Fashion Faux “Paw”

I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and noticed that Chic in Academia posted a photo talking about a pair of leopard print shoes she found when cleaning out her closet.

Photo Credit: @chic_in_academia


Yet as I read the post, I thought, “Is it really leopard…or is it cheetah?” Of course, I’m sure that she knew what she was talking about, but I didn’t. So I decided to do some research for myself, and for others like me that want to know in order to avoid a fashion faux pas.


Upon doing my research, I found out that there at least 4 different types of feline print! (Who would’ve known???) The animals they belong to are the cheetah, leopard, jaguar, and ocelot. When you look at these beauties, to the untrained eye, they tend to look the same. But if you continue reading, you’ll become as confident as I did being able to spot the difference!


Cheetahs have clear, single, and sometimes oval-shaped spots that are evenly spaced. Yet leopards have irregular shaped spots that group together to form rosettes. And while the cheetah is a beloved print just as much as the animal, leopard is the one most commonly used — and commonly mistaken for the other.




Leopard, Panthera pardus (Felidae)



The two other prints used are jaguar and ocelot, yet due to their lack of popularity, designers shy away from classifying the name. But if you want to know the difference between those two, it’s not as hard as you think. Jaguar spots are similar to a leopard’s except they tend to have spots inside their rosettes, and an ocelot’s spots are more of an oval stretched version of the jaguar.







I hope this has provided you with a clear understanding of what is and what isn’t, and you’ll no longer be confused. If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your friends so they can be in the know, as well! As always,



Peace, Love, Blessings, & Hugs

Freddie G.


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