How To Own It: Wearable Cats and Dogs

Hello beautiful, and welcome to How To Own It, where store-bought fashion meets DIY crafts. Each week I’ll be exploring an aesthetic theme, showing you some of the best ways to wear it and how to make it for yourself.

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Email [email protected] or tweet to @Gabrielle_Korn.

Header by Rory Midhani


Performance artist Holly Hughes once said that lesbians are divided along the following lines: dog lesbians, cat lesbians and lesbians with allergies. I love all animals as deeply as I am allergic to them, but I think I’m on paper as a dog lesbian because I’ve found my kindred spirit in a tiny hypo-allergenic puppy mill rescue named Kimberly; maybe you’ve noticed her fluffly face peaking out in pictures I post to this website. I feel like in general, the internet has helped a lot of other people come out about their animal obsessions, too: for example, hopefully we all agree that only a meanie wouldn’t want to spend an hour watching videos of puppies playing with lemons.

someone got too fluffy for her winter jacket!

someone got too fluffy for her winter jacket!

Basically it appears that we’re all letting our inner crazy cat/dog ladies out into the world, and you know what? She doesn’t seem so crazy after all. In fact, everyone’s inner animal enthusiast has always sworn that sweaters with creatures on them are super chic, and I’m starting to think she has a point. In fact, maybe wearing animals on one’s clothes is a new form of flagging!


cat shirt 1

via dosetimoandar on weheartit

Being allergic to cats is one of my major flaws as a human, to the point that I’ve been tempted to say so during job interviews when asked about my weaknesses. My girlfriend is such a cat lesbian though, and even has two cat tattoos about it, so I feel doubly bad that we can never have one. Anyway, you don’t need to hear about that. What you need to hear about is that you can wear shirts with cats on them and look hot at the same time.


via lisa d on lookbook

via lisa d on lookbook

Dog grrrls need team apparel, too. One of the best parts of searching for dog sweaters for this post was that I got a lot of hits for actual dog sweaters, as in sweaters for dogs. Kimberly really needs some new clothes because she’s gotten so much fluffier since last winter (see above). Dog shirts for people are really great too, though! They are just as trendy and whimsical as kitty shirts.

DIY Customized Animal Wearing A Scarf Decal

Perhaps you noticed that many of the animals on the shirts I’ve shown you are accessorized with scarves or bow ties. Perhaps you, like me, think that is a fantastic idea. And maybe you even agree with me that you’d like that idea even better if the animal was your animal. I mean, I would totally wear a sweater with just about any dog on it, but really what would make my life would be to have Kimberly’s face on my shirt. I think it would probably make her happy, too. So, I’m going to show you how to easily make a customizable animal decal that you can sew onto just about anything you want, so that we can all wear things that display our furry pals.

You will need:

a cute animal’s face
a piece of paper
two different kinds of fabric
sewing supplies

1. Take a picture of your animal’s profile. Kimberly’s face is an amorphous fluffy blob right now, so I used an old picture taken after a haircut so that her face shape can actually be seen.

can you even believe this is the same poodle?

can you even believe this is the same poodle?

2. Draw the outline of the profile. You can do this freehand if you’re fancy, or you can actually use your computer screen as a light box and just trace it! You don’t need to have any real drawing ability to get this to look awesome.
photo 1-4
3. Pin your drawing to a piece of fabric and cut it out. If your animal has floppy ears, you should cut around the ears a little bit to differentiate between the ears and the head.
cutting out
4. To make the scarf, cut a strip of fabric with angled ends. To make sure it’s even, fold it in half and make the angles at once. Lay the strip of fabric underneath the base of your animal profile. Then fold it over in front so that it makes an X, and sew it down.
bow tie
5. Now all that’s left to do is pick an item of clothing to sew it onto! I picked this v-neck sweater because it already had a hole in it so if I messed up, I wouldn’t be sacrificing anything.
6. Try to find a way to hold your animal while you pose for a picture that shows both your new sweater and your cute friend. Apparently it was really hard for both of us to have all of our eyes open at the same time.
photo 4-3

PS I wasn’t going to include this outtake, but the team insisted that I had to. Look at her fucking face:
photo 1-5

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Gabrielle Korn

Gabrielle Korn is a writer living in Los Angeles with her wife and dog.

Gabrielle has written 95 articles for us.


  1. I just got my first dog and I now understand the love of all things puppy printed.

    Is Kimberly ALL poodle? She looks like my powdered sugar version of my Waffle, part Poodle part King Charles Cavalier.

  2. I’m about to pass out due to the cuteness/awesomeness/love of ALH/the everything on this post.

    *passes out*

    • I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a sweater of the puppy as my avatar and the one of AS buddy fynnie’s kitty avatar!!!

  3. The feeling of contracting the flu and deciding to spend the rest of the evening in bed watching puppies play with lemons.

    Also this post is cute omg

  4. Oh my gosh you just quoted Holly Hughes! I get to see her around and about on a regular basis. All my friends adore her.

  5. Pingback: How To Own It: Wearable Cats and Dogs – Autostraddle | Ez Dogs Blog

  6. Pingback: How To Own It: Wearable Cats and Dogs – Autostraddle | Cats

  7. The best thing about naturally longer-haired dogs is that, if you choose to get them groomed, they have two different looks. Plus, if they’re smaller, you can manhandle them into dog-sized clothing! They’re the perfect accessory! Also, I think small dogs are underrated snugglers. You see a big dog and think, “I could spoon that dog, I could give a legit hug to that dog.” But small dogs are great for that, too. I just finished an intensive cuddle sesh with my lhasa apso. Not enough love for small dogs in the world.

    • I loved this comment more than I should. I DO rate all dogs on a cuddle-o-meter. My French Bulldog is an amazing snuggler. And I shove her into sweaters. We spoon, too.

      • Yes! And I’ve also noticed that old dogs are the best at snuggling. They have nowhere else to be, they can’t see really well, they just want to be near something solid and warm and they want to be there for a long time. And I am happy to oblige.

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