I’m sure you’ve all seen it. A poodle dolled up with bows, a sweater, maybe even little booties and a hat to match. Dressing up your pet for Halloween is quite popular, but many people choose to dress up their pet on a regular basis. In the winter it is completely justified to put your dog in a sweater, especially if they have short fur. But what about designer doggie clothes? Wigs for your cat? Is this completely strange or a popular trend that is here to stay?
Nearly two-thirds of Americans have at least one pet and Americans total spend $41 billion a year on their furry friends. Sure, some of this counts for food and toys, but it also includes the ever-expanding industry for pet clothing.
From raincoats to sweaters, wigs and crowns to shirts and pants, and even pajamas, the world of pet fashion is certainly booming! But do pets love this attention or will they hate you for it?
Mario DiFante thinks they love it. DiFante, who staged New York’s first Pet Fashion Week last August, has an elevated view of the place of dogs and cats in the family hierarchy. As he puts it: “Many of us consider pets as the new babies.” That means clothing furry little ones in a range of sweaters, raincoats, leather jackets, and dresses. For Lara Alameddine, co-founder of Little Lily, a better word might be “babes.” Her four-year-old company clears $1 million a year selling products including doggie slippers, bikinis, and even canine versions of Oscar-night gowns. It’s popular with celebrity dog owners such as Paris Hilton, who often dresses up her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell. “We’re catering to the owner’s sense of style,” says Alameddine. “There are no bones on our clothes.”
With shows like “The Dog Whisperer” popping up everywhere, we are encouraged more and more to treat our pets like our children. We feed them, give them toys and love, and now even clothe them! While many fashionistas use this as an excuse to dress up their pet as they would themselves, some people just like the novelty of it and love their pet so much they want to treat them like family. As long as the pet isn’t harmed in any way, what is wrong with that?
Now you’re itching to dress up your pet? Head to a local pet boutique! Teacups & Toys is a pet boutique in Birmingham that offers fashion for all dogs, no matter the size. The Four-Legged Socialite Pet Boutique in Ann Arbor is another fancy place for pets. Finally, Bark Place Avenue in Rochester is a doggie spa to pamper your pet and also has unique clothes and toys! You can also find pet clothing in your local pet store, such as Petsmart, Pet Supplies Plus, and more. Even Martha Stewart has a brand of pet clothing at Petsmart!
What do you think? Check out these photos of dolled up pets and tell us what you think: ridiculous trend or totally adorable?