Where to Find Dog Clothes that Fit Properly

How to find dog clothes

Bark is the new black, so say the trendsetters of all things canine couture. I am the woman whose dog has been fitted for custom couture, fancy clothing, and whose dog wears one-of-a-kind creations to events while I wear “off the rack.” My dog walks the runway. I rent it. If you are looking for dog clothes that fit properly, read on.

For every time my dog wears a sweater, has a tux on, allows me to button his designer vest, he gets 10 runs in the park, romps in the mud, play sessions galore, walks around the neighborhood, trips to the treat store, and one-on-one time with me having fun. Many dog parents whose dogs wear clothing are the same way.

Dogs are not suffering by wearing clothing unless the dog is in pain, doesn’t get to do normal “dog” things, and has no quality of life because of it.

That said, every 1-2 years, the fundraising arm of Fidose of Reality, which is Wigglebutt Warriors® hosts a huge fundraiser to benefit a dog rescue group. There is something oh-so-celebratory to see dogs and their parents walking the red carpet in honor of dogs who have yet to find their forever loving homes.

In 2013, we had a dog wedding with Wigglebutt Wedding and raised thousands of dollars

In 2014, we had Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof, raising $27K or more, see?

In 2016, the Wigglebutts Uncorked gala event takes place at America’s Oldest Winery, Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, New York

Wigglebutts Uncorked fundraising event

As a pet world insider, I can attest that that more and more people are willing to support a cause if they can do so in the company of their dogs. With over 70 million dogs in this country, we are a nation of canine lovers who embraces the notion of dogs as family members.

With the holidays upon us and a gala dog-welcoming event in April of 2016, many dogs will be in need of some fancy apparel. Often times, clothes on the racks of store shelves are designed with a general size in mind: So if your dog is chesty like my Cocker or perhaps longer like a Basset Hound, you have a hard time finding clothes to fit your dog.

Enter Janice Craig of Belle Diva Couture who designs fashions for dogs (and cats) of all shapes and sizes without breaking the bank.

How to find dog clothes
Dexter wearing his custom tux from Belle Diva Couture.

Janice will design a custom creation for Dexter, our Puppy Relations Manager, to wear at the Wigglebutts Uncorked affair, which is going to sell out. If you plan to come to the event and/or are just looking for gorgeous apparel for your dog to wear to special events, read on:

Janice Craig hails from North Carolina and has been involved in pet fashion for many years.

“My main profession is interior design which I have done for well over 30 years but couture pet fashion design has become a major business for me,” she says.

Years ago, when the economy took a major fall and there just wasn’t much of a market for interior design, Craig decided to embrace her passion for pet fashion. She has become involved in Yorkie rescue for a good number of years and knows a lot of people around the country who are pet lovers.

Pet fashion just seemed like an interesting direction to go for her.  She reports it has been unbelievably successful and yes, there is a huge market for well made pet clothing.

On Naysayers

How does she handle folks who say pets should not wear clothes?

Janice Craig dog clothes“I rarely have anyone say that to me because most of the clothing I design is not only fashionable but also very comfortable and easy for pets to wear  There is a huge market of people who actually dress their dogs (and cats) just about every day.  They like to do really special designs for holidays and birthdays.  Those are the people who are my clients.  I don’t force clothing on people who have no interest in dressing their pets.  If anything, the comments I hear are astonishment that people would actually spend that kind of money creating full wardrobes for their pets. “

Well said, Janice. We concur.

Having Janice Design for Your Dog

Janice is the official designer for Dexter’s ensemble for Wigglebutts Uncorked. She has designed for him before. I asked her to explain the process of what is involved in custom fashion for pets.

dog clothes
Meet Tator Tot and French Fry from Atlanta, Sandy and Al Thompson’s kids.

Janice designs for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Janice says the big thing is having absolutely accurate measurements for the pet.  Most of her patterns are custom designed for clients, which means that when there is a special outfit beyond a simple harness, a pattern has to be made.  That pattern has to be designed with considerations for how the garment will fit around the dog’s body (very different than humans) and how the dog will move when dressed in that garment.  It’s quite a process that involves a lot of time just to get to the point of actually sewing it together.  And how the pattern is designed also varies greatly from one breed to another.  Every outfit she designs is made to human standards meaning it’s fully lined and stitched and double stitched so it will hold together when being tested by an active pet.

Cute dog in clothes
Tasha Godwin of Susan Godwin rocks in her custom Belle Diva Couture dress

What About Pricing

Pricing will vary depending on the size of the dog, fabrics and ornament to be used, difficulty and time involvement in creating the finished product.  Fairly simple harnesses  and dresses will typically be from $100-$200 depending on materials and amount of handwork or embroidery that is used.  Costumes or formal wear will go up from that number.  She usually asks clients for a budget for any special outfit so there are no surprises.

We have worked with Janice and can attest to her attention to detail and going above and beyond for her clients.

dog fashions
How adorable is this dachshund in her custom couture? Meet Lilly from Columbia, SC. Her mom is Kimberly Power.

How About Big Dogs or Cats

Indeed, Janice has created designs for 2 lb tiny babies to 180 lb huge babies as well as cats.

About the Look and End Result

Janice works hard not to have a particular “look”.  She may be working on a frilly tiny dress covered in lace and ribbons one day and leather studded harnesses the next day.  Her designs consist of everything from simple harnesses to very formal gowns and tuxedos for runway and gala events.

She says her many years of designing canine couture years is inspired from a variety of places: current color and style trends, human clothing designs especially children’s clothing, coastal influences, often in the most unexpected places She reports that she will run across things that can be used as ornament for outfits. She is always on the lookout for new design elements that she can incorporate into pet fashion.

dog clothing
Dex rocks in his Nashville-inspired vest worn to BlogPaws Conference.

Sometimes, dogs do need a sweater and there are health reasons for this. Click to read our article about dog sweater myths and facts.

Want to commission Janice Craig/Belle Diva Couture for your dog or have any questions? Take a look at the Belle Diva Couture Facebook page. Deadline for orders for the April 16,2016 gala event is February 1, 2016.

Get tickets to Wigglebutts Uncorked here.

Janice can be reached by email at BelleDivaCouture@aol.com

Does your dog ever wear clothes?

 

Comments

  1. My two precious fur-babies, LUCY (tiny 10 lb. Jack Russell Terrier) and HOLLY (small 11 lb Rat Terrier) dress/wear clothes every day of their lives. They love dressing up and they love wearing hats! I agree with all Carol and Janice say about “dressing your dog(s)”. Thank you, Carol, for sharing Janice’s info. Me. and my GirlZ Club (as me, Lucy and Holly are known) will definitely pursue further. As an aside, my GirlZ wear couture fashions and I (like Carol says) wear off the rack, but that is my preference and my life is happy and wonderful with LUCY and HOLLY.

    • I love this response, and I will add that my dog wearing clothes is a lifestyle choice. Dogs wearing clothes to our fundraisers has captured the eye of media, and that in turn, means donations for homeless dogs. We’ve raised over $50 in just under 3 years: And by “we” that is me and my spouse. We just love animals and giving back. I would love to see your cuties in their apparel, Kathi. Post a photo on our Facebook wall if you would! http://www.facebook.com/FidoseofReality

  2. Boy is this a good post for us Frenchies. A lot of stuff can’t even fit over my big head
    Lily & Edward

    • BOL we can relate, kids. Our Dexter has a girthy chest and we need custom; else one paw goes in and the other does not #notgood

  3. Wonderful designs. I now know Dex has more clothes than I do. LOL

    If I could get Jack to wear clothes, I would definitely order.

  4. Oh my goodness – I already love the Wigglebutts! And didn’t know about the fundraising arm of Fidose of Reality, which is Wigglebutt Warriors® hosts a huge fundraiser – which is fab –
    My little 6 pounder refuses to wear anything – my big guys don’t have a problem and once in awhile they get dressed up 🙂

  5. My Maltese is 8 years old and she seems happy to wear a fleece in the winter. I always equate dogs wearing costumes to people wearing high heels. While I am not comfortable wearing high heels, lots of people love wearing them, it would be stupid for me to say “No one should wear high heels”” based on the fact that I find them uncomfortable. I also am uncomfortable wearing hats, but I support hats for anyone who wants to wear them and I love dogs in hats!

  6. As a retired cowgirl, I just love Dex’s cowboy-inpsired costume! He sure does rock the costumes! Tator Tot and French Fry, Tasha, and Lilly all look adorable. While my Huskies do not appreciate being dressed up, they do permit me to adorn them in accessories to achieve the look I’m hoping to photograph (treats help my cause!) I also think it is just wonderful how you raise money for dogs in need! Go Wigglebutts!

  7. My current dogs would never ever tolerate getting dressed up. However, I used to have a weimaraner that my kids were constantly dressing up in capes, hats, glasses, tshirts etc…

  8. My dog is too big to dress up, but I would if I could! These dogs are the cutest little pets, and the costumes are so affordable!

  9. Love this article so much. My dogs and cats dress up for every holiday and they love it as much as I do. I have an entire closet and bureau for their clothes. I have met many designers over the years, and now Janice Craig is on my radar. I will look forward to adding her fashions to my pets’ wardrobes. Great to see other dog lovers doing the same as me. There really is a market for this.

    • Thanks for all of the great comments on couture clothing for pets. There are some great designs out there and a lot of furbabies that love being dressed not only for special occasions but also to keep them warm in cold weather. Those babies might just as well look fashionable while being kept warm. Look forward to creating special outfits for your furbabies.

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