Hello, I’m Aline of chacharocks, the home of gorgeously kitsch canine couture accessories with a glitter-tastic twist. The handsome dog on my right is my adopted Greyhound, or possibly Lurcher, Ronnie.
I’m delighted to have been invited by Badger to pen a regular column for Newnibbles on pet couture and other fashion-related matters. Did you know that pet couture can help raise your confidence, express your creativity and improve your relationships? Without costing the earth. This week I’m going to tell you how it can contribute to your life in unexpectedly beneficial ways, and share with you exactly how to measure your dog to ensure, when you buy him or her a collar or accessory, that you get the right size.
Above: Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) and Bruiser the Chihuahua in Legally Blonde. Elle, despite her bubble gum image, was a smart cookie who ignored other peoples’ expectations to pursue a law degree. Truly a chacharocks woman!
Pet accessories for confidence and better relationships? I’m not joking. Let me tell you now. But first, an anecdote. Last week I was invited to a charity dog show to promote chacharocks. Ronnie and I arrived early and then a steward approached me with a chacharocks sign and taped it to my table. He paused, looked at my display and said,
Neck wear for dogs? Now I’ve seen it all.
His comment reflected the view of many, that non-functional dog accessories are weird.
So how exactly can pet couture add to your life?
- Canine bandanas, bow ties, collar accessories and necklaces are a fantastic way to involve your dog in holiday celebrations and special events. Kids can have fun choosing accessories or even making a DIY doggie outfit, you can take memorable photos and post them on your social media pages. You’ll make people smile and they will be talking about your photos for weeks.
- Are you the impulse shopping type? Rather than dump loads of money on new clothes buy a dog accessory; many pet fashion businesses including chacharocks donate a portion of your profits to charity so you’ll be helping a good cause too.
- A cute dog accessory is an excellent conversation starter when you’re out walking your dog, especially if you are shy. You could make a new friend, get asked on a date or get a job. Try it out! If you really can’t bear the thought of a purely non-functional accessory then try an ultra-glamorous collar like the ethically made glitter and gemstone range available from chacharocks.
- Speaking of philanthropy, why not start a social media account with photos of your dog in different accessories or organise a fancy dress parade for local dogs to promote a rescue charity?
- If your dog’s breed has a bad reputation a cute bandana or bow tie, as well as looking fantastic, will help make him or her look more approachable and let you educate people about misperceptions related to that particular breed.
- It goes without saying that buying lovely accessories for your dog will make you feel closer to your beloved pet. And it’s fun! For a really special occasion why not have an accessory or outfit custom made for him or her? It’s not as pricey as you think.
Trotter the Instagram star
Now you know more about the benefits of pet couture remember to measure your dog’s neck correctly before buying a bandana, necklace or collar. Standard sizes small, medium and large are often open to interpretation so the more accurately you do this, the more likely you will be to purchase an accessory that fits perfectly. To measure your dog’s neck do the following:
- Make sure you have a flexible tape measure, a piece of paper and a pen.
- Stand your dog on a flat, even surface and make sure he or she is as straight as possible.
- Using the tape measure, measure your dog’s neck, leaving room to breathe but being careful that you don’t measure too loose.
- Write the measurement down on your piece of paper. If you’re using string, mark it with a pen, measure it with your ruler and then write the measurement down.
- Measure a second time just to be sure.
- Give your dog a treat!
If your dog’s neck falls between sizes, always pick the bigger size.
So have fun with pet couture, make a splash and spread goodness in the world!
Until next time,
Aline Duriaud has had a varied career as an artist and writer in New York City and has also worked as a support worker for vulnerable adults. She also loves animals and, when her Pomeranian passed away in 2013, took the plunge to start her London based online dog accessory company chacharocks, purveyor of fierce, ethically made canine couture with a glitter-tastic twist.