Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fashion for our Four-Pawed Friends

Dressing your dog has never been so fashionable. From hoodies and spa robes to sunglasses and pajamas, your four-legged buddy can have it all, making it very possible for your pup to look better than you do.

Some dogs - mostly smaller breeds - have complete wardrobes for all seasons, all occasions and clothing in every color and texture imaginable. Some dogs need clothing to stay warm. The toy dog varieties - poodles, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas - tend to have the most trouble maintaining body heat, so they don't mind wearing a nice wool toggle coat on a brisk day. But the dog-clothing industry has grown beyond the winter months with retailers now selling summer tees, Halloween costumes, and even life jackets.

And don’t be fooled: the pet fashion industry is a huge one. As pet owners continue to consider their animals members of the family, they're spending a staggering amount on services and products - more every single year, in fact. They spent a record $41 billion in the U.S. last year and are expected to fork out even more this year - $43 billion, according to American Pet Products Manufacturing Association.

Target used to carry a great pet line by designer Isaac Mizrahi, but with his collaboration with the company coming to an end, they seem to have phased it out. Savvy shoppers can still scour eBay for select pieces from that line. Currently at Target, you can find both the Woolrich and Boots & Barkley lines for canine apparel that’s off the charts on the adorable scale. From leather-like bomber jackets to frilly formal gowns and clothing for just about every holiday, there's an aisle at Target most dog lovers can't pass by without at least looking. Like this too-cute-for-words doggie “rocker tee” for $19.99 at at The band “The Beagles” is pictured (get it??) and also available are “Bone Jovi” and “Notorious P.U.G.”

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