I despise don’ts of any kind, but fashion don’ts blunt the spirit. That makes them among the worst of don’ts.

They tell you what fell out of fashion, and what to buy next. They get you to buy more stuff! With closets the size of bedrooms, I believe America has enough stuff.  It’s time to create, to play with what we have. To think of the do’s not of the don’ts. I’ve got a list of my ten favorite fashion do’s. Tell me what you think!

1. Celebrate your failures.

Fashion don’ts squash self expression. Failure is good. It takes you one step closer to finding greatness. You can laugh about it later.  That makes you less judgmental of others because you’re less judgmental of yourself. Bottom line: you can’t create without failure, so let’s make fashion failure fun.

My dogs, Woofie & BeaR love fashion failures.  While they are minimalists at heart and prefer going naked, if they have an audience or a camera lensing on them, they love to show humans that wearing “too much of the wrong thing” isn’t to be criticized, but embraced. If it makes you feel good, go for it!!


2. Hats rock.

With a great hat, you need nothing else. Hats give you character, whether it’s a tweed newsboy cap, a satin top hat or a rhinestone crown. Big dogs can wear people hats.  Smaller dogs need to get more creative. Make one with dollar store items and a glue gun.

3. Dollar stores are a bastion for fashion finds.

Dollar stores always have at least one aisle dedicated to  holiday fun.  In the picture below Fiona and Jade Belmont I bought wear hats made from dollar store hearts that I glued together and attached to a  pillbox hat  I made the collars by gathering fabric and sewing it to a band. The glasses are 18″ doll glasses, painted with red nail polish.

The dollar store seasonal aisle is not the only one with creative possibilities. Check out the party aisle, the toy aisle, the baby aisle and the office supply aisle. Think of it as a fun design challenge.


4. Big personalities love high fashion. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Meet Izzy the Frenchie,  viral sensation and author of Pawsion Police, the fun fashion pet gossip blog featured on the Dog Agency’s online magazine, Pet Insider,  Izzy loves fashion.  She has been featured in Vogue, on TMZ and with more television appearances that I can mention. Most recently, she graced the pages of Bride Magazine. following her nuptials to Whoopi Goldberg’s grand-dog, Filmore.  Who knows what’s next for this fashion mavin and all around darling dog.

5. Focus on a photo with food.

A photo of a dog at the table sitting before a plate of food always makes me smile. My advice: shoot in portrait mode. Technically that means a shallow depth of field, which means the focus is on the pup, with anything in front of or behind him / her  blurring into oblivion. These shots have a lot going on, so you want to remove as many visual distractions as you can so your audience knows what you want them to look at.

Several pups have made this their social media persona. Check out @Popeyethefoodie This LA stray turned food connoisseur has 340k people following his playful journey.


6. Play with human clothes.

Golden Bailey does it with style. He borrows from the family’s wardrobe to show the world how human (and non-judgmental) he is.  He calls himself your average Golden, a bit lazier than average, but willing to sport a dress, an apron or a pinstripe suit. My friend Coco Channel bought a darling baby dress when Say Yes to the Dress helped her mom pick out her wedding dress.  Izzy the Frenchie looks especially cute in baby onesies and toddler swimsuits. Woofie and Bear buy all their socks from the baby section at the dollar store.

7. Shop for eyeglasses!

Big dogs have it best. They can borrow their human’s glasses. I’ve found great glasses when googling for infant glasses, and, for the super tiny dogs, 18″ doll glasses. Silly glasses totally rock!

8. Be bright.

Light improves live. It also improves your photographs. Much of modern day fashion is made for photographs. At least it should be.  As an artistic expression it deserves to be memorialized. Just make sure to post the best picture possible. Learn to use the editing features on your phone. They can make a bad photo good. Capturing a dog (cat, pig, goat…) in a magic moment means the lighting might be bad, or your angle less than perfect. Don’t post badly lit pictures!  You can crop the image, brighten it, sharpen the focus.  If it’s too yellow you can make it cooler by making it more blue (indoor shots often take this tone). If it’s too cool, warm it with more yellow. Try it. You can undo it at every step. Experiment with these tools and make pictures you would like to look at.

This example of bear demonstrates a picture taken when BeaR looked super cute.  If I got up to add more  light or to perfect the framing, the moment would be lost.  To fix it, first I framed the shot into a square, pulling BeaR’s eyes closer. Then I rotated it so his eyes were horizontally level. I brightened the shot, made it a tad cooler and sharpened it.   It’s not a perfect picture, but you can see how the editing toold made it a better photo.


9. A dog with a job is a dog worth following.

Meet @LittleLolaSunshine. She’s a street-styling trick dog who travels the world delighting everyone she meets, especially children.  This stylish Yorkie loves with equal vigor to mimic what’s on the Paris runway and to lend her talents to philanthropic causes, all the while showing people how truly human she is.  Every dog has a job.  They know it, even if you don’t.  What is your dog’s job?  In my book, “The Scouting Dog’s Guide to Everything” Each member of the troop talks you about what they do. Lucy and Holly have the job of making people happy. Miss Coco Puffz acts and models, but most importantly she’s a licensed service to to her mom. Coco Chanel’s job is purveyor of unconditional love.


10. Celebrate the holidays––––all of them!

Skye Girl LOVES parties! She celebrates everything, from a friend’s birthday to National Backwards Day. This sweet rescue pup even celebrates snowstorms!  She lives life with verve and vigor, appreciating every moment life has to offer, and she shares that with her many dog friends.