Seeking: The Perfect Leopard Pumps

(This is a scheduled post; I’ll try to answer any questions upon my return : )

**Ann Taylor is having 40% off everything again. The extra 30% off shared by a reader here still works!** My pick is the Overlapping Placket Blouse, now $32.76, available in petite and regular in many colors. I’ve raved about a Gap drapey blouse which did not come in petites (I settled for a reg XS and altered it). This AT top in “Crisp Nougat” looks like a good dupe – the perfect neutral for wearing with prints, bold skirts, jeans, or layering under crewneck sweaters.  leopardpump
Heels: Ann Taylor Leopard Pumps sz 5 (buy hereBlouse: Target  Skirt: thrifted  Watch: MK

Wanted – an elegant pair of leopard print pumps to jazz up my solid-colored work outfits. Requirements – approx 3.5″ heel, almond toe, good quality, some toe cleavage, thin heel, dark camel with true leopard brown & black spots, under $100, maaaybe $150….do you exist out there?

leopardpump1

A year or two ago, I wouldn’t even consider something “flashy” like a leopard pump. And especially not for work! However, after eying my friend’s day after day through various seasons, I’m convinced that a leopard pump can be versatile and unexpectedly classy. Hers are also Ann Taylor perfect leopard pumps, but circa 2010. I didn’t jump on those because I didn’t love the print, but she rocks them.

During the last stackable Ann Taylor sale, I hemmed and hawed over this 2011 version. I like the luxe “pony hair” material, but in-person, the spots are not right for me. Instead of true leopard spots, these are reminiscent of cocoa pebbles up close, or black polka dots from afar. Small and close-together, with no brown in the mix at all.
leopardpump3
Although the fit, quality, and material are all great and what I expect from Ann Taylor shoes, for $83 I’d rather wait for the perfect leopard pump. Maybe, just maybe…they’ll do a third version next year and it’ll be the winner. Here are other styles I considered, but for one reason or the other (price, crappy material, heel shape) none were perfect:

The second item I got were these Perfect Patent Pumps, scored for just $65 with this coupon (still going on right now!). I like patent shoes in general because you can wipe off dirt, scuffs and scratches more easily than regular leather. Having already hoarded three colors of the same style shoe (black leather, exotic taupe, and gray suede), I know I don’t need one more. Nevertheless, I’m holding on to these to ponder over the next 60 days.leopardpump2

Readers – Do you find the leopard pump flashy or classy? Any rec’s?

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56 Comments

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I have the same shoes both the patent and the loapard. I think you should keep both. The loapard shoes are similar to Gianvito Rossi http://www.bluefly.com/Gianvito-Rossi-tan-ocelot-printed-pony-hair-pumps/cat20458/311879201/detail.fly

    Posted 10.21.11 Reply
  2. bettyC16 wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I was wondering if you ever had exchanged any of your merchandise back to ann taylor online before? If so, how long did the process take for the package to get back to you? I purchase those two same pairs of shoes, but had to get it exchanged for a smaller size. =(

    Posted 10.20.11 Reply
  3. Vaidehi wrote:

    The stackable coupon code doesn't work. Does anyone have another code?

    Posted 10.20.11 Reply
  4. pendragoney wrote:

    I too have been searching for a pair of perfect leopard pumps. They are surprisingly elusive, considering how much leopard is out there this season. I say don't settle – return the AT ones and get something you love.

    I really like the Vince Camuto pair Phoebe pointed out – but then I'm a sucker for Vince Camuto shoes.

    Speaking of leopard … has anybody had luck with leopard skinny belts? I have in mind one that's 1/2-3/4" width, real leather, preferably less than $40. Has anybody found one that works for tiny waists? (Mine's 24.5")

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  5. Saw these on Gilt and drooled all over my Mac. http://twitpic.com/72vhaq

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  6. Vanessa wrote:

    I think leopard is classy and haven't seen a season yet where it's been out of style. By the way, what is a "true" leopard print? All three of the other styles above are like jaguar spots, but nobody uses that term! 🙂

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    I've been eyeing this pair from Banana Republic's Mad Men collection: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=35159&vid;=1&pid;=858152&scid;=858152012

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  8. Leopard is so in – any season. I don't own leopard pumps. But I do have Leopard (or is it Cheetah?) ballet flats. My flats are from Banana Republic. I think the animal print spruces up any outfit and gives it an edge.

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    Love the blog! Today I was in Lord and Taylor and saw a great pair of leopard pumps with a 3.25 inch heel. They are the AK Anne Klein Watchit Platform Pumps. They have a beautiful leopard print and are on sale for $69.99! I'm not sure what sizes it comes it though but its worth exploring.

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  10. I´m on the hunt for a pair of leopar print pumps myself, dear. I´ve found a couple of gorgeous pairs from Zalando online shop.

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  11. I think leopard print is classy as long as you keep it to one piece. I liked them with the black and grey outfit. ~jen

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  12. You absolutely have the best proportions! So glad I stumbled on your blog… awesome!

    Joined and now am following! 🙂

    http://adamalexmommy.blogspot.com

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  13. Sonia van Utrecht wrote:

    This Leopard shoe looks classy on you. It spice out your office outfit and its superb. I have my leopard shoe in booties and i love it. I think whatever shoe you'll pick looks good on you coz you know how to wear it.

    Sonia from Netherlands

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  14. Olyvia wrote:

    I've honestly haven't seen much leopard-print shoes in real life….but I've been seeing them lots on bloggers! They do make a pretty pop for pictures and make an outfit more interesting, but personally, I would feel too self-conscious to wear that print in real life, unless I have gorgeous tanned and lean legs to show em off, haha. Your friend wears them perfectly! I think I saw an almond-toe pump version on Talbots, but they look kind of big though.

    Posted 10.19.11 Reply
  15. gorgeous!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  16. Megan wrote:

    You're right that the leopard doesn't really look like leopard should. I'm not one for animal prints, but it sure does look good on you! 🙂
    I also bought the Perfect Patent pumps during the sale… I can't stop wearing them!!

    http://www.longliveclassy.com

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  17. lin wrote:

    too bad those leopard pumps didn't work for you. i have a pair of the nine west leopard pumps but i bought mine like 4-5 years ago. i think a nice leopard pump is a great investment. like some of the readers said, it can look classy or trashy depending on what you wear with it.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  18. Abby wrote:

    I think they're classy! Love them!
    I do think they need to be simple and modest otherwise.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  19. so perfect this look. LOVE IT!

    ;*

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  20. maggie wrote:

    Personally, I've already passed my leopard phase, but I do recall seeing some nice ones on the DSW website! You might want to start there

    xx maggie

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  21. Take a look at these leopard pumps – they're not too bad of a price either! http://www.dsw.com/shoe/max+studio+marais+leopard+pump?prodId=211430&cm;_mmc=affil-_-ShopStyle.com-_-main-_-main

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  22. hey Jean! i love animal print shoes, but the print has to be just right (as the heel and quality) hence why it's so hard to find the perfect pair! i way overspent on a pair of leopard wedges by jessica simpson at Marshalls ($70 bucks i think) but they're gorgeous and they're under 4 inches! Tory Burch makes a gorgeous pair: http://www.toryburch.com/SOPHIE-LEOPARD-PRINT-WEDGE/23108123,default,pd.html?CAMPID=gbase

    the leopard pumps you picked up are cute but don't have the print I prefer =/ and your friends pumps are gorgeous, i wished i had picked those up last year!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  23. Trista wrote:

    I love the animal print shoes! It's a fun touch to your outfit!

    http://www.hipposandhearts.com/

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  24. Jackie wrote:

    I think I bit of animal print can be very classy.

    Still keeping my eyes open for leopard print shoes…or something!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  25. Anna wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    What about these: http://www.zappos.com/chinese-laundry-new-love

    The quality might not be as good as AT, but it's pretty affordable!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  26. Hmmm, is the extra 30% off coupon code working for anyone? It's not working for me.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  27. Justine wrote:

    I know Corso Como rocks the leopard print pump, but I haven't seen it in stock since 2009. 🙁

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  28. Loi wrote:

    I don't know really if it's flashy or classy. Maybe it depends on the outfit. But you pulled it off classy!!! Love it!!!

    http://www.laestetica.com.ph
    http://www.squidoo.com/get-to-know-dr-almond-derla

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  29. Phoebe wrote:

    I bought a pair of leopard heels a couple months ago…these: http://www.endless.com/Vince-Camuto-Womens-Elanie-Pump/dp/B004Y46W2I

    They are very pretty in person — the spots have hints of both black and brown in real life. And they are very comfortable. The toe box is actually a great fit for me.

    I've seen them at a few department stores…you should check them out. I really do love them!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  30. Nelah wrote:

    I think it will work as long as you keep everything else fairly conservative such as blouse, pants or dress. Dark and conservative colors will also play a big part too to help tone down animal print for work outfit like what you did above. My workplace is somewhat casual so u can wear animal print pieces.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  31. Cari S. wrote:

    I adore the Banana Republic leopard pumps from the Mad Men collection this fall. They are gorgeous, I wear them ALL the time!!!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  32. I could tell by afar the pattern was not true leopard, more cheetah. I really like the 2010 version. That would've been perfect. I say keep the patent ones. why not?! esp if you got a deal and you could use one.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Pretty-Small-Shoes has some different pairs of Leopard heels, but they're usually a bit pricey..
    http://www.pretty-small-shoes.com/cgi-bin/ss000002.pl?page=search&SS;=leopard&search.x;=0&search.y;=0≺=-1&TB;=A

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  34. Wow I don't think I've seen you in a black top in ages!! You look good! 😀 You're right about the spots on those pumps … not reminiscent of a true "leopard" at all.

    I love the Corso pair you linked up. Are you going to be trying that pair out?

    Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  35. I have the Michael Kors leopard print, pony hair w/ a wedge heel and a little black patent buckle over the vamp. SO perfect and comfy too.

    I had the black patent Manolo Mary-Janes, but after 10 years they died. I tried Cole Haan and Louboutin, but they are no where near as comfy. Time to save up for a replacement pair of Manolos.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  36. Gigi wrote:

    KEEP the AT leopard heels. That pattern is absolutely gorgeous! It looks like AT focused more on the pattern of a leopard's breast: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard_africa.jpg

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  37. bevy wrote:

    I'm a leopard lover, but I agree with girly girl, depending on how they are styled can determine if it's trashy or classy. But you seem to have a good handle on styling so I wouldn't worry too much in that area. And while AT leopard pumps are cute, they do seem to be more dalmatian looking than leopard from afar.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  38. R.L. wrote:

    I say keep the patent blk heels. Black is so versatile and having this pair in rotation should even the wearing out of your other pair w/o being an exact dupe. $65 for an AT pump is hard to beat! As for your leopard heels, I agree about the print looking like polka dots. For $83, definitely return and hold out for another season. BTW, would it be weird to show up to work with similar leopard heels as another coworker? Also, I think you forgot to mention you also have saddle brown AT pumps 😉

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  39. kileen wrote:

    i actually just purchased the Wild Pair Mara leopard pumps from Bakers last weekend (http://www.bakersshoes.com/p-202210-MARA-WP.aspx)!

    They're on sale for $40 but the heel is much taller than what you're looking for, even with the platform. I'm actually a bit on the fence about keeping them cause I think they might even be a little tall for me!

    I do think a good leopard pump adds a bit of fun to an outfit and can still look classy too!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:
    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  41. girly girl wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  42. Definitely interested in those post because though I already own a pair of leopard pumps (my idea of the perfect leopard pump – the Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool, which they no longer make), I want another pair in a slightly different style because I love the print! I think it is a bit edgy and out there, but still classic and really gives a nice pop to a corporate outfit.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  43. I wish I could order Ann Taylors from Canada!!!

    withloveshmon.wordpress.com

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  44. Michelle wrote:

    Those spotted shoes don't look so bad. I actually like them! They pull off as a more subtle look compared to those leopard styles you pointed out. As far as having too many shoes in the same style, never. You could never have "too many" if you're referring to only 4 pairs…haha. I learned this the hard way…. I saw a great pair that would've been a third "extra," but winded up not getting it. What happened next? My other two either broke or got really worn down….and now I had to frantically look for a replacement. We all know how hard it is to find exactly what you're looking for when you're looking for it at that particular time. Retail shopping just doesn't work that way……haha

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  45. Alexis wrote:

    http://www.zappos.com/ivanka-trump-pinkette

    About an inch too high, but I think you could totally pull the 4.5 inch heel off!

    Love love love your blog!!!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    How do you tuck in your shirts to your skirts so a line or bunching doesn't show through the skirt? A lot of shirts are long on me, so when I pull them down under the skirt you can see the shirt line through the skirt. When I try to fold up the shirt so it hits above my bum (so there is no line), it feels bunchy and frumpy at the waist. Any tips? Thanks!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  47. Laura C. wrote:

    Jean- you should check out the AK Anne Klein Women's Watchit Platform Pump. The heel high and platform make this shoe really comfortable (you do have to break them in more than the Ann Taylor perfect pumps). The finish is also really pretty. I wear a 6.5 and find this brand to fit smaller feet pretty well.

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  48. Ha ha! I went through the same thing recently. I even tried leopard WEDGES, but no good. This is one of the hardest things to find! In the end I buckled (no pun intended) and went for a pair by Manolo Blahnik that's the perfect colour and pattern for me personally – plus in a tiny size!

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply
  49. Liz wrote:

    http://www.zappos.com/aldo-mease

    cheaper here than on the Aldo website

    Posted 10.18.11 Reply

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