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Article Author: Angie McKaig

Dress 'em up in Waggin Wear for fun and function by Angie McKaig

With summer approaching, it's easy to put away the dog coats and sweaters and let our little ones run around au naturel. But let's not forget that pampered pooches need style all year round! With Waggin' Wear, you can keep your dog in style 365 days a year.

Waggin' Wear was founded in 1998 and produces a charming selection of fun and practical styles for spring and summer wear. From sensible raincoats to quirky aloha and bowling shirts, there's a little something for every pooch in their collection.

Currently, their shirts are only available in select boutiques throughout the United States, but their dog clothing line will soon be available for purchase through the Waggin' Wear web site.

We recently spoke to the company's founder, Sue Shaw, about Waggin' Wear.

pp:What made you decide to found Waggin' Wear?

ss: I literally woke up one night with the name Waggin' Wear on my mind and knew I had to start this company. It was a few months before I knew what the first product would be. I had just adopted my first dog (Ursa) and I was making hats at the time. Since neither of us liked walking in the rain, I designed her a coat and made a matching rain hat for myself. It had pockets on it to carry her treats and my keys.

pp:How do you come up with the clothing designs?

ss: My goal is to never lose my sense of humor. With that in mind, I am inspired by lots of different things. Sometimes that's fabric, sometimes my dogs, sometimes what I see people wearing in the street.

pp:What are your most popular items?

ss:Our yellow raincoat and matching hat has always been our most popular item. But, the red alohawear is coming in a close second.

pp:What plans do you have for the future of Waggin' Wear?

ss: We've had such a great response from the shirts that we're working on an full line of apparel for different occasions. Resort wear, holiday attire, party dresses. There is also a “plus size” line coming out this fall. I'm also working with my photographer on a line of greeting cards. We have so much fun shooting the product shots that we decided to do it more often and turn the photos into cards, shirts and posters.

pp:A “plus size” line sounds interesting. Can you help to explain what it is and where you came up with the idea?

ss: As Ursa (my female dog) and I grow older, we have both begun to carry a little extra weight around the middle (actually we both gained about 10 pounds when we left Brooklyn and moved to Long Island and didn't have to walk everywhere!). As my clothing size grew so did hers. I began to make extender belly bands for all her coats. Knowing that she and I are not alone I thought it would be great to design a line of dog apparel that catered to the “full figured” dog.

pp:What kind of holiday attire? Can you give us a hint?

ss: I get a lot of requests for dog Halloween costumes and Christmas outfits. Since pets have become such a key part of the family, when people dress for the holidays they want to dress their pets too. For Halloween, I'll have a selection of costumes. For those dogs that don't want to wear a full costume, there will also be a line of collars. For Christmas, along with a Santa and elf shirt, there will be a line of formal attire (party dresses for the girls and a tux or tie selection for the boys).

pp:Tell us a little about your dog(s).

ss: I have two rescued dogs. Otis, who I found on the street in Brooklyn, and Ursa, who I took from a shelter. Both are mixed breeds. Otis is a little bit of everything and Ursa is part Chow and part Retriever. They are a lot like Lady and the Tramp.

At 55 pounds, Otis “the street dog” is now convinced he's a lap dog. When he's inside, he constantly has to sit with his body pressed against someone. When he's outside he has a chair that he likes to sit in to guard his territory. On the other hand, I often think Ursa is part cat. She is very independent and carries herself as if she's royalty. That's why I'm designing a "diva collection" for her.

pp:And what do Ursa and Otis like wearing?

ss: Ursa loves to be dressed up and praised. Her favorite article of clothing is her red dog raincoat. Otis prefers an old scarf and his new bowling shirt.

Waggin Wear can be purchased through select boutiques throughout the United States. For more information, see their web site at

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