Dos And Don'ts Of Dog Fashion
Dos And Don'ts Of Dog Fashion
Jesse Lirette (Owner, LA Doggie Style) gives expert video advice on: What shouldn't I put on my dog?; Do you think it's ethical for dogs to wear other animal materials?; Should I dress a big dog? and more...
What shouldn't I put on my dog?
It's not what you shouldn't put on your dog, because it is always based on your character, what you want to put on your animal. But I would say, be selective on the materials that you're putting on your animal, because you need to base it on the weather, because dogs are covered in fur and some people forget that a dog already has a coat of fur on them. Some dogs don't, some dogs have short fur but you have dogs that have thick fur. These are the do's and dont's that I concentrate on when it comes to the actual garment that you place on. You're covering the body. The dog does not sweat. The dog sweats through their mouth and if the dog not able to cool himself down because you've got a Kashmir sweater on them or a heavy wool sweater on him because he looks cute in it, you could really be hurting your dog, so you really be a parent. I would suggest don't get so into it that you are trying to pretty up your dog or make your dog look a certain way, but not realize what you're actually doing to your animal. You need to make sure that you are aware of all the elements when it comes to your dog.
Do you think it's ethical for dogs to wear other animal materials?
That's a very touchy question. I mean if we look at everything and look at across the board, we have them wearing leather, which is on their collar, which is the biggest seller in collars is very nice leather. But if we talk about furs, I find it unethical that in our industry we are finding out that we have synthetic furs but then sometimes we don't notice synthetic furs and they end up being in real animals fur. I just don't believe in it. I don't think a dog with fur should be wearing another dog's fur. I just don't feel that is appropriate. We don't personally, you know, work in that direction but it depends on the designer and if the designer can stand behind this product and he wants to put an animal in that, who am I to say you're wrong but I still have my own beliefs. You don't see fur in my industry, I mean in my shop except on your dog.
Should I dress a big dog?
Dressing a big dog can be difficult. A lot of designers don't accomodate big dogs. When we say big dogs, we are talking about Pitt Bulls, Great Danes, Sheep Dogs, Australian Sheep Dogs. These are very big dogs. It's very hard to find stuff, usually the only thing you can find are t-shirts, but where you can get decorative with a big dog is getting really nice looking collar. Something that belongs to him, that shows his personality, this is what the trend is setting for big dogs. Not saying you can't find things for your dog, but it's very difficult, because mid size to toy dog is where you're going to find more clothing, but when you get into the extra large dogs this is where it's going to be difficult.
Shoes are a cute idea for dogs, but are they practical?
Yeah, shoes are cute. I think they're something that's needed. There's a practicality to it why people put them on dogs, if you really think about it, if a dog lives in a hot or cold region, it does protect dog that don't have a nice coat of fur, their paws tend to be very sensitive to the heat or the extreme cold. So it's something that I think can be used on the animal, but there are some people that dress them up. If you're putting a nice garment on them, some people would like to put the shoes that match the garment. So that's completely to the person's taste. I've seen everything from Le May shoes to diamond studded shoes to thermal shoes that are really useful for a reason. So there's many uses for dog shoes.
Are 'party collars' a good choice for the fashion-conscious dog?
Party collars are just an individual…people today are throwing birthday parties for their animals and I'm not kidding—big birthday parties. And one of the big things are these party collars that come out. They're like a gesture collar and they've got studs on them and little poufs on them and they come in all these different wild colors. But to see a roomful of dogs that are actually coming to the party and they all have these collars, it's kind of humorous. It's funny and it is cute. But it's something that…I don't think I would necessarily have my dog in all the time. That's up to the individual. But for a birthday party, why not?
What's up with 'dog weddings'?
Dog are part of the family. People are treating them as the ring bearers or the flower dogs. All kinds of stuff. We have tuxedos, holidays, weddings, Christmas, Easter. You name it, St. Patrick's Day. They are all a part of it. They are a part of our life and they are getting more and more involved with it. So weddings, it is a big deal. Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs, now that is something like, you are doing a birthday party? Well, because of the religious background they are doing Bar-Mitzvahs. Bat-Mitzvahs, Bar-Mitzvahs, Bark-Mitzvahs. So personally, I have never been to one but would love to go to one and see how it is. But it is all in fun. It is a positive thing.