Clothing | Clothing Clothing en-us Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:00 -0700 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:00 -0700 Orion <![CDATA[Dogster Reviews: Ace Gets Dapper in the Dog Bow-Tie Collar By Max-Bone]]> This week, Ace and I had the opportunity to sample some products from Max-Bone, a line of fashionable dog clothing, bedding, and toys. Modern textiles and a muted color palette characterize Max-Bone’s unique style. Many Max-Bone dog products are made in the USA. In addition to individual items, Max-Bone also offers two monthly subscription boxes: The Bone-Box Mini, which includes toys, and the Bone-Box Jumbo, which includes toys and other items as well as a new bed every six months.

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The Stella Bow Tie.

Ace and I tried two products from the Max-Bone collection: the Stella Bow Tie ($45) and Ted Teddybear dog toy ($25). Handmade from a light gray linen material, the Stella Bow Tie comes in three sizes and is machine washable. I love the material and design of this fancy collar, especially for summer. The hardware includes a metal D-ring and a sturdy black plastic buckle.

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Although the Stella Bow Tie’s materials and design suggest an elegant piece of dog apparel, the stitching on the collar disappointed me. Stitches near the buckle and on the back of the bow tie used navy blue thread, which stands out against the beautiful light gray fabric. I think the stitching detracts from the polished look of the Stella Bow Tie.

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The navy blue stitching is near the D-ring.

Like the Stella Bow Tie, the Ted Teddybear’s best features are its fabric and design. It is made from a soft, chocolate brown, low-pile fabric. Its iconic teddy bear shape is simple, accented only by the Max-Bone label on its tummy. Ted Teddybear measures six inches by nine inches and includes a squeaker. It is machine washable.

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Ted Teddybear.

Ace truly enjoyed romping with Ted Teddybear. This toy is unusually lightweight, which made it fun to toss. Ace also got good traction biting into the textured fabric. It should be durable enough for small dogs who are not too rough with their toys.

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Fast friends.

I would like to see more of Max-Bone’s stylish dog products. I’m particularly curious about their dog beds and blankets, and this adorable wool buffalo toy

Dogster Scorecard for Max-Bone dog products

  • Quality: The Stella Bow Tie includes sturdy hardware.
  • Style: Despite fashionable fabrics and sleek design, contrasting stitching on the collar takes away from its polished look.
  • Function: Ted Teddybear is small and lightweight, and durable enough for small dogs who are not too rough with their toys.
  • Creativity: The look of Max-Bone is modern and fashionable.
  • Value: Max-bone products are made in the USA and are priced proportionately.

Bottom line

Ace and I enjoyed Max-Bone’s modern lines, fabrics, and colors, but the contrast stitching on the bow tie just wasn’t our style.

Dogster readers, tell us about your go-to brands for doggie formal wear in the comments below. 

And read more reviews from Ace's Mama here!

Read more about rescue on Dogster:

About the Author: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/dog-clothing-beds-toys-collars-max-bone-bow-tie-ted-teddybear-review
<![CDATA[Ace Reviews the Teckelklub Fuzzie, a Fleece Dog Shirt That's Built for Spring]]> Despite her diminutive size, my dog Ace isn’t a big fan of wearing clothing. To satisfy my desire to decorate her while respecting her preference for nudity, I maintain a large collection of nylon collars in a rainbow of colors. But sometimes dog clothing is about protecting a dog from the elements, particularly a dog with a short, smooth coat, and for these instances I won’t compromise. Ace has a few jackets and heavy shirts to protect her little body from cold and wind.

Because of our agreement, the kinds of dog clothing that catch my eye are those that are utilitarian, easy to clean, and attractive. Recently, while shopping at a local boutique pet store, I was stopped in my tracks by a display of Teckelklub outerwear. I had never heard of this Canadian company, but its clothing was clearly top-notch. I had to try it.

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In honor of spring, Ace and I sampled the Fuzzie ($24 to $68 depending upon size), a fitted fleece shirt made to be worn alone or layered beneath a Teckelklub waterproof jacket. The Fuzzie is made from machine-washable polyester fleece, with a Velcro closure at the waist. The Fuzzie is available in an impressive 12 different sizes and nine colors. (Ace is modeling the Fuzzie in Royal Blue, size 14, at $40.)

When I received Ace’s Fuzzie in the mail, I was surprised that the neck opening does not adjust like the fabric around the waist. As a Boston Terrier, Ace has an enormous head and chest proportional to the rest of her body, and I worried it would be impossible to get her into the Fuzzie. Fortunately, the polyester fleece material has a little bit of stretch, and the size measurements on the Teckelklub website are accurate, so I slipped Ace into the Fuzzie with ease.

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I like the way the neck and chest of the Fuzzie fits Ace. In fact, the Fuzzie is the best-fitting garment I have ever found for Ace. Usually, if a shirt fits around her head and chest, it is too long. I wonder whether other owners of bully breeds have had similar challenges. Because the Fuzzie is fitted pretty closely to Ace’s body, I think it would be easy and comfortable to wear layered with another coat or rain jacket on top of it.

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I like other aspects of the fit of this jacket, which are not evident from the photo on Teckelklub’s website. The turtleneck is an unusual feature on a dog’s garment and would be nice and toasty in windy conditions. Near the end of the jacket’s back, there are darts to keep the Fuzzie fitted to the dog’s body.

The Fuzzie’s materials appear to be of good quality, on par with high-end human sportswear. The fleece is so soft, and is machine washable. All the seams are double stitched and appear sturdy. Ace’s Royal Blue Fuzzie matches the deep, vivid blue displayed on the webpage. As an added bonus, Teckelklub makes all its products in Canada.

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Two ornaments adorn the otherwise simple Fuzzie. On the back of the neck is a reflective silver-and-black strip of fabric for added visibility outdoors. Towards the tail end of the jacket is a patch with Teckelklub’s website and other brand information. I would prefer the Fuzzie without decoration, but some owners will appreciate the utility of the reflective strip. For a more personal touch, you can have your dog’s name embroidered on the Fuzzie for an additional $10.

Dogster Scorecard for the Fuzzie by Teckelklub

  • Quality: The Fuzzie is a soft, machine-washable fleece on par with quality human sportswear.
  • Style: Bright colors and a fitted style make the Fuzzie a unique addition to your dog’s cold weather wardrobe.
  • Function: The Fuzzie fits true to size and accommodates Ace’s hard-to-fit body shape better than other jackets I’ve tried.
  • Creativity: The Fuzzie is a versatile garment designed to layer under a waterproof jacket or to wear on its own.
  • Value: For a garment made in Canada of quality materials, the Fuzzie is a good value for the cost.

Bottom line

I’m tremendously pleased with the quality and fit of the Fuzzie, and am eager to try layering it underneath one of Teckelklub’s waterproof coats.

Dogster readers, tell us about your dogs’ go-to garments for cold weather in the comments!

Read more reviews from Ace's Mama here!

Learn more about dogs with Dogster:

About Ace's Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its micro-climates, farmers' markets, and secret stairway walks. When she's not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace's adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.

Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/dog-apparel-fleece-shirts-teckelklub-fuzzie-reviews
<![CDATA[Man of Steel? Try Dog of Steel! We Review Marvel/DC Comics Clothes and Toys at PetSmart]]> My dog is a superhero. No, really –- Ace’s powers widely surpass those of us mere mortals. She can turn a grown man into a baby-talking pile of mush with one wag of her butt. Her ferocious jaws can bite my nose with the most delicate pinch during a game of bitey face. She goes from zero to 60 in a split second, leaving a cloud of dust in her wake. Some have remarked that Ace resembles a cartoon version of a dog, a living comics character.

I think a comic dog deserves comic toys and perhaps even a comic costume for her adventures. Enter PetSmart’s new Marvel/DC Comics line of dog apparel and toys. Whether you’re a diehard comics aficionado or you enjoy catching the latest superhero movie, you probably want to share the fun with your dog.

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It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... Ace, modeling the purple Superman t-shirt (cape not included).

Every superhero needs a costume, and a dog is no exception. I’m truly impressed by the range of options in this line: T-shirts, dresses, and bandanas screen-printed with a variety of characters. Ace had the opportunity to try the Batman and purple Superman shirts (on sale for $12).

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The Batman shirt is Ace's favorite superhero costume.

At 15 pounds, Ace wore a size large, so consider sizing way up when ordering for your small dog (sizes range from extra small to extra large). The colors are vivid and bright, and the printing is good quality. I’m a little bit jealous! I can’t decide whether I’d like a shiny red and gold Iron Man shirt or a ruffled Wonder Woman dress more ... for Ace, of course.

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Ace also tried the Wonder Woman and Spiderman bandanas in size small (on sale for $8). They come in sizes small and large, but there is no information on PetSmart’s website about the dimensions for either size. The size small bandana just fits around Ace’s neck comfortably. The bandanas close with hook-and-loop (Velcro-like) closures, as opposed to knotting. I think this is good for safety and is convenient for easy on and off.

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I found the quality of the bandanas to be somewhat lower than the T-shirts, though the screen printing was still crisp and bright. Ace didn’t like the sensation of the bandana around her neck, but if your dog is the kind of superhero who is used to wearing bandanas, you might give one of these a try.

After checking out her superhero costume options, Ace battled some of the Marvel/DC Comics toys. A variety of superheroes are re-imagined as cartoonish caricatures with round heads and big eyes, which I found a bit unnerving. Each contains a single squeaker in the body of the toy.

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I think pulling hair is a really low blow, but Ace is not afraid to fight dirty.

Ace’s first conquest was the Supergirl Plush, size large (on sale for $10.39; the mini size is on sale for $5.59). This toy has a lot of detail, including felt blonde hair, a little skirt, and a cape. I think a small dog that is not too hard on her toys would enjoy chewing on these embellishments, but with Ace I was worried she would tear them off and create a choking hazard. She did tear off one of the legs within the first few minutes of play, mightily defeating her adversary.

The Batman Plush has not yet been dominated, but boasts similar details –- ears, cape, and boot shafts -– that might be too tempting for even some small dogs.

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Batdog versus Batman: Who will persevere?

Ace found a more worthy opponent in the Plush Superman Ball Body (on sale for $6.39). A softball-sized stuffed toy containing a squeaker, this little guy is outfitted with a cape, which makes a crinkling noise when you touch it. It sounds like it’s lined on the inside with some kind of plastic. This noise drove Ace wild –- it was difficult to get a photo of the toy that wasn’t face down, because she loved chewing the cape. While the cape would be a choking hazard for a larger dog, so far Ace has not gotten the cape loose.

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Right between the eyes!

But, she probably will. I mean, Ace is a superhero –- she sleeps with her eyes open and leaps tall sand dunes in a single bound.

Dogster Scorecard for PetSmart’s Marvel/DC Comics apparel and toys

  • Quality: All materials are vividly colored and contain interesting details, which may be a problem if your dog is rough with toys.
  • Style: Be careful if you buy your dog one of these shirts –- she may take over the world with her cuteness.
  • Function: Toys are adorable but not durable, while the T-shirt is as nice as any human-sized clothing.
  • Creativity: Super heroes reimagined as round-faced cartoon characters make unique toys.
  • Value: While the toys might not last long enough to stretch your dollar, I found the apparel to be fairly priced –- especially now that the collection is on sale.

Bottom line

If you outfit your four-legged superhero in a Hulk-ing T-shirt, be prepared -– she might very well destroy her plush toy opponents.

Dogster readers, which products make your dog look and feel like a superhero? Share your secrets in the comments!

Read more reviews by Ace's Mama:

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/man-of-steel-marvel-dc-comics-dog-clothes-toys-petsmart-review
<![CDATA[Dogwool: People Wear Sweaters Made from Their Dogs' Fur]]> It's winter, which means certain dogs have grown an extra-thick coat to help stay warm. It's the equivalent of a perma-Snuggie. Lucky pups, getting to wear their pajamas all day and all night. They don't know how good they have it!

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

However, when temperatures begin to creep up, those dogs will be shedding fur by the fistful … and shedding and shedding and shedding … and shedding. Have you ever brushed your pup and seemingly gathered enough fur to make a full-size replica? (I grew up with an Akita -- that's a lot of fur.)

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

If so, and if you have ever thought, "Well, gee, I ought to spin this into yarn and make a sweater," then you will appreciate the work of photographer Erwan Fichou. We're not sure what the process was (we sure hope the fur was clean), but somehow someone gathered the fur of the dogs pictured here, spun it into wool -- dogwool -- and knitted sweaters for the dogs' owners. Fichou then photographed the dogs and their owners, who wore the sweaters made out of their canine companions' fur. For some, it's their greatest fantasy come to life.

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

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Photo by Erwan Fichou

Images via Erwan Fichou's website, story via NeatoShop

Thu, 17 Jan 2013 05:03:00 -0800 /bolz/dog-photos-sweaters-dogwool-erwan-fichou
<![CDATA[Be the Envy of All the Other Kids With 80%20's Pupped Up Kicks]]> Who, me? No, I wasn't window (browser) shopping at work today.

OK, look, when part of your job description includes looking for the Internet's cutest dogs, sometimes your work distracts you from your work. But I found something to show you! So I wasn't looking at shoes, I was doing research. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna tell my boss. "Sorry this story is late, I was researching!" 

And what did I find? I found, count 'em, not one, but two pairs of dog shoes.

First, it was the punny name that caught me -- "Pupped Up Kicks," like that Foster the People ode to stylish retro shoes. And then I clicked and was all, "Awww!"

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The lace-up wedge shoe is a little silly, recalling the upholstery of your mother's ottoman, but we can imagine them adding a little levity to your work outfit, as well as a little height, without sacrificing comfort. Designed by 80%20, the idea is that wear your "favorite 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time." Add dogs and it be 100 percent of the time.

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But if you're looking for something a little sexier, I also found these Jeffrey Campbell -- wait for it -- heels. Styled after the classic Mary Jane, these shoes can add a quirky touch to an otherwise demure outfit.

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After showing these shoes to Dogster Editor-in-Chief Janine, she was heard saying, "These come in my size!" Can you blame her? She has a dog wardrobe to keep up! [Editor's Note: I totally bought the 80%20 shoes, and it's all your fault, Liz.]

Images via ModCloth

Mon, 24 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-fashion-shoes-modcloth-pupped-up-kicks-8020
<![CDATA[Win a Paul Frank Hoodie From 26 Bars & a Band]]> After breakfast each day, I open the door to our balcony so the pups can nap away the morning outside. Dolly and Spot love sleeping in the sun. Where I live in Arizona has finally gotten chilly, though, so Spot has been testing this week's Friday Freebie: the new Paul Frank hoodie from 26 Bars & a Band.

The company sent us the red Faux Hawk design to try. I love how the color complements Spot's black-and-white coat, and the size medium provides a snug fit made even cozier by a fleecey interior.

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Such a cool pup.

I also appreciate the slit above the signature Julius the Monkey image on the back, through which his leash attaches. The pocket below will come in handy for the extra bag I always seem to need when walking the pups.

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Such a cool hoodie.

The new Paul Frank Hoodie comes in light blue sans the faux hawk, as well, and a black version features Julius riding a scooter with the British flag waving behind. The sweatshirts range in price from $29.95 to $35.95, depending on the size, but one lucky Dogster reader will get one for free!

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I'm ordering this one for Dolly. Slimming black and the British flag!


Would you like the chance to win a Paul Frank hoodie? If so, please do the following:

  1. Create a Disqus account, if you haven’t already, and include a valid email. It takes just a minute and allows you to better participate in Dogster’s community of people who are passionate about dogs. If you already have a Disqus account, check it to ensure the account includes a valid email. 
  2. Visit the Paul Frank Sweatshirts page on 26 Bars & a Band's website and like the company on Facebook
  3. Come back and comment below using your Disqus account, telling us which hoodie you want and why. Be creative! Our favorite comment wins.
  4. Check your email for a “You’ve Won!” message from us after noon, PST, on Wednesday, Dec. 12. We’ll give the winner two days to respond before moving on to our next favorite comment.

If you don’t score the hoodie, not to worry: You still have plenty of opportunities to win other great prizes -- every Friday, in fact! And you can always purchase one if you like for that special pup on your holiday shopping list.

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 03:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/win-paul-frank-hoodie-sweatshirt-26-bars-and-a-band
<![CDATA[Stylish Hounds Prefer Asha Wolfe Handmade Coats]]> When Oregonian Lindsay Nelson adopted her dog, Asha Wolfe, she set about finding the teeny little Chihuahua a warm woolen coat. But, she says, "All I found was mass-produced, cheaply made garments with cheesy fonts and obnoxious colors." That's how Nelson found her calling: creating a collection of elegantly understated coats for dogs. She named the line Asha Wolfe in honor of the dog who inspired it.

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Handcrafted in Portland using repurposed vintage blankets (including several by Pendleton), Nelson's designs are -- like the city they're made-to-measure in -- the definition of laid-back luxe: elegant yet understated.

Asha Wolfe coats are a cosmopolitan-casual uniform ready for globetrotting fashion hounds. I'm a fashion critic and globetrotting fashion hound myself, so trust me when I say these coats would look at home in any park in any of the world's style capitals.

We dig how serious Nelson is about style, calling her collection "a reclamation of animal respect in the form of fashion." Just check out her blog, which reveals an eagle eye for canine design that's almost as sharp as that of Dogster's own Janine Kahn!

Tue, 13 Nov 2012 07:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/asha-wolfe-handmade-dog-coats-clothes
<![CDATA[Ann Taylor Jumps on the Dalmatian Print Bandwagon]]> This time last year, we were seeing a lot of houndstooth and leopard prints making their way off the runway and into mainstream women's wardrobes. This fall, we're still seeing a little bit of that, but I'm beginning to think that Dalmatian is the new leopard.

Earlier in the month, we mentioned how H&M was getting spotty at a fairly low pricepoint (clothes from $12.99 and up). Now, Ann Taylor has joined the party in an arguably classier manner, using the Dalmatian print to punctuate an outfit rather than smother it. 

Here are some of our favorites:

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Above: Ann Taylor's Spotted Perfect Block Heels. They're currently $198, but the site has had 30 percent off deals on and off the past few weekends and will likely do so again if you're patient, bringing them down to $138. I'm considering going all in on these next time I get a paycheck (mainly because I'm already married to the crazy dog lady image -- see this clip at the 2:11 mark) unless you can talk me out of it.

There's also a spotted bootie at a much higher pricepoint (and heel).

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The Spotted Turnlock Cuff, $58, could definitely jazz up all that black in your closet. It runs a wee bit small according to comments left on the Ann Taylor site.

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If you want a small taste of this print in your wardrobe and don't want to scream Cruella de Vil, Ann's Spotted Necklace is a good pick. 

One buyer says: "I wanted to get my sister something in the spotted hair calf material but knew she wasn't as daring with her fashion. I got this necklace to go with a plain shirt and printed skirt and WOW! What a combo! She loved the look and got lots of compliments from her friends. Just the right amount of trend while still being true to her more conservative look."

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Another cute accent piece is this Spotted Belt, $44.

So, thoughts? Are you a fan of this trend or does it put a foul taste in your mouth? And more importantly, should I buy those heels next time they go on sale? Weigh in below.

Thu, 27 Sep 2012 07:30:00 -0700 /doggie-style/ann-taylor-dalmatian-shoes-belt-bracelet
<![CDATA[H&M's Dalmatian Pants, Skirts, and Tops Have Us Seeing Spots]]> Last December, I was really sad when I was priced out of picking up this crazy Dalmatian coat by Sonia Rykiel (I like kitsch, but not enough to spend my rent money on it!) -- and then bummed when it went on sale and nobody had my size. Well, the design demigods at H&M must have sensed me trying to channel my inner Cruella De Vil, because I walked into one of their stores last weekend and saw spots. On dresses, peplum tops, and matching skirts or pants, and all at prices that won't break the piggybank.

Some of you will likely think this is over the top, but check out Carolin, a fashion blogger in Germany, rocking the Dalmatian top and pants below (full photo set at her site, Pink Fox). I don't think I could get away with this head-to-toe look (curse you, Spanish curves), but I think she looks smashing!

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Photo via Pink Fox.

The Dalmatian pants retail for $12.99, and the top (available in stores but not currently listed on the H&M website) is priced at $14.99. I'm not a fan of the peplum trend, but I did pick up that top and am now in need of a high-waisted black skirt to pair it with. I'm jealous of how cute Jenn of The Stylish Housewife, pictured below, looks in it. (Visit her site for her entire photo set.)

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Jenn, The Stylish Housewife, models H&M's Dalmatian top. Photo via The Stylish Housewife.

Also not flattering on me was the H&M Dalmatian dress, but it might look great on you (and at $29.95, it's worth trying on at the very least).

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Dalmatian Dress by H&M. Photos via the store's website.

So! Would you rock the spots or run screaming in the opposite direction?

Thu, 13 Sep 2012 07:30:00 -0700 /doggie-style/hms-dalmatian-pants-skirts-and-tops-have-us-seeing-spots
<![CDATA["We Can Chew It!" ASPCA Campaign Stars Rosie the Retriever]]> The Fluffington Post and the ASPCA have joined forces to create a new campaign that is as cute as it is motivating. Designed by illustrator Kiersten Essenpreis, T-shirts offered by the Fluffington Post feature Rosie the Retriever and the slogan "We Can Chew It!" Punny? Yes. Cute? You know it. They're based on a World War II promotional image depicting women in the work force and featuring the character Rosie the Riveter with the slogan "We Can Do It!" We'll take one each for the entire staff! Three dollars from every shirt sale will benefit the ASPCA in its continuing efforts to halt animal abuse and find families for homeless animals.

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Doggone adorable!

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Good looking!

Available in men's and women's cuts, the Rosie the Retriever design is printed on soft, high-quality Alternative Apparel t-shirts. And this ain't a pajama kind of shirt! As the FluffPo proudly boasts, this is an "I'll wear it to really cool parties and all my friends will be jealous" kind of article of clothing. So what are you waiting for? Show your dog-love pride and help support a great cause, all while being the style envy of your pals. And then maybe they'll get T-shirts, too! And then you can all be stylish animal advocates!

Shirts are $19 each -- not bad considering some cotton T-shirts can cost $50. (We've seen it, folks.)

We can chew it indeed!

Via Laughing Squid

Fri, 03 Aug 2012 09:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/we-can-chew-it-aspca-campaign-rosie-the-retriever
<![CDATA[Carolina Herrera Revives the Poodle Print Skirt]]> In the 1950s, stylin' teens wore poodle skirts, decorated with likenesses of fluffy dogs stitched right onto the fabric. Today, stylin' grownups can wear the ultimate haute update on the poodle skirt, thanks to fashion designer Carolina Herrera.

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The eternally elegant designer, still a knockout at 71, is renowned for dressing the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Renee Zellweger. She's also a devoted dog lover. How devoted? Herrera recently teased her pre-Fall 2012 collection with two bone-chic ensembles -- literally! Showcased now at her boutique on New York City's Madison Avenue, they are destined to delight Dogster readers.

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Both feature the whimsically sketched likeness of Gaspar, Herrera's beloved poodle who comes to work with her every day. The blue skirt (at left in the photo) features Gaspar's image applique'd onto the fabric -- it looks super-sharp paired with that crisp, white shirt -- while the dress (right) is fashioned of "Gaspar Print" silk.

Hey, is it payday yet?

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 11:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/carolina-herrera-revives-the-poodle-print-skirt
<![CDATA[Rock Star Bret Michaels Launches Clothing Line for Dogs]]> Rock star Bret Michaels has launched a line of pet accessories featuring 50 PetSmart products including a doggie do-rag and a chewable toy tour bus. 

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Bret Michaels with German Shepherd. Photograph courtesy of PetSmart.

“They all have the Bret Michaels signature touch,” Michaels said, as reported by MSNBC.

Other items in the collection include pre-tattered doggie T-shirts, Western shirts, bandannas, chewable vinyl cowboy boots, squishy toy guitars, skull-and-crossbones hair ribbons, flouncy sun dresses, and a food or water bowl emblazoned with red roses -- a reference to Poison's hit song "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

“What I live for is to be creative in general," Michaels said.

In a career that began on the bar-band circuit more than 30 years ago, Michaels has been creative on stage as the lead singer for Poison, as the host of his own VH1 reality shows Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It and Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, as the winner of Celebrity Apprentice 3, and as an actor in such films as In God's Hands and A Letter from Death Row. He survived a brain hemorrhage in 2010. 

He sought inspiration for the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection by listening to some of his his favorite tunes. He tested early versions of his ideas on his own "family" of dogs, which include his two German Shepherds, Diesel and Phoenix. The line will be in stores next month, although most of the collection is already available.

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Dog wearing Western shirt from the Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection. Photograph by Christopher Ray for Today.

Is it embarrassing when celebrities branch off into sidelines like this, or is it cool? (Martha Stewart has also designed a PetSmart collection.) It's not as if Michaels needs a few extra bucks. Turning oneself into a "brand" that can be worn in a shirt or bandanna -- by people or by dogs -- smacks of the crass. Then again, when celebrities show the world that they care about animals, maybe that can inspire fans to care about animals too. What's not to like about that? Granted, if some famous person came out with a line of accessories designed especially for rescued pets -- maybe T-shirts that said "Somebody Saved Me!" -- that would be sublime. 

In a video that introduces his collection, Michaels greets his "fellow pet lovers," then explains: 

"We've had the most unbelievable time putting this collection together. It's truly to bring out the inner rock star in your dog. That's right, I've been a pet lover since I was a child."

“Personally, as an owner of bigger animals, I love the toys that you can throw," he says.

These include spiked rubber balls and Frisbee-like disks. As for the collection's more, ahem, feminine items?

“I’m pretty sure than none of my shepherds or any of my dogs will be wearing any of the pink tutus. I don’t think Diesel, my guard dog, would want to wear that.”

You never know, dude. You just never know.

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 07:30:00 -0700 /doggie-style/bret-michaels-launches-dog-clothing-collection-petsmart
<![CDATA[Obama 2012 Campaign Goes to the Dogs -- In Style]]> Did you miss last Friday's $40,000-per-plate dinner for President Obama in New York, hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour? Have no fear -- you can still support the re-election of Bo the Portuguese Water Dog's favorite candidate if that's your inclination, and you can do it in style. Simply pay a visit to the online store Runway to Win.

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Marc Jacobs Dog Tee

Curated by Wintour, Vogue magazine's editor-in-chief and style icon, the haute-design side of the site features presidential pet accessories for sale, with proceeds benefiting the Obama 2012 campaign. For hardcore design hounds, the hot items are a T-shirt for dogs designed by Marc Jacobs (which is embroidered with the slogan "I BARK FOR OBAMA") and a dog leash-and-collar set styled by Thakoon Panichgul in a perfectly patriotic palette of red, white, and blue.

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Bo Obama DIY T

There are also numerous nondesigner dog duds, including leashes and collars that proudly proclaim "BARACK'S BEST FRIEND," plus a Bo Obama DIY T-shirt that comes with fabric markers to color in the image of the First Dog, and also a cotton dog bandana. However, serious four-footed fashionistas will likely not settle for a cotton bandana; they would prefer to be accessorized with Panichgul's sumptuous, slightly pricier silk scarf, as worn by Her Vogueness herself in a recent video.

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 11:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/obama-2012-anna-wintour
<![CDATA[15 Fetching Father's Day Gifts for Dog Dads]]> The annual celebration honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds known as Father's Day is this Sunday. Who's your doggie Daddy? And what are you getting him? Here's a last-minute list of suggestions we hope you find helpful!

1. Please don't just get the guy a tie. But if you will anyway, at least try to get him new and unique neckwear with a delightful dog theme. Or, if not new, vintage and unique -- like this "pre-owned" Hermes number.

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2. As the tie exercise above proves, even predictable Dad's Day gifts look fresh if there's a dog angle involved. If your Pop wears French cuffs, consider Ted Baker's catchy Corgi cufflinks.

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3. For those rainy-day walks when Dad and his dog both need to take cover, consider an umbrella big enough to shield both of them, such as this neat golf brolly.

4. A John Bartlett T-shirt always looks good, plus buying one actually does good by supporting a great cause: The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, named after the designer's late, great mutt (whose likeness appears on the T).

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5. Is your Dad the grillmeister of the house? Accessorize him with a stain-resistant apron. Not just any apron, but one proudly printed with a William Wegman dog doodle!

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6. Experts agree that walking is the heart-healthiest exercise, and Dogster readers agree that walking with a dog (or two) is the most fun form of fitness there is. So encourage Dad to get out and walk, and if he hasn't got a four-footed walking buddy, personally escort him to your local animal shelter to adopt one!

7. Don't let Dad's dog step out with just any old collar; make sure he's got a happening harness, like this one from Sporn, that looks great and prevents unwanted pulling.

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8. Help Dad cover up bedhead (or, as the case may be, bald head!) on those early-a.m. dog walks with Cloud Star's "Wag More, Bark Less" baseball cap.

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9. If Dad has left walking in the dust and prefers running with Spot instead, get him a pair of very cool, very cool-looking Newton shoes, and pretty soon he'll be marathon-ready.

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10. For apres-run, when it's time to give the Newtons a rest, Dad could sure use a pair of flip-flops. Consider these, by Musewear.

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11. Does your Dad do his fair share of traveling for business? Get him a pair of dapper yet casual pants that will feel as comfy on a long flight as they do on a jog with Spot.  

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12. If he's cuckoo for cocoa, get Dad an assortment of Rescue Chocolate bars; with profits from sales supporting animal rescue, this really is "The Sweetest Way to Save a Life."

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13. What Dad doesn't enjoy a cold one? Portland's Hair of the Dog Brewing Company lets you give him cold ones by the six-pack -- all with a K9 twist.

14. Is Dad more of an oenophile? Then by all means skip the brew and gift him with a membership to the Dog Lovers Wine Club.

15. Keep your Pit Bull Dad's beverages hot or cold all day with a big ol' Thermos that proclaims pit pride.

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Do you have any suggestions for the doggie daddy in your life? Please share in the comments! 

Man and dachshund by

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 03:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/fathers-day-gifts-for-dog-dads
<![CDATA[John Bartlett's Rainbow Dog Shirts Are Just in Time for Pride Month]]> Why shop for one good cause -- when you can shop for two at the same time? Fashion designer John Bartlett boldly harnesses the power of fashion to raise awareness of his dearest causes. (That's so Aries!)

Bartlett's irresistible T-shirts proudly showcase the image of Tiny Tim, the tripawd shelter dog he adopted and made his creative muse. Sadly, Tim passed away of cancer, but John keeps his memory alive to help other shelter pets in need, putting the dog's uniquely handsome silhouette on fab clothing designed to promote animal rescue by raising money for the Tiny Tim Fund. Ten percent of every sale is donated to the fund.

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Now, in honor of Gay Pride Month, John has unveiled a new, limited-edition "capsule collection" of his signature Ts. Titled "Gay, Proud, and Compassionate," the collection features T-shirts ($40) and tanks ($30) for guys and girls sporting the Tiny Tim logo in rainbow foil. 

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With these traffic-stopping threads, your fashion statement becomes a compassion statement! "The tops are not just a fun and colorful way to show your pride this year," John says, "they also highlight another part of our strong and powerful community that is often overlooked -- our compassion. The LGBT community cares about all members of this planet whose voices are not often heard."

One-stop shopping has never been more fun, chic, or consciousness-raising. Happy Pride!

Source: John Bartlett

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:00:00 -0700 /doggie-style/john-bartlett-gay-pride-dog
<![CDATA[Doggie Flash Mob Makes TV History this Morning in NYC]]> As reported here, this morning on theplaza outside the Fox and Friends studio in midtown Manhattan, a doggie flash mobstarted assembling at 7 to celebrate National Keep Pets Safe in Winter Day, which is today, December 22. The dogs were bright-eyed; the humans, a bit bleary!

But all were thrilled to receivespecies-specific goodies: ArkNaturals Paws in the Pie pumpkin treats for the pets and Dunkin Donuts for the people.

A veritable rainbow coalition of K9s turned out for the festivities:dogs large and small, purebred and mixed, young and old. One scene-stealer who richly deserved her turn in the spotlight is Patsy the Pit Bull (below), a sweetheart, a looker,and a real good kisser who's available for adoption from the ASPCA.

Also on hand and paw for the event were several sweet adoptable dogs from Animal Haven Shelter, including acharming Chihuahua named Eazy E (below).

Dogs were offered sweet sweatshirts emblazoned with the logo of Morton Safe-T-Pet, the paw-friendly ice melter that sponsored this fun event. The dogs' handlers, meanwhile, got logo'dblue fleece hats.

Piggy the terrifictripod mutt,below,was born with a warmthermal layer(he's a Border Colliemix, after all), so he showed up in his birthday suit and gamely sported a blue fleece hat for this photo (along with his dad, Darwin Animal Doctors founder Tod Emko)!

Thu, 22 Dec 2011 11:14:49 -0800 /lifestyle/doggie-flash-mob-makes-tv-history-this-morning-in-nyc
<![CDATA[Darwin Animal Doctors Returning Tonight to Vet the Dogs of Occupy Wall Street]]> As reported here,last weekend Darwin Animal Doctors (DAD) came to the aid of the numerous dogscamped outdoors at New York City's Zuccotti Park, site of the Occupy Wall Street protest.

Tonight (Friday, November 4) from 7 to 8:30, DAD volunteers are headed back to the park to bring more vet care and TLC to the intrepid OWS protesters on four legs.

Anyone needing medical assistance fora four-footed friend should look for the DAD volunteers holding up signs pointing dog and cat owners to "Free Checkups."

On hand and paw will betwo docs who are generously donating their time and services to vet the protesters' pets: Jodi Kuntz, of Manhattan's' Animal Medical Center, and Konstantine Barsky of Brooklyn's Hope Veterinary Clinic. "My tech Kimmy andI have been coming down and doing vet work for a couple weeks now," Dr. Barsky says."Very glad to be finding others interested in helping these animals of the 99%!"

In the meantime, if you'd like tomake a donation to helpDAD help the animals of Occupy Wall Street, here's a wish list of needed items any and all donations gratefully accepted:

- Dog booties

- K9 coats

- Blankets and towels

- Dog food

- Cat food

- Frontline (or any type of flea/tick treatment)

- Heartgard

- Dog-sized blankets

- Dog and cat toys

- Dog beds

- Large Tupperware containers (to keep pet food sealed and protected from rodents and insects)

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:20:07 -0700 /doggie-style/darwin-animal-doctors-returning-tonight-to-vet-the-dogs-of-occupy-wall-street
<![CDATA[A Word About Texas Governor Rick Perry and Dogs]]> Inever intendedto get all political on you, Dogsters.

But I just noticed that Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry's Twitter avatar is a photo of himself with a dog. -->

A black dog, no less. At animal shelters, black dogs happen to be sorely underrepresented, overlookedK9 constituents.

The dog is even wearing a coat.

It's anice photo.

Also, Gov. Perry is a huge advocate of adult stem cell regeneration therapy — precisely the kind of stem cells that have so dramatically improved quality of life for my beloved dog Sheba.Just imagine if we humans could also benefit from that kind of breakthrough medical technology.

And just imagine if an American president would some day speak outinfavor ofshelter dog adoption— and actually adopt a shelter dog.

Just sayin'.

Does it matter to you if a presidential candidate is a Dogster? Bring on the comments!

Fri, 04 Nov 2011 09:18:54 -0700 /lifestyle/a-word-about-governor-rick-perry-and-dogs
<![CDATA[Pause Dog Boutique Unleashes Collection of Jewelry Designed for Dogsters]]> With its fetching motto Come, Stay, Shop Pause Boutique in Rhinebeck, New York, is a delightful destination fordevoted dog lovers. For starters, it doesn't sell puppies, it promotes animal shelters and shelter dog adoption,which couldn't be more timely now that it'sOctober, Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

The store also carries an impressive selection of K9 gear, from food and bowls to collars and clothing, all selected with a keen eye for fun, function, and fashion.

But whether or not you're able to travel toNew York State'spicturesque Hudson Valley, you can alwaysvisit Pause'sonline shop, where you're bound to come away with something irresistible for your best friend and/or yourself.To help customers find the goods that are right for their lifestyle, items are conveniently denoted as "Rugged," "Ritzy," or "Real."

Right now, it's high time to start thinking about holiday shopping, and who on your list has been naughty or nice. With perfect timing, Pause recently unleashed its new collection of jewelry, apparently designed with Dogster shopping hounds in mind.

It's called Companion Wear and, according to its creators Colleen Dealy and Laura Betti, the collection "recognizes the underlying principles of companionship: love, loyalty, and a good dose of humor."

There's "Leader of the Pack" ($375),a glamorous sterling-silver charm bracelet (pictured above)that definitelybelongs in the "Ritzy" category. The weighty chain closes with a toggle clasp composed of a miniature dog collar and fetch stick; the charm sports a pawprint and a handprint along with the words, TOGETHER WE'RE BETTER.

If youprefer your jewelry personalized,the charmmay also be custom-engraved.

The same silver charm adorns another jewelry design (left)called the "Scoundrel"($270).I'd call this item a happy combination of "Rugged," "Ritzy," and "Real."The leather rope in black or russet brown may beworn two ways: as a bracelet simply triple-wrap the leather, then secure thetoggle clasp or as a necklace.

If worn as a necklace, the "Scoundrel" is actually twodesigns in one: Sport it with the clasp at the back and thecharm dangling down, or the charm at the back and the clasp on display,depending on which trinket you prefer to feature.

Dealy and Betti offer customers the chance to give 5 percent of their purchases to one of three charitable organizations: the Good Dog Foundation, the Russell Refuge, or Perfect Pets Rescue.

The Pause team even made a cute video showcasing the "Companion Wear" collection check it out here.

Happy shopping!

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 11:22:39 -0700 /doggie-style/pause-dog-boutique-unleashes-collection-of-jewelry-designed-for-dogsters
<![CDATA[Calling All Dogster Fashionistas: This T-Shirt's for You]]> As we've seen before here, here, and here, dogs and T-shirts are a natural together — especially when purchasing a designer T-shirt helps out dogs in need.

Behold the latest must-have fashion item, Dogsters:SocialPakt's dynamite dog-themed T-shirt (left)adorned withartby graphicdesigner and illustratorLiz Haywood. "Take Me HomeTonight"it says — and when it comes to shelter dogs, you can't argue with that!I confess I may have to order more than one of this T; it's a sexy item that makes anexcellent holiday gift.

The best part? Thirty percentfrom the sale ofeach shirt will be donated directly to the Humane Society of New York, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit adoption center and clinic,where the dogs are absolutely adorable and the veterinarians arethe most compassionate and competent you're likely to find anywhere.

It's a limited-edition design, so get yours while supplies last — the T-shirt is on sale now atthe steal price of $20and goes off sale on October 2. So don't delay: Order here. And while you're at it, "Like" the SocialPakt fan page on Facebook and each week you'll be entered to win a $100 donation to the charity of your choice.

What's the charity of your choice, Dogsters? Please let us know in the comments!

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 11:55:00 -0700 /lifestyle/calling-all-dogster-fashionistas-this-t-shirts-for-you