You have to be looking at three characteristics of leopard print scarves when you are thinking about a purchase. They are Spots, Shade and Substance. I refer to these as the 3 Ss.
Spots. Some fabric designed with an animal print theme can have spots that are too large or too small or in not an attractive pattern. This often causes the material to be anything but flattering, particularly in the case of big spots. It can sometimes even end up looking quite ugly. There is a test I do to help me discern this. I squint my eyes and look at the item from three different perspectives. Close, nearby and far away. What is your first reaction for each view? Is it “love it, love it, love it”? Or, is it “Oh dear, that looks weird.”?
Shade. The deliberate use of unnatural colors rarely works well. Even when an attempt is being made to make the colors look somewhat natural, the shades may not be working, at all. If you are not a good judge of designs and colors, you should have a girl friend who is good at this help you. When in doubt, I recommend you not get the unnatural color. 95% of the time, it looks chintzy. The 5% of the time it can work, it generally is only for the very young woman who is going for that wild and sassy look. But even here, the other two Ss need to be addressed well to be able to pull it off.
Substance. This relates to both the scarf’s shape or dimensions as well as the kind of material being used.
It is important to remember that subtle characteristics of clothing can enhance or ruin a look. Under certain conditions slightly over-sized scarves can work. Today, though, a good number of designers are working with the notion that all over-sized scarves are great. This is just not the case. There are times when they detract from a potentially good look.
I’ve been told I have a knack for spotting fad styles, that is, styles that will likely be short lived. And I predict these very bulky and over-sized scarves will end up being a fad. Why? They don’t flatter anyone’s look. Often, the woman looks like she has a cocoon forming around her neck!
Remember the big shoulder pads of the late 1980s? That was a fad too. They were just too extreme and not flattering. But the sparkles and more dramatic dress, blouse and bathing suit cuts that became prevalent then, didn’t end up being a fad. They had staying power because those new aspects of clothing were attractive and flattering.
Another aspect of Substance is the fabric. If the fabric being used for the scarf is not of high quality, the scarf can look tacky or cheap. This becomes even more likely with a scarf that is over-sized, has a substandard animal or leopard print on a light and gauzy cotton or rayon material. A tell tale sign of this is a faded out look that looks tired and like a rag instead of appealing.