Lucy chases down some local businesses that feature fashionable finery for pooches.

By Lucy J. Phillips, Boots & Arrow photos courtesy of Boots & Arrow, Texas Humor pictures courtesy of Texas Humor

Dear Lucy,

Sunshine and Nina. Photo courtesy of Nina Berenato
Sunshine and Nina Berenato courtesy of Nina Berenato

Thanks for providing #stylegoals for us Austin pups. You always know just what to wear. My human, jeweler Nina Berenato, was recently on the cover of Austin Woman, and since the photo shoot, she’s been dressing up a little more and having fun with her personal style. As her loyal sidekick, I’m ready to step up my wardrobe too. A little about me: I’m a curvy girl—and lovin’ it! My favorite song is “Soulmate” by Lizzo. I love the outdoors but Netflix marathons are my guilty pleasure. My current style is pretty basic: I wear an ombre leather collar, sometimes a bandana. It’s cute, but I want my style to reflect my personality. I need my outfits to be sassy but functional; I can’t be slowed down when chasing squirrels or burying bones. What do you suggest?

Love, Sunshine the sassy

Dear Sunshine,

Thank you for noticing my style! I do enjoy expressing myself through an extensive collection of accessories, so I always appreciate when someone notices. Like Lizzo, I regularly catch my reflection in the mirror and think, “Damn, she the one.” (On that note, I saw the singer wearing your mom’s jewelry on Instagram. You must be so proud!)

As for fashion, it’s a good thing I’m not a cattle dog because the only thing I’m rounding up are style tips. Since I was already 45 pounds when I was adopted at 4 months old, my human saw I was going to be a pretty thick gal. Accessories tell people that I am, in fact, a lady. They also attract a little extra attention, which l tolerate.

Tracing my style evolution, my first iconic look was an understated holly bandana I wore at Christmastime 2014. The material came from Michaels and told the world I’m festive, practical and chic. So, my first tip is to decide what statement you want to make. Whether that’s sporting a DIY look or local brands, decide what paw print you most want to leave in people’s minds. (You’ll also find fashion paw prints are more appreciated than muddy ones.)

If you want to say, “I’m sophisticated, socially conscious and I support local brands,” then check out Boots & Arrow. After adopting her dog from a local rescue organization, Austinite Kristin Moses designed these one-of-a-kind leather collars from upcycled cowboy boots, donating $5 from each purchase to rescue pups in need. Her shop also features screen-printed Western- style bandanas and the most stylish poop-bag holders you’ve ever seen. Custom designed with canvas fabric, each holder features antique brass hardware and reclaimed cowboy-boot leather. They’re so elegant, you’d barely know they hide bags that pick up our business.

If Texas pride really gets your tail wagging, you will drool over Texas Humor’s new line of pet products. The homegrown brand began as Jay B. Sauceda’s Twitter account in 2011, growing from funny Texas tweets to cool printed T-shirts and hats. Launched in September, Texas Humor’s pet collection includes collars, bandanas, bow ties and even dog hats. It’s all designed for pets to show off our Lone Star pride!

I sniffed out Texas Humor’s Allison Sanders to dig up more details. Starting as an intern designing Texan memes in 2015, Sanders now wears several (Texas-themed) hats in her role as Texas Humor’s site manager.

“One of my favorite things is writing the product descriptions,” says Sanders, who is also mom to pit bull Sophie. “Our inspiration behind the new line was each having our own dogs and living in a dog-centric city. I loved combining our Texas jokes with dog puns, like [with] the Yee-Paw bandana.”

Choosing between the dapper bow ties, bluebonnet bandanas and yellow-rose collar is almost impossible, but my personal favorite is the Texas Paw bandana. Only my hunt for the perfect squirrel has lasted longer than my search for a flag bandana that won’t bunch around my neck rolls, hiding the Lone Star, which is sacrilege, if you ask me! In lieu of a star, the Texas Humor design features a white paw print surrounded by blue. And it was specifically designed for doggo necks, so I can finally bear the flag that makes my seventh-generation Texan human so proud.

So, whether you want to rock some hip cowboy boots in the upcycled form of a fetching collar or are more about showing off your Lone Star pride, these two local brands have got you covered as you embrace your own style evolution. You’ll definitely fall in (puppy) love with them. Happy styling!

Love and slobbery kisses, Lucy

If you have a dog-related question for Lucy, reach out and follow her on Instagram @asklucydog



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