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Dara Foster

Professional Pet Fashion Expert

Dog Shirts

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Ten years ago, most people would have laughed at the idea of dressing their dog in t-shirts and tank tops for anything besides Halloween. Nowadays, a shirt ranks as one of the must-have items to purchase for a dog alongside collars and leashes. The old joke about owners looking like their dogs has never been truer.

Dog clothing is another extension of the owner’s personal style, and there is a huge variety of designs from which to choose. For a long time, if your dog didn’t love pink then she was left in the style doghouse. Finally, every dog is free to express their individuality with styles ranging from punk rock to preppy.

When it’s time to freshen up your pooch’s spring and summer wardrobe, a t-shirt or tank top is an affordable option. Even huge designers like Ralph Lauren are offering polo shirts for dogs at very affordable prices. It’s possible to buy a creative, well-made tee or tank for very little money. Designs that include a lot of details, like rivets, pockets, collars, and zippers, all cost more money to manufacture, so expect a higher price tag.

Judging the quality of a dog’s tee or tank is much like it would be for any piece of human clothing. You’ll want to feel the fabric, check for tailoring, and inspect any silk-screened item for printing quality. Poorly-made t-shirts will sometimes have sleeves that are not correctly tailored for dogs, making it uncomfortable for them to wear. Make sure your dog is not in any discomfort before handing over your charge card. Fashion is fun, so go for it!

Best Dog Shirts (Spring and Summer) by Dara Foster

The Best You Can Get

  • Pink Polka Dog - Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star Dog Tank Top

    Dara says: When it comes to colorful printed t-shirts and tanks with a girlie urban twist, no one does it better than Pink Polka Dog designer Miyuki Takesako. Each shirt is handmade in her L.A. Studio with impressive tailoring and funky design details, including an ice cream patch. The “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” is a great tank for summer BBQs and casual outings.

    • XS-XL
    • %100 cotton
    • Machine washable
    • Extremely well-tailored
  • Every Day Studio - Shikisai Dog T-Shirt

    Dara says: The San Francisco-based design firm, Every Day Studio, is a favorite among contemporary design junkies for their intelligent, simple, and innovative designs. Every Day Studio understands the true brilliance of simplicity and applies that concept perfectly to their line of dog t-shirts. Japanese-born designers Noto Hirotsugu and Noto Miyo created this umbrella t-shirt as a way to explore the definition of colorful design by using only black ink on a white surface. This design looks especially cool on larger dogs, which usually get left in the rain when it comes to fashion.

    • XS-L
    • Limited edition
    • Japanese minimalist design
    • Includes a “surprising” sewn element
  • Chiwowwow - Vintage Tee

    Dara says: Don’t let the name fool you. This brand isn’t only for Chihuahuas; it’s inspired by one very cool Chihuahua named Elvis. The designer and founder, Carolyn Paxton, scours vintage and thrift stores across the country in search of vintage tees to turn into dog clothing. Her t-shirts are guaranteed to spark chuckles and conversations at every corner. Remember the cartoon, Ren and Stimpy, or the annoying boy band, N’Sync? Now your doggie can rock out in the real vintage deal. These tees are also exceptionally tailored, extremely unique, and handmade in L.A.

    • 100% Cotton
    • Each piece is original
    • Great tailoring
  • Urban Hund - Bird T-shirt

    Dara says: Taking a cue from the white-hot craft movement, these cutout birds rest easy on their twig perch. Chicago-based Urban Hund always comes through with high style at the right price. The blue and pink birds give this tee a puppyish quality making it the perfect gift for a new puppy friend. Custom tailored to fit your pooch perfectly, these 100% cotton tees will keep dogs cool in the summer months.

    • XS-XL
    • 100% cotton
  • Bullywear – Anti-Depression Tank in Clockwork Orange

    Dara says: Most owners would describe their dogs as little happy pills and would gladly toss out their medication if they could get a monthly prescription for dog love instead. The folks over at Bullywear firmly believe in this philosophy and created a dog tank with a prescription label on the back, which reads, “Take dog with you as much as possible, pet and scratch, love and kiss at least five times daily. Repeat at night.” I bet your doctor can’t top that!

    • XS-M
    • Very original
    • Clockwork orange mesh fabric
    • Prescription label on back

You will be happy with any of these

  • Kee-Ka - Sweetpea Organic Dog Tank Top

    Dara says: This spring, your dog can join the green movement with this 100% organic cotton tank top from Kee-Ka. Your dog will no longer suffer dirty looks from the eco-vegans at the food co-op for wearing non-organic, chemically-produced clothes. Kee-Ka uses only 100% organic materials and manufactures their products using only fair-trade certified minority women in Israel. This is a guilt-free, environment-friendly way to spoil your best bud.

    • XS-M
    • 100% super soft organic cotton
    • Natural/green binding
    • Manufactured using certified fair-trade co-op farmers and workers
  • Louis Dog - Sticker On Me Tank Top

    Dara says: If you’re tired of hearing your dog bark orders at you, why not read them instead? Korea-based label, Louis Dog, designed this clever summer tank with a sewn-on speech bubble patch where you place stickers with phrases, including “I am hungry” and “Do not come close”. The stickers probably won’t last long, but the tank is a fresh design all on its own. Also, consider having fun making your own stickers. It’s a great project for the kids to do on a rainy day.

    • XS-XL, 95% cotton, 5% spandex
    • Speech bubble appliqué on back
    • Four comment stickers and one name sticker included
    • Easy-to-wear
    • Hand wash
  • Wooflink - Little Devil Tank Top

    Dara says: Next time Buddy chews up your lazy boy recliner or favorite stilettos, you can let the world know what a little devil you have by sticking one on his back. The Little Devil tank from Wooflink is loaded with details like rhinestone devil eyes, brass rivets, and a faux leather cross. It has a ton of detail for a tank top and makes a great conversation piece at the dog park.

    • Sizes 1-6, 100% cotton
    • Embroidered faux leather cross with rivets
    • Flocking finished “Little Devil”
    • Rhinestones devil eyes
    • Hand wash
  • Sckoon - Organic Cotton Kimono T-shirt

    Dara says: Organic soft wares brand Sckoon brings their “eco-ethos” to the pet set with these nautical-inspired stripe tees. Help your pup’s wardrobe stay in shape this summer while lending the earth a hand by using only environmentally-friendly materials. The super soft 100% Organic cotton tees are made from the world’s finest organic Egyptian cottons. Taking the eco-challenge higher, Sckoon dyes their clothing with low impact metal-free dyes that offer great colors without taking a toll on the environment.

    • XS-M
    • 100% certified organic Egyptian cotton
    • Dyed with low impact metal-free dyes
    • Super soft
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren - Big Pony Mesh Polo

    Dara says: Don’t be surprised to find your doggie popping his collar when strolling around in this Big Pony Mesh Polo shirt by Ralph Lauren. A Ralph Lauren polo shirt is the quintessential all-American shirt, and it’s refreshing to know that our dogs are not forgotten. The big pony on the back lends a new take to this classic. It’s available in pink, teal and navy and has a small leash hole at the back of the neck. This is a great piece for dressing up or down and can be worn to almost any occasion.

    • SM-L, 100% cotton
    • Short-sleeved shirt with signature cotton mesh fabric
    • Two button placket, ribbed polo collar and cuffs, and uneven vented hem
    • Discreet leash hole on back of neck and curved bottom
    • Large embroidered pony on back

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