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What's Cool in Pet Fashion Winter 2006

By: Rebecca O'Connor

Read By: Pet Lovers
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More than $36.3 billion is spent annually in the United States on pet supplies for an estimated 165 million animals, with at least 10% being spent on non necessities. This year, some pooches can expect to a Christmas morning gift of $245 cashmere sweaters and 18-karat gold bowls. Are you finding the winter fashion that your pet deserves for Christmas?

Have you seen Neiman Marcus' 2006 Christmas Book? If you haven't you may not be getting the coolest fashion for your pooch. Neiman Marcus offers a crystal-encrusted leash for $185. This retractable leash is 16 feet long and comes in crystal, pink, blue, caviar, lilac, or faux ruby. Created by PuchiBag, all the best pets might be sporting it. You can also get a handcrafted English bridle leather collar that is accented with three rows of Swarovski® crystals for the perfect touch of elegance. This collar will run you $175-195. A little too rich for your blood? You can always order a Juicy leash and collar set for $95 and be sure your dog is dressed in the finest of pet luxury.

Not sure what your dog should be wearing this winter? You might want to check out Deborah Woods, "The Little Dogs' Beauty Book" for fashion advice. You can find out if your pooch is a Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall for wardrobes. For example a Yorkie would be a Winter, a Maltese a Spring. You can also learn how to create doggie duds for less and how to make the holidays special for a pooch. Check it out and then keep shopping.

Sometimes the coolest winter fashion is simply your pet matching your own style. "Pet fashion is reflective of the owner's sense of style," said Jane Knittle, owner of A Pet's World in Manchester Center, Vt. One of Knittle's newest styles is a coat made of fleece in fuchsia and pale pink, with appliqued flowers. "It is perfect for a girl dog, a sexually confused male dog or even a transvestite dog," she explains.

Want your dog to share a little fancy holiday dress? That's understandable. "Our customers demand the beading and handiwork be just as good as on their own dresses," says Eleonor Hallstrom, a designer for E&E Hallstrom in Hartsdale, N.Y., while standing beside a dog's dress shaped like a butterfly, with wings encrusted with red Swarovski crystals. ($4,500.) Hallstrom's customers are usually women who have a one-of-a-kind dress made for themselves, and are looking for one their dog can wear as well.

Looking for some simpler dress to match your style? If you're a surfer dude then perhaps you're pooch should sport fashions from CocoJor Hawaii, a Honolulu-based company that creates "Aloha-wear" in flowery, tropical-colored fabrics, with real coconut-wood buttons. Sports fans might go for the Sporty K9 of Austin, Texas, which creates canine-sized dugout jackets for teams in Major League Baseball. Whatever you choose this winter, the style is simple. If you and you're pooch look great together, you're in style. Happy holiday shopping!



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