Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dog Show Fashion or Faux Pas

So much goes into showing dogs, and I’m only just starting to crack the surface. But, one thing I have found that seems to go hand-in-hand with a thin show lead is terrible fashion sense, especially in regards to female handlers. Yes, this is a MAJOR generalization, and I know many people who show dogs with very good fashion sense, but there are quite a few terrible outfit choices out there… so many that there are even Facebook groups devoted to policing the terrible fashion at dog shows! Acid wash denim skirt suits, nude panty hose with tennis shoes and a bedazzled velvet blazer, orange ballet flats… yes, these are all fashion statements I’ve seen in the breed ring, and on some big name people, to boot (pun intended).

As some of you know, I love fashion – I even interned with Jill Stuart in college. I have a very eccentric sense of style – part classic and preppy, part trendy, and very quirky. I’ve been told many of my outfits look more like costumes one would wear when playing a role, than actual apparel, but that’s me! I’m creative, and unique, and to me, life is one big performance.

This said, I pride myself on having a good appearance, things I pull off might not be for everyone, but I do put forth an effort. With this in mind, I absolutely do not want to fall into the category of terribly dressed dog show person.

For our final conformation class, a judge is coming in, and we’re doing a mock show. Complete with show apparel and all! In picking an outfit, I’m looking for something that makes Hush pop. What would be appropriate for showing a Golden Retriever may not be appropriate for showing a Dalmatian. Hush is a light gold, but she’s rapidly maturing to a medium gold color. In picking an outfit, I’m looking for something she stands out nicely against – and I’ve found blues and purples look great beside her. Of course, finding an outfit that goes nicely with her would be easy, but finding an outfit with pockets for my bait, that won’t attract dog hair, and that can be worn with flats I can run in is a whole different story!

One outfit I am considering is very similar to this dress.

So far, I’ve narrowed it down to:

· A long sleeve cotton dress (with pockets) that has navy and green stripes, but I’m worried it is a bit too busy.

· A blue cowl neck sweater dress, belted.

· A navy paisley skirt, with salmon t-shirt (with sequined neckline) and a green sweater (with pockets), but this might be a bit too springy.

All outfits will be worn with ballet flats. So now, I just have to make my last minute decision!


  1. I've seen those pictures in Facebook too. I must admit tho that I too have committed a crime in dog show fashion. The 1st time I ever showed dogs, I didn't know anything much about it. I knew I had to dress up nicely but I didn't know we had to wear shoes for running so that we can run around the ring with the dog, have good grip & not slip. At my 1st show, I wore high heels & handled the dogs in the ring with the high heels. The flooring was not carpeted at the show. It was like big rocks on the floor & it was slippery even for the dogs. It was really embarrassing but our dogs still won.

    I remember very clearly when I entered the next show (this time I wore proper shoes), somebody came up to me & kinda like made fun of me wearing high heels at the previous dog show. I wasn't offended by it. I found it funny.

  2. This post embodies one of the many reasons I love you so much.

    My vote, by the way, is for the paisley skirt and top with sequined neckline. :)

  3. Oh dear, that is NOT a pretty picture! Haha :-) I like the dress you picked out below though... or the sweater dress idea since it's kindove still winter...

  4. Go with your ideas about the outfits and promise me that you won't ever start looking to other handlers for fashion advice! ;) Love that dress in the picture, by the way!