Vera Woof and Pierre Curden here for Fashion Friday and tips for dog Halloween costumes. We’d like share a real fashion horror story first. Here, in the words of Fido’s guardian:
Once upon a Halloween spooky, the local Three Dog Bakery held a party with a dog Halloween costume contest.
I decided Fido HAD to go but I underestimated the time needed to plan a good costume. That forced me to buy a costume and all that was left at the local pet store was a lame bumblebee costume. It didn’t suit his personality and twisted around his body and under his paws. What can you do? We went with what we had.
A naive mistake when you’re attending an almost-Hollywood-adjacent dog Halloween costume party.
At the center of the bakery, surrounded by admirers, was — oh, let’s just call her “Crystal” for the sake of staying out of court. Charmingly displayed in Crystal’s arms was her Chihuahua, whom we’ll call LaLa to save her further embarrassment.
Lala’s ears were pinned flat under a stretchy black wimple with huge mouse ears. A giant white-dotted red bow rested on her forehead. Her body was swaddled in a gathered polka-dotted red skirt. Her paws were encased in vinyl cartoon shoes. She was so decked out Disney probably sent a trademark inspector to her dog house to investigate possible infringements before leaving for the party.
The owner of a blond spaniel dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and lei was speechless at the site of Lala. The spaniel took advantage of the lack of supervision to sample from the biscuit bin. A bulldog in a tuxedo and red satin-lined cape huffed and sat sidesaddle on the floor as her owner reached out to touch Lala’s Mary Jane’s. Fido did a full-body shake trying to lose his wings. We were edged away from Crystal and Lala by arriving people pushing in for a better look.
On the wall by the door, I caught sight of a bulletin board. There, just northeast of center, was last year’s Halloween contest photos. Crystal was holding Lala dressed in a red devil costume. Five photos over was the last Christmas party. There were Crystal and Lala, wearing an angel’s costume with halo bobbing overhead and white ostrich feather wings. Crystal and Lala weren’t just dropping in to share a dog biscuit and some Halloween fun. They were a brand.
That story led us (Vera and Pierre) to developed these four tips for dog Halloween costumes:
- Never demean a dog’s dignity. Making a dog look stupid in public is simply wrong. Your best friend deserves better.
- Make your dog comfortable. Unless you have a lap dog, getting dressed up is senseless to a dog. Don’t add to the confusion with a costume that is uncomfortable to wear. Fido’s bumble bee costume clearly violated this: it slid under him and made it difficult to walk. Smashing Lala’s ears into Minnie’s wimple is another example. We once saw two Min Pins dressed like World Wrestling Federation competitors with face masks and capes. Funny and cute, but the poor dogs spent a lot of time trying to paw those masks off.
- Be safe. Watch out for beads or decorations that can fall or be chewed off. Don’t get a costume that keeps your dog from being able to see or hear or walk. If wandering around in the dark looking for treats is in your plans, be sure that both you and your dog are wearing something that reflects light.
- Be creative. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $350 million on pet costumes — that’s a lot of lion, raptor, devil, Dapper Dog and taco costumes out on the streets. Stand out from the crowd and make your own — decorate a child’s sized t-shirt or hoodie with fabric paint to look like a crayon or a skeleton; make a fancy ruff or collar. You can go to FidoUniverse’s Howl-O-Ween board on Pinterest for other ideas. If do-it-yourself isn’t your thing, check out Kohne Kollars’s wonderful Halloween-themed collars that are easy for a dog to wear and distinctive.