December 29th, 2011
Fashion Discussion, Men's style
Fashion Discussion: What’s Wrong With Men in Leopard?
By The Fashion Bomb Staff

Last week, we published this post about Drake‘s Supreme x North Face Leopard Nupste jacket. When I initially saw the jacket, I thought it was cool and different, and wondered if I could find it in my size. But it seems that many Fashion Bomb Readers didn’t share the same sentiment.

The offending garment

The post was greeted with remarks like; “I better not see any straight guys walking around in this crap.” and “Though I know of some very straight men that could pull this look off, I still stand and shout a resounding “Hell NO!” It has nothing to do with being creative or having an “eye”. Some things real men just don’t wear.”

Statements like these got me thinking. Since when are animal prints, which (as I later commented) occur naturally on both male and female animals, gender specific? And if animal prints are feminine, what do we think about traditionally male clothing: boxers, ties, cuff links, etc. being made in those patterns?

Kanye West is comfortable with his masculinity in this leopard print jacket

This reminds me of the age-old debate: should/ do” real men” wear pink? After all, pink is just a color, and was not seen as designated to a specific gender until the 1940s. In fact, a 1918 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal says: “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” So if the gendering of color is so arbitrary, why do we place gender restrictions on who can wear certain prints?

As time and fashion continues to progress, what we deem appropriate attire for either gender is going to change. At one point, men used to wear high heels, and what we think of today as dresses (togas). So if things like that are subject to change, why shouldn’t something as trivial as a certain type of print have the same flexibility?

We’re pretty sure men are supposed to wear these, too.

At the end of the day, I think Drake’s jacket was hot, and if I was approached by a man wearing something like it, I’d be too impressed with his ability to take fashion risks to turn him down! What do you think?



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52 Responses to “Fashion Discussion: What’s Wrong With Men in Leopard?”

  1. The lines of fashion have certainly been blurry fot the past couple of years. Don’t know how I feel about my man being able to sport some of my gear. I guess it just another way of society’s emasculating the male figure as we know.

  2. The SavSter says:

    I concur!

  3. Jihan,

    I think it definitely goes back to what we have been conditioned to believe from childhood and all those external influences(family,friends, mass media) throughout our entire lives. I don’t see anything with a man wearing pink and/or leopard or heels for that matter. I think its B.O.L.D and F.I.E.R.C.E. . We allow other people to dictate too much of what we decide to wear on a day to day basis. Why? What does it matter b/c there are no rules to individuality and style. I focus and inspire myself ,as well as, others to express themselves ,however they feel at the moment. Style inspiration is found all around us and it is up to us as individuals to defined our own style. I love that Kanye is so damn Bold. It’s sexy and I am Lesbian. lol. Go Figure!

    Personally, I don’t care for Drake’s coat but I do like the print. Kanye’s Rock! It’s versatile with a touch of femininity.

    As humans, it is so much easier to follow the crowd than to think for ourselves b/c many are so afraid of being judged or singled out..but be fierce … be You and wear what your the hell you want.


  4. DollFace says:

    I think Drake’s Jacket is dope, as well as Kanye’s. There is nothing wrong with a man wearing print or “girly” colors, it’s all in how it’s done. Women wear what may be deemed as masculine clothing all the time; The boyfriend jean, Janelle Monae in the tux, ties, combat boots etc. it’s about making it sexy or feminine. Men can and should wear print and light colors it’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s interesting especially when it’s worn with confidence!

  5. Nakia P says:

    I think a nice silk leopard pocket square might be fly, I think we just aren’t used to seeing masculine men rock animal prints but it may catch on in accents prayerfully in the future :). It may catch on like men in pink, my husband is a very manly man and he will wear a nice pressed pink button down or Lacoste polo with jeans and a nice pair of drivers and it’s hot :). He cracks me up when he says real men can pull off pink, but I still think moderation is key :)

  6. lolodoll says:

    Wearing leopard (or leopard home decor even…albeit tacky) is very much so a feminine thing to me. Let’s put it like this, if I ever saw my man wearing leopard he’d no longer be my man. I love very masculine, manly, rough around the edges men and none that I’ve ever met would be caught dead wearing leopard print. The metros can keep that look. I’m not a fan of it.

  7. Marsha D says:

    Leopard print + Men = Morris Day… head with all that…don’t want my man in leopard.

  8. MissMaryMack says:

    ……I think the looks are fine. I just had one thought whilst reading this post: since when are homosexual men not considered ‘REAL’ men? I mean, they still have XY chromosomes and I’m pretty sure they still have functioning peens. Just because a man is deemed ‘masculine’ does not make him a ‘real’ man. A man who knows how to show respect, courtesy, compassion, knows how to take care of business and is loved by many; that’s a real man, and I’m sure the way he’s dressed has no bearing on any of those things.

  9. @MissMaryMack,

    I am with that.

  10. KBS says:

    “Some things real men just don’t wear”…..sums it up. Having a XY chromosome doesn’t make you a “real” man, just like having a LV bag doesn’t make you a stylish fashtonista.

  11. kaliente says:

    snakeskin (as seen on the hat) cool…
    LEOPARD print on a man…ummmm NO

  12. bella says:

    i think leopard print is acceptable on men if it’s worn the right away. drake just doesn’t have any swag imo so he looks stupid AF

  13. Nicki says:

    I like it on the shoes. Other than that no me gusta.

  14. Indigo says:

    It’s not the prints… It’s the cut..

  15. Indigo says:

    Men shouldn’t rock princess seams…

  16. sun.kissed says:

    Drake’s jacket—YES! Kanye’s jacket—NO! Chris’s shoes—YES. The snapback hats—NOT SURE, the blue one is just fug.

  17. Afrikka! says:

    can we talk about kanyes necklace??? it looks like it came from for love 21… the right man can pull off leopard in moderation but that neckless is for women…

  18. Chianti4rmLA says:

    Kanye….Why???? …Noooooo.

  19. yusufswifee says:

    I like the look on Kanye…he can pull it off…Drake, not so much.

  20. Jinx Moneypenny says:

    Lmao at leopard print minimizing one’s masculinity. That’s so problematic as a concept I don’t even think people realize. It doesn’t suit everyone, men or women. But the people it does suit, let them cook. Kanye looks great, and that’s because it works for him. He can pull it off.

  21. Ashley says:

    as a fan of all things leopard I have no problem with men wearing the print… I think personally Leopard has more feminine connotations…. which makes it so “sexy”. It comes from an animal classified as a cat which is a feline which society has associated with Female. I think its daring and commendable that men can pull off such a print, However for Men it is better in moderation (my opinion).

  22. Anonymous says:

    Drake lookin like a fool everyday of his life regardless of the print: in his Missoni sweaters, in his coat, whatever. IJS.

    BUT…I appreciate this article, Jihan! And I think Jinx Moneypenny hit it right on target.

  23. Observer says:

    To the ladies who want their uber masculine men to eschew leopard print, think on this. Aren’t you the ones who also when you see the African “brothers” in their leopard skin regalia, arent you the ones on say OOoo, how strong they look, how macho. So What’s the problem if a modern day man wears it. If your man were treating you right and was a good father, would you care that he wore a leopard print. Priorities ladies!

  24. krystel says:

    I don’t like it..period!

  25. katie says:


  26. binks says:

    I don’t think men should stay away from leopard like most mention it is not so much about the pattern or color the man is wearing but how he is incorporating it. To me Chris, drake and the hats are fine but kanye and even lil wayne….not so much the cuts they chose looks a bit feminine to me

  27. Rebel says:

    I would rock the hell out of that North Face coat Drake has on!!

  28. LongIslandSLIM says:

    I cant with the FBD readers! The only word that popped in my head when reading these responses was “ignant”. Since when does color, print, sexual preference, etc make a person a “real” man or woman? Working hard, having confidence, respecting yourself and others, and handling business are, amongst other things, what make a man or woman “real”. Enough with the ignorance and show some love to our fellow brothers and sisters -_-

  29. QKelly says:

    I’m down with the animal print, but look at that jacket Ye has on, certain details like the zipper on the sleeves makes it look like he got it from the women section. Drakes leopard print North Face is cool along with the shoes and snap backs. Its all about how you rock it but Kanye is in the same boat with Lil Wayne to me.. they take specific ladies clothing such as Uggs and skinny jeans and try to turn it into mens’ fashion… NOT COOL! That jacket fits him wayyyyyyy too snug its not a hot or hmm… its a EWWWWL!

  30. ladyluo says:

    No matter what the rationalizations, there is just something not right about it. Kanye looks ridiculous! Drake just looks awful. Chris kind of gets away with it. My problem is mainly that these “men” seem so focused on trends which I am sorry is not masculine. I love a stylish man which is different from a trendy man.

    Despite attempts to blur gender lines we all have a inert sense of what is male and what is female. If there wasn’t a difference, we would be one gender. A woman who likes menswear is completely different from a man who is into women’s wear and we all know it. If a man wants to behave like a woman, it is his prerogative and his life and he will always look ridiculous.

  31. Bellamoda says:

    This is an interesting topic! I honestly don’t think anyone is ignorant in their response because in the end what matters is what fuels our individual and private vehicle. The options and combinations are endless when it comes to the fashion and personality expression of men and women.
    I do agree with ladyluo in the sense that we have an inert feel of what is male and what is female. Most folks whether male or female, homosexual or heterosexual try to express more of a masculine vibe or feminine side, sometimes without consciously trying.

    I love animal print on men but like any other trend, not all men can pull it off. My husband for example can’t pull that one off:-) Drake looks sexy in his jacket, Chris B looks sexy in his shoes, Kanye West looks like he jacked Willow Smith for her jacket and her pendant, and I am feeling the animal print caps.

  32. Naj says:

    Style and fashion means you can wear whatever you want. and rock it how you please that is “swag”..
    however, in my opinion that northface jacket is ugly- the brand behind it is what people like -michellin man x leopard print = silly in my book , male or female why look like a confused puffed up animal.. however prints and colors are for whoever wants to wear them..

    i am surprised this garners more conversation than men in heels or turbans.

  33. Siyam says:

    so does that make Tarzan not manly for rocking the leopard skin first in the mainstream? and to be fair, African men historically have worn every type of animal was the ladies who were regulated to cloth only for a LONG time (unless they were royalty). Jihan girl, if Drizzy steps to me in a leopard coat ( or any other fly guy with a sincere sense of individuality) they will most def get the digits. One article of clothing is not enough to make me turn the other cheek if its accompanied by a dude with charisma who is gentlemanly in all other aspects. And for @MissMaryMack and @Naj: Truth. Nobody was talking this much about dudes in high heels but wanna bust a brotha for wearing a WINTER JACKET and it’s cold outside. Hmmm….

  34. NikkiBellaRay says:

    There is nothing wrong with men in leopard come on thats like saying men shouldn’t wear pink. Fashion is what it is no rules, no boundaries.

  35. kyndough says:

    To each it’s own. Some people will never open their minds to be fashionably cultured. Im a male and i wouldnt mind rockin a leopard jacket or pair of sneakers. At the end of the day its all about what YOU like and what YOU are comfortable in, f##k what other ppl gotta say. Thay can keep their closed opinions.

  36. Ando says:

    You idiots, Kanye looks like an idiot and so does drake. I don’t agree that leopard print is for women only, but not all males can pull it off. Drake and Kanye here look like they’re trying too hard and I just think they look stupid, especially Kanye. Chris Brown’s shoes are cool on him. I know guys who can pull these looks off right. But these two here, NO.

  37. KikiDiva says:

    I don’t care what other men do, but my man best not be seen wearing anything deemed feminine by TODAY’S standards…no sir.

  38. WaliyyahS says:

    I don’t see the problem with men wearing animal prints or girly colors. Certain “girl” colors may be a bit too much especially if it’s a full shirt or pant but if it’s an accent or in the details, it’s fine. Drake’s jacket is very stylish. Kanye’s jacket is a bit more feminine but that’s because of the fit. The way he styled it looks right but it should be a lil less fitted & a lil bit longer. The fitted & Chris Brown’s sneaks are great accents.

    I guess at the end of the day, it depends on the guy & the way these “feminine” colors & prints are styled.

  39. WaliyyahS says:

    And incorporated.

  40. Dee says:

    I love it!!! It is all about owning it. If you can’t own the look,then you won’t be to pull it off.

  41. wallflower says:

    It never even occured to me that animal print was feminine until I read the comments on the other article.

  42. Mischka says:

    These comments are pure comedy! lol!

  43. Jinx Moneypenny says:

    Gender identities are LEARNED. People out here referring to biological sexes and gender as the same thing. Get it together.

  44. alana says:

    i totally agree with you jihan! fashion is about taking risks yet being comfortable in your own skin to do so! i don’t understand why people freak out about things as simple as animal print on men! really?

  45. clicky_heels says:

    yall are fools. LEOPARD/CHEETAH/GIRAFFE/ZEBRA. any print looks fly as long as its worn well.

    Boy/girl/gay/straight. this is 2012 people. GET WITH IT.

  46. Joanne_ says:

    I think it’s fine just so long as it s done n moderation. Just like anything else in fashion IMO

  47. Cameron says:

    Anyone who has a problem with the men in leopard clearly has no fashion sense and it’s ridiculous cmon it’s 2012 boundaries have been broken years ago stop being so narrow minded people!

  48. Ashley says:


  49. It says:

    I’m SHOCKED.

    Lol, had I known my comment would be the driving force behind an entire post, I would have chosen a bit more intrication 4 my verbage!

    I love everyones point of view (minus the name calling and attempts at assessing ones intellect thru a spaceless medium… let alone two fraggly sentences!). But if I’m ignant *sighs* *yawns* *blank stare* I’ll be that. I’ll just take my M.D., and don’t come visit me at the doctors office and for damn sure don’t have on lepoard! Lol, I joke. I agree to each its own, but for my man…his own betta exclude lepoard. Have a great 2012 people!

  50. artemide says:

    Well, the T-shirt was really cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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