There are some specific features that make up a good leopard print, in my opinion. Famously leopard print can either look incredibly expensive or incredibly cheap, and putting aside the impact styling choices can make on a leopard print item, I think the print itself needs to have two things to read as the former; a variation in its depth of background colour, showcasing darker brown and near black patches mixed in with the lighter gold swathes, and a variation in size, shape and openness of the spots.
These things, when done correctly, will make the print look more realistic, and thus, expensive. What irony, then, that one of the best leopard prints I’ve found in our vintage-inspired realm comes from one of our most budget-friendly brands: Hell Bunny. Their Panthera leopard print is luxe and rich, and is available on a range of items that covers everything from capri pants to dresses. So whether your leopard style icon veers more Peggy Bundy or more Jackie O, Hell Bunny is bound to have options to fulfill your heart’s purring desires.
Leopard top: Uma top by Hell Bunny
Leopard Skirt: Panthera 50s Skirt by Hell Bunny
Black top: New Look Wrap Front Flutter Sleeve top
Shoes: Sold Out Black Cage sandals by New Look
Black Skirt: Old Tatyana skirt
Bangles: DMU & Splendette
Sunglasses: Old Primark
Apart from the gorgeousness of the print itself, what I love most about Hell Bunny’s Panthera range is that it offers so much versatility. I was happily given this 50s swing skirt for my birthday, then shortly after ordered the Uma top to match for days I feel like turning the sass levels up to 100% by wearing them together to achieve the look of a peasant style dress. When I ordered the top, though, I did so knowing that I would most likely wear the two pieces separately more often than together, so that I could create a whole range of outfits by pairing these pieces together with other separates in my wardrobe. I wanted to display just a touch of that versatility by switching up my top and skirt just once each for these blog pictures, but that barely scrapes the surface.
I always best love pairing leopard with black because that feels like the most chic colour combination for me, a not-that-long-ago former hater of all things leopard print as I am. In my wardrobe that allows for 3 skirts and probably at least 6 tops in black to be mixed and matched with this leopard set, but I have dark green and maroon separates that would look just as slinky and moody with these pieces as black pairings would. And then, if you happen to be a Supreme Leopard Printer, the kind of gal who happily layers it with bright colours, adding in red, hot pink, emerald green and baby blue expands your outfit universe tenfold.
And all of that isn’t even touching on how much the rest of the Panthera line can be mixed and matched as well with your existing wardrobe to create a greater range of outfits. While I gave up short skirts 5 years ago when I first began to dabble in 50s style clothing, lately I keep revisiting the Panthera Mini Dress page and mulling over how cute it would look worn over a pair of black capri pants almost as though it were a peplum top.
Drawing a line under how cute I think the entire Hell Bunny leopard print range is as a whole, let’s get into the specifics of these two pieces featured.
The Panthera 50s skirt is cut the same way as all of Hell Bunny’s 50s skirts; it’s a little shy of being a full circle skirt, so it has a touch less volume available there at the hips than a full circle, but it still twirls beautifully and will take a medium volume petticoat without any awkward straining. It also comes with pockets, YAY, and closes in the centre back with a zip topped with a button, also a yay, because side closures on skirts annoy me.
I asked for this in my usual Hell Bunny skirt size of 2XL/18 and it’s a great fit. The material is non-stretch so there’s no real give in the waistband, flat measuring just shy of 38 inches with no stretch. It’s 26.5 inches long.
The Uma top is a peasant style with elasticated sleeves, a ruched bust that features a small keyhole topped with a decorative fabric covered button, and elastication that continues across the top of the back as well as the bust. It closes with a full separating back zip. I ordered it in the 2XL; I know the XL/16 fits me in Hell Bunny tops, but I wanted extra room for my large upper arms for extra comfort on hot summer days so I decided to size up. That does make it large for me through the waist but considering I’ll always be wearing it tucked into skirts that isn’t a big deal. It flat measures 42 inches in the bust with stretch to approximately 50 inches, while the waist flat measures 38 inches with stretch to almost 42 inches. The arm holes are 14 inches in circumference unstretched with full stretch to 24 inches. It’s 17.5 inches long from centre bust to hem.
The Uma top and Panthera 50s Skirt are both available in sizes XS-4XL (approximately UK sizes 8-22) for 20% off at Hellbunny.com with discount code AMYMAY20!%. Said code works on all orders, including sale, and Hell Bunny offer free next day delivery over £30 in the UK, and international delivery. Alternatively, you can check with your local Hell Bunny stockists to see if they carry this range, as they’re sold all over the world.