12 classic leopard flats: the ultimate investment shoe

It’s easy to identify the hardest working shoes in your wardrobe: they’re the ones with the sole that’s been replaced more than once, and that also appear in multiple photos at birthday parties and special occasions. For me, those shoes are my Belle by Sigerson Morrison leopard print T-bar pumps (pictured below). I remember them being to delivered to me when I worked at The Times, so I must have bought them at least 7 years ago, and they still look good as new (except for perhaps that serially replaced sole!).

En Brogue wearing Belle by Sigerson Morrison leopard flats

They’re not my only leopard print flats either; I also had the opportunity a few years ago to collaborate on the design of a shoe with Jemima Vine (below; a fledgling brand that is sadly no longer going). The idea was to produce my ultimate dress shoe, and I didn’t hesitate in deciding that leopard print absolutely had to be included.

En Brogue wearing leopard flats

On reflection, this is weird, because I’m not one of those people who is really into leopard. I have one leopard camisole from Ganni, but no leopard print faux furs, no leopard bags – I don’t even have a leopard print silk slip skirt. I have friends that wear loads of the stuff and look fantastic in it, but generally speaking, it’s not really my style. When it comes to shoes, however, I just can’t get enough of it. On a pointy Mary Jane, you’ve got the ultimate dress shoe, on a slipper or loafer, something boyish with a fancy flourish. One of the most surprising things is that leopard print shoes seem to go with everything – even other prints! So as my two favourite pairs are no longer available, I thought I would round up the best leopard flats from the new season. There’s something for every budget here, and don’t forget to check out the ‘wear with’ section at the end for some new season styling tips.

1. Anthropologie mules, £155 ([AD] anthropologie.com); 2. Boden ‘Ashbourne’ boots, £96 ([AD] boden.co.uk); 3. Carvela ‘Sacred’ hiking boots (and top), £199 ([AD] kurtgeiger.com

4. Office ‘Kennedy’ lace-ups, £62 ([AD] office.co.uk); 5. Nike Air Max, £140 ([AD] offspring.co.uk); 6. Topshop ‘Lara’ mules, £29 ([AD] topshop.com)

7. Vans Authentic sneakers, £58 ([AD] freepeople.com); 8. Zara leopard loafers, £69.99 (zara.com); 9. Mango leopard mules, £49.99 ([AD] mango.com)

10. Diemme leopard hiking boots, £284 ([AD] net-a-porter.com); 11. J Crew leopard pumps, £199 ([AD] jcrew.com); 12. Madewell ‘Frances’ loafers, £136.30 ([AD] madewell.com)

WEAR WITH…

CLASSICS

I love to mix a stripe with leopard print, and you really can’t go wrong with a trench coat (another great investment piece). This look would work with any of the shoes in my edit, from trainers to ankle boots.

COS trench coat, £135 ([AD] cosstores.com); The Breton Shirt Co top, £37 (bretonshirt.com); Levi’s 501 Skinny jeans, £84.99 (zalando.co.uk)

EVENINGWEAR

My Sigerson Morrison T-bar pumps are some of my most useful shoes for special occasions. The shoes I’ve featured from Anthropologie, J Crew and Mango would be a particularly nice pairing for this outfit.

Arket crepe knot dress, £99 ([AD] arket.com); Bear Brooksbank gold necklace, £150 (bearbrooksbank.com); Wicker Wings bag, £295 ([AD] net-a-porter.com)

ALL-IN-ONE

I’ve become a little obsessed with Topshop’s current offering of boiler suits, and bought two corduroy ones this week alone. Those are selling out fast, but I think this khaki one makes a particularly nice pairing with leopard. I’m only 5ft3 and would need the petite for my frame, so am ruled out of this particular purchase unfortunately…

Topshop boiler suit, £59 ([AD] topshop.com); Marks & Spencer roll neck sweater, £29.50 ([AD] marksandspencer.com); Lost Property of London ‘Micro Arlington’ saddle bag, £265 (lostpropertyoflondon.com)