaning on their vintage inspirations to nail the sexy, stylish essence of the print. No matter the reason, lately I’ve been searching around for a leopard print top I can pair with a black pencil skirt and a sassy attitude to feel as slinky as the jungle cat it mimics. Thanks to Miss Fortune, I’ve found that top: the Leopard Polly Blouse.
Top: Polly Leopard Blouse C/O Miss Fortune UK
Skirt: Black Falda Pencil skirt by Dolly & Dotty
Cape: Black Sabrina Cape by Dolly & Dotty
Belt: Faux Leather belt by Pinup Girl Clothing
Heels: Black Spiked Glitter Stilettos from eBay
The leopard print of this fabric has an almost melted, elongated style to it, which I think makes it look more natural and realistic, evoking a more expensive feel than badly-done leopard print, my nemesis. The shallow V of the neckline sports a sweet bow, adding a softer feminine touch to a print typically considered very go-get-’em. This blouse has short sleeves and is made from a light weight fabric, so in summer it’s breezy and cool, in colder months easy to layer up to achieve warmth and winter chicness.
I only have one other piece by Miss Fortune, a summer dress I own in an L, but since this blouse is made from a non-stretch fabric I decided to size up into the XL to be safe. I was most concerned the sleeves might fit tightly in the cuffs or that my bust might strain the fabric in an unsightly way had I sized into the L, but since the blouse is cut to be loose I don’t think this would have been a problem in reality. The XL flat measures 22 inches from shoulder to hem, 17.4 inches circumference in the sleeve cuffs, 50 inches in the bust, and 44 inches in the waist. The actual body measurements of a Miss Fortune XL lady would be 43 inch bust, 35 inch high waist, 37 inch low waist, and 45 inch hips, so you can see comparing this to the flat measurements I’ve provided just how much room is cut into the blouse to give it that relaxed fit. If you don’t want so much extra fabric available in the waist, it might be possible for you to size down. Personally I like that the roomier cut of this blouse means I can put together a polished look that doesn’t come with having to worry about any possible bumps or lumps being on show.
The thing I love best about this top is that the relaxed, slouchy fits means it’s not trying too hard to be sexy. That cut means it’s easily casual, especially as there’s no visible cleavage, but if you want to dress it up to be glam or a bit sexy it’s entirely possible to do so. Pairing it with a pencil skirt and high heels automatically gives it enough of a kick to turn heads, while still steering clear of giving off the vibe of desperately trying to ooze sex appeal from every pore of your being. That versatility of it being suitably paired with almost any bottom you can think of, from capris to swing pants, from jeans to pencil skirts, makes this a clever addition to your wardrobe. I think it’s fun as well as being smart, which is not a common combination to find in a piece of clothing.
The Polly Leopard blouse costs £35.99 and is available in sizes XS-XXL. All Miss Fortune pieces are made in the UK and are available to ship internationally.