The Difference Between Animal Prints

Fact: Leopard is a neutral.

Fact: Products are often mislabeled as leopard.

Fact: I get annoyed every time someone describes an animal print as leopard when it is not.

Let’s discuss…

{Cheetah Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

The cheetah’s spots are separate, distinct, and round{ish}. You can see they are not perfect circles, but they are solid black shapes. {There is such a creature as the “King Cheetah” which also has stripes down its back but for this lesson, we’ll just stick to the spots.}

{Leopard Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

The leopard’s spots are more of a rosette – a lighter color surrounded by an irregular ring of darker color.

{Jaguar Print} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

And if you want to take this one step further, add small dark spots to the middle of that rosette and you have yourself a jaguar, not a leopard.

If you’re looking at the head of one of these big cats, you could easily  be confused because the spots closest to the face on a leopard and a jaguar can be more solid and resemble cheetah spots. If you’re having trouble telling the difference, it’s probably  best to look at the body of the animal. If, however, you are looking at shoe or a purse, there is probably no face to look at and it should be stupid-simple to figure out. Here’s a cheat-sheet for you!

{Animal Print Cheat Sheet} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

Even though it annoys me, I completely understand when a company uses the term leopard print to describe what is basically a generic animal print. It makes it much easier to sell! I don’t often search for “jaguar print” and the magazines aren’t doing spreads on the hottest “jaguar” shoes this season. The two prints are very similar so be it confusion or marketing strategy, I’ll go ahead and let this one slide. But I do not understand when a leopard label is used to describe something that is actually cheetah print. They are quite different.

Think you know the difference now? Let’s test:

{Test your animal print IQ} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

{did you really think I’d put the answers here?! scroll to the end!}

{Mislabeled Animal Prints!} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.comabeled Animals

These flats are marketed as leopard but as you can see by the center dots of the rosettes they are technically jaguar print. I actually own these flats and I refer to them as my “leopard” flats. They are close enough and I don’t feel like explaining myself when I say jaguar. But this clutch. Oh, this gorgeous Clare Vivier clutch on my must-have list. It’s clearly cheetah and it’s labeled as leopard. Why, oh why?! {Okay, it’s amazing enough to forgive.}

Well hopefully you learned something! Thanks for allowing me to vent! Next week, I’ll share some tips on how to incorporate animal prints into your wardrobe!

{Test your animal print IQ} Learn the difference between animal prints on City Southern Blog! city southern.wordpress.com

Answer to test {left to right}: Cheetah | Jaguar | Leopard

Ciao for now!

Catherine Calligraphy

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3 thoughts on “The Difference Between Animal Prints

  1. Pingback: How to Wear Animal Prints | City Southern

  2. Remember when I messaged you about either getting the bright blue Clare Vivier or the ‘leopard’ print one and you totally told me to go for leopard because it’s classic? Well, I totally didn’t get either of them and that clutch is STILL on my wishlist. Oh man, I just need to splurge one of these days. You should too! Haha I’m trouble! 😉

    • I definitely remember! The blue was gorge but “leopard” all the way! I’m buying it for sure, but I can’t decide between the flat clutch or the foldover!!! I am also loving the white with black spots. Oh the choices!…

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