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  • Writer's picturesallyinstpaul

How to Pick a Shoe Color Part 4b: Cool Animal Prints (Grey Leopard)

In this warm weather footwear series, I am reviewing our choices when we select a shoe color for our outfits.

Previous posts in the series:

Part 1: Match Your Skin Tone (Nude to You)

Part 2: Match Your Hair (Bookend)

Part 3a: Warm Metallics (Gold)

Part 3b: Cool Metallics (Pewter/Silver)

Part 4a: Warm Animal Prints (Tan Leopard)

Today we'll continue reviewing animal print shoes (#3 on my More Me Dozen list) with the cool-tone options. In this post, I'll introduce my cool-toned animal print shoes and show how I've styled them for summer, including some earlier OOTD (several that I haven't shared on the blog before). I have two pairs of grey leopard print shoes, and I have worn them a lot more in the fall/winter than in the summer because they work very well with grey or black tights and I just gravitate toward darker shoes in the colder seasons. But they are excellent options for warm weather also!

Grey Leopard Wedges

The first pair is my most expensive pair of shoes, calf hair grey leopard wedges from Cole Haan. As with the nude Cole Haan wedges I shared in the nude-to-you shoe post, these were purchased in 2013 as a post-grad-school back-to-work professional option. I get very uncomfortable in any kind of heels very fast, so I spent more to get a pair of wedges that I could walk in comfortably (both these and the nude ones incorporate Nike Air technology). I haven't worn the leopard print ones quite as much as their nude counterparts (partly because I baby my calf hair shoes), but I have still racked up 91 wears for a current cost per wear of $2.18. (Purchased from Nordstrom for $198 in September 2013.)

Animal print shoes

I will readily wear these wedges with skirts/dresses, full length pants, ankle pants, and crop pants. I typically wear them with work outfits, though that includes more casual ones, as demonstrated in the first outfit below.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #1: 6/14/22
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #2: 5/6/21

I am dedicating a special section here to my OOTD photos that combine the grey leopard wedges with the grey-blue/coral cheetah blouse. This is one of those pleasing pairings that I come back to over and over again when putting outfits together. This is one of my preferred double "animal print" types of look: one traditional animal print that resembles the fur of an animal + one zoological print that shows the entire animal.

Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
A Pleasing Pairing: Cheetah blouse + leopard print wedges
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #3: 6/21/21
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #4: 7/10/20
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #5: 6/15/20
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #6: 8/22/19

Grey Leopard Flats

These shoes are at the other end of the price spectrum from my wedges: I got them on sale from Zappos for $14 in November 2013. I have worn them 50 times for a cost per wear of $0.28, and they are in basically immaculate condition, so I expect that CPW to keep going down. I have worn these a LOT with pants/jeans and trouser socks in colder weather, but I did find a couple summer OOTD to show you. Note that both of these outfits are also double animal prints: the first with a cat scarf and the second with a rabbit tank.

Animal print shoes
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #7: 5/3/19
Plus size outfit idea for women over 40
Outfit #8: 8/18/18

I went back up to Outfit #1 and saw that one combines the grey leopard wedges with a bird print scarf. Only Outfit #2 lacks a zoological print; it has a floral print skirt instead (plus a false plain blazer in a very small black and white print that reads as grey). I wouldn't have thought that the percentage of animal print + zoological print outfits would be so high! But this is one of the things you learn about your style when you take daily outfit photos and review them later...which is a practice I definitely recommend. I have not always taken photos daily (I was especially lax about weekend outfit photos for years) but I do take an outfit most of the time these days.

For cool-tone animal prints, you'd be hard pressed to find anything in the world as wonderful as this blue-grey and white example of my favorite breed of bunny: the mini rex rabbit! This little rabbit (3.5-4 pounds) and its bigger brother the rex rabbit (7.5-10.5 pounds) share the Rex fur mutation that causes the guard hairs (the outer layer of hair) to be atypically short compared to other rabbits. Most rabbits have longer guard hairs than undercoat, which means that you can brush their hair back with your hand (like most cats, dogs, etc.). But the mini rex's fur has hairs that are all the same length and stand up straight, so the fur is very dense, plush, and ultra-soft to the touch. You can press your hand into it and it will spring back up straight. You really can't brush it at all. Science has yet to unlock all the mysteries of the softness field created by rex rabbit fur.

Mini Rex Rabbit

Do you wear dark shoes in the summer? How do you feel about heels vs. wedges vs. flats? Do you like to mix animal prints in any way? Have you experienced the transcendent marvel that is the mini rex rabbit's fur?

Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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