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Basil Barkarama’s Guide to the Perfect Dog Wardrobe

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With almost 18 months working as Chief Reviewer for Barkarama under my doggy belt, I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to create the perfect dog wardrobe. By this, I’m not talking doggy dress up – I’ll leave that to the experts such as Menswear Dog - but stylish wardrobe essentials to see the modern dog through all occasions …

GETTING STARTED 
Before you go off on a mad online trolley dash, here’s some handy tips to get you started:

  • Save special purchases until your dog is older and wiser. As a puppy, I chomped my way through an expensive leather lead and she was not happy!
  • Go for quality not quantity, and buy the best you can afford. The item will last longer and look better. PetPyjamas.com is a great site for quality brands and they have some brilliant sales so it’s worth signing up for their newsletter for updates.
  • Invest in classics – think tweed, nautical stripes, luxury leather and neutral colours. 
  • Comfort is key. My padded puppy coat was hideous. Its bulk was restrictive and I couldn’t gather pace on walks. It was a costly lesson in working out what works for warmth.

A CLASSIC COLLAR & LEAD 
A 365-day wear, a collar and lead are the absolute essentials of any dog’s wardrobe and you can’t really go wrong with chocolate brown, tan or black leather. Stripes are also a timeless classic and luxury dog outfitters Mungo & Maud have hit the mark with their Asymmetric Dog Collar, as shown in Steel/Peacock/Nude with matching lead. Prices start at £54.20 from MungoandMaud.com.

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STATEMENT COLLAR & LEAD
Sometimes a dog wants a little edge to stand out from the pack and this is when I like to sport a statement collar and lead. With my monochrome markings, I get my colour pop from my bright orange, La Cinopelca calfskin leather collar and lead set but I also admire the fun styles over at Ditsy Pet, where you can buy into current trends at a reasonable price. I’ve got my eye on their new Safari range – a bright take on leopard print, and the Heather, in a unisex floral. Visit Ditsypet.co.uk for more.

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WINTER COAT
Some advice! Don’t get so caught up in a quest for style that you forget about the purpose of a dog coat – added warmth and protection from wind and rain. A dog coat that marries classic style with function is Barbour’s Waxed Dog Coat, the pup version of their best-selling classic coat. Constructed in medium-weight waxed cotton (to fight off the rain and mud) and lightly quilted to keep a dog warm, I’ve got mine on order to arrive this week. Details include a traditional Barbour tartan lining and a smart corduroy collar, which I can turn up on particularly cold days. I’ve ordered Olive but it also comes in black. Priced at £39.95, fetch yours now from Barbour.com.

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DOG JUMPER
A dry day alternative to a dog coat - the dog jumper. The choice of colour or pattern is up to you but I’m currently crushing on Love My Dog’s hand-knitted Wilmot Dog Sweater in grey. Priced at £45 from Lovemydog.co.uk, it’s not exactly cheap but again we advise buying the best you can afford to avoid nasty bobbles and shrinkage. If your dog’s style is more relaxed, check out American Apparel’s fantastic range of casual dog clothing.

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ACCESSORIES 
For an instant pup perk-me-up, I’m all about the doggy neckerchief and the dickie bow. I’ve got all sorts of dog bandanas – chevron (as show above), gentleman’s paisley, London Buses and Taxis, red varsity with the letter B and even one that’s designed to look like a tuxedo. They add maximum style with minimal fuss. Etsy.com is the best place to get stocked up, as they offer styles in the thousands.

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My go-to doggy dickie bow is from Top Pooch, which I have in their vintage ‘ticking stripe’ material (along with matching collar and lead). Toppooch.com is another great place to pick up accessories in styles from mild to wild at a reasonable price and all items are handcrafted to the highest quality so they’re definitely worth a look. I’m also falling over myself with excitement at the latest installment from the Rover Boutique over on Etsy.com – just look at their gorgeous new Spring styles below.

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What’s in your canine closet? For more ‘me and my wardrobe’, follow @Barkarama on Instagram

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Basil photo credit: Tilly’s Studio

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