Leopard Print Jeans Are Trending For Winter — & Don’t You Dare Pretend They’re Not A Neutral

Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
In the fashion world, there's one passionate debate that's dredged up every few years: whether leopard print is a neutral.
Leopard print is both polarising and undoubtedly bold, but thanks to its neutral colour palette that will match every single piece in your wardrobe, we believe that yes, it is a neutral. It's also surprisingly timeless — after all, a debate can only re-emerge so many times if it's not tied to a particular season or trend cycle.
But in 2024, no one can deny that the classic tonal brown leopard print has really taken over, with vintage styles of iconic bags (for example the Y2K pony hair leopard bags from Prada) popping up at vintage resellers, as well as leopard coats, shoes, bags, and yes, jeans spotted everywhere in the street style at Fashion Month.
The reason for the current leopard renaissance is twofold. For the past few years, Scandi style has been the prevailing aesthetic — particularly amongst the global fashion influencer community, with oversized pieces, clashing prints and layered outfits becoming the norm. Just try to scroll through TikTok without being accosted (lovingly) by girlies walking to grab their morning coffees (or the real Scandi girls biking through their cities) while sporting bold colour combinations and unexpected outfits. In this world, leopard print has always been not only a neutral, but an invitation to be playful with the pieces in your wardrobe — there are no real rules here, aside from "more is more".
The other trend that has ushered in leopard print so strongly is the rise of the "mob wife aesthetic", which is characterised by fur coats, chunky gold jewellery, and you guessed it, animal print. While the trend itself has been called into question for glamourising mafia culture and narco violence (at worst), celebrating an aesthetic that older Italian women have worn for decades (at best), or more neutrally, being a bit of a non-trend — the reality is that leopard print pieces have now firmly landed in our daily wardrobes.
Now, the trends have had a baby, and that's precisely where leopard print jeans come in. Jeans are an accessible way to embrace the maximalism of Scandi style (at least, the version we see on TikTok) and dip our toes into mob wife, without going full fur. It also fits into our wardrobes more easily than other forms of leopard print, as you can layer over coats and girly knitwear that tone down the innate va va voom of the print.
Jeans are also pieces that we know we'll get a lot of wear out of. I have a rule in my wardrobe that no matter what I'm clearing out, jeans must always stay (unless they're literally worn through). We know that denim trends come and go — as proven by the revival of barrel-leg jeans this autumn — so by investing in a pair of leopard print jeans this year, you can also be sure that you'll wear them a lot, and for years to come.
The only problem that remains is actually getting a pair into your hot little hands. The two brands that have been leading the leopard charge for years are Damson Madder and Ganni, with the former consistently selling out of its cargo style and the latter constantly selling out its barrel-leg and cropped styles. At this point, your best bet is trawling sites like Depop, while also setting notifications on the Damson Madder and Ganni sites, so you can hopefully snap up a pair when they restock.
If you still have no luck, perhaps just wait for the hype to die down and then pounce, because like we said, leopard print will always come back around.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from Trends