The latest fashion creations for dogs range from hoodies and tees to beach wear, tuxedos and even dresses.
Not so long ago, many people laughed at the idea of apparel for dogs. Even basic utilitarian garments like weather-resistant coats were often met with derisive amusement. But things have changed dramatically. Canine fashion is booming, and it goes far beyond functional garments for inclement weather. The latest fashion creations for dogs range from colorful hoodies and personalized tees to beach wear, tuxedos and even dresses.
Canine fashion follows human fashion
If you want to learn about dressing your four-legged friend, take a look at fashion trends for humans. Pooch parents often opt for colors and fabrics similar to those they wear themselves.
“Interestingly enough, you can spot trends for dogs by following trends for babies,” adds Laurren Darr, founder of the International Association of Pet Fashion (IAPFP).
Nowadays, most dog lovers know their canines need protective clothing to protect them from the elements. That said, many canine apparel lines are no longer strictly utilitarian, and will feature everything you love about your own favorite fashion brands. For example, Maple Leash is a Canadian animal clothing company that offers a large collection of stylish, natural, handmade wool sweaters for cool fall weather, colored with natural dyes from plants. The company also has poly/cotton dog hoodies as well as snowsuits and accessories. These garments protect dogs from the weather while looking sharp and fashionable.
Here’s what’s “in” right now:
• Lots of bold colors, with bright neon hues balanced against more muted shades.
• Patterned geometric prints – Southwestern tribal patterns are popular.
• Japanese street fashion – the Harajuku style is popular,
with bursts of color and bold designs.
• Statement hoodies and tees, and hooded vests.
• “Must haves for summer include some doggie sunglasses and, for the ‘ladies’, bright ‘dresses’ in a summery print,”
• “For fall, rain slickers and jackets in an earthy orange are going to be popular,” she adds.
• Fashion meets function – Central Park Pups has a line that combines coat, leash and harness in one, easy-to-put-on garment.
• Wearable technology – Light Up Fashions feature garments with LED lights. Look for more companies to incorporate this safety idea by adding lights to fashionable apparel and accessories.
• Mix and match – Combine different textiles and patterns, such as stripes with plaids, dots with prints, or denims with edgy urban patterns like those from Really Love Dogs.
• Classic rocker look – The traditional James Dean look is popular, but with a twist. For example, Couture By Sophie offers the traditional black leather look, as well as a strikingly bright look in orange.
Supporting animal causes
Laurren says most canine fashion designers support animal-related causes either by volunteering, donating money, products or a percentage of their sales, or by taking part in special events. On May 29, for instance, several dog fashion companies, including Dogs N Ties, participated in San Francisco SPCA’s “Dogs on the Catwalk” cocktail party, where dogs strutted their stuff beside human models.
“For the first time, we hosted a fashion show with the latest trends for both dogs and people,” says Krista Maloney, Media Relations Specialist for the organization. “These parties help bring people to the shelter who might not otherwise visit; every time we host an event like this, lots of animals find new loving families.”