Thursday, March 3, 2011

What Not to Wear: Dog Park Edition

I've been a fan of TLC's What Not to Wear from the beginning, first as the British show, to the early days of the American version with Stacy and Wayne, then with Wayne's replacement, Clinton.

Week after week, I've watched as Stacy & Clinton work their magic on the style-challenged "victim" of the day. Overall, the clothing they select is beautiful to look at and quite wearable, but sometimes I see the outfits and think "sure, that's fine for New York City, but in <insert your favorite city name here>, really?? This was definitely the case as I watched the February 15, 2011 episode about Azi, the Social Psychology professor who continued to dress like a student.

Azi walked into the 360 degree mirror booth wearing a very long gypsy skirt and t-shirt showing a Bhudda. It read "For good luck, rub my tummy". She said she would wear it while walking the dog.

Not exactly fashion forward at all times myself (I'm wearing a too large plaid flannel shirt, with very oversized drawstring polar fleece scrub bottoms, striped fleece socks pooled at my ankles due to lack of elasticity, and hair pulled back 60's style as I type this), I snickered at her selected outfit without feeling the least bit hypocritical. After all, I don't go out like this....wait, that's what blogger Amanda said last week when TLC ambushed her! Besides, Stacy said Azi looked like a hula dancer, so I must be justified.

The initial snicker was nothing compared to the laughing fit I had as Clinton directed Azi's attention to the mannequin dressed not only in a cute short dress with overlying jacket, but with patterned tights, cute shoes (boots to the side), necklace, bracelets and oversized purse. THIS they said with straight faces was an appropriately styled outfit to wear when walking the dog.

A dress? Jewelry? Oversize purse? Really? OK, maybe the oversized purse because that is probably where they'd put the dog when they "walked" it, but I doubt either one has walked a dog in their life. They definitely have not gone to dog park. With a "real" dog. In Wisconsin. In the spring.

Note: "real dog" = one that is not an accessory and who's feet actually touch the ground.

The Jefferson County Dog park is 109 acres of off-leash doggy paradise: tall grass, woods trail, mowed walking paths & play areas, agility courses....and of course, OTHER DOGS! Lots of them! Gator goes twice a day rain or shine; blistering heat of summer or frigid cold of winter; snowstorm, drought or the soggy muddy mess that is spring at dog park.

A cute little dress with jacket & tights? Only if you don't mind them getting muddy, sweaty, perhaps torn from dogs jumping up to say hello. Jewelry? Gator lost his dog tags in the tall grass last August. We never found them. That bracelet could share the same fate. Cute shoes or boots? Sure, see how long before you snap off a heel, turn an ankle, or lose them in the mud. They won't look so cute after you accidentally step in doggie doo. Of course, after that, maybe you would rather lose them in the mud. Purse? After a few of the 1+ mile laps, it will be ballast to be jettisoned so you can try to keep up with the dogs.

What to and not to wear to dog park?

Stacy & Clinton's idea of a dog walking outfit

Azi seems as skeptical as me about this one

My version of What Not to Wear: Spring at Dog Park is....

Spring footwear. Left to right:

Fleet Farm Barn boots: Brought out of 20 yrs retirement, I got them for vet school because I was required to have steel toed boots. Unfortunately, Fleet Farm did not stock women's size 7 barn boots, or ANY women's barn boots for that matter, so I got the smallest men's boot I could find. My toes did not reach to the steel toe protector and I swear, the cow's knew it too. They're my pick when it's still cold and the deep snow is melting fast and the park is a snowy muddy sloppy mess
Tractor Supply Waterproof boots: They aren't heavy or insulated so are best for rainy mucky wet days that aren't cold. Functional, yet oh so fashionable. I get teased alot for these,but I know it's really because everyone is jealous because they don't have pretty boots like me.
Winter boots: they kept my feet warm even in the cold and snowy weather that is common in early spring.
Land's End water proof rubber shoes: Best for wet and muddy days with no deep sloppy mud. These pre-date even my Vet School days, they're so durable I think they'll be around forever.
YakTracks: can slip on any of the above when the trails get icy.
Not shown: my super duper warm teal green Sorrell boots from ShoeBox in Black Earth (the bargain room in back...the best $5.00 I ever spent on boots). They kept my feet warm even at -
-14 degrees.

Back from 4 laps at dog park...the week before this was taken, there was 10 inches of new snow on top of the rest of the winters snow. After 3 days of 40-50 degree temps, the snow was gone, leaving grass, mud,a winter's worth of formerly snow covered dog poop and puddles the size of a car. If that wasn't enough to make a mess, add in dogs that think playing and wrestling at your feet is better than using the rest of that 109 acres of free space. Notice that the legs are not spared, cute little patterned tights aren't so cute covered in mud.

Hats, coats & mittens....well, anything warm, waterproof, etc is the rule. Packer gear is pretty popular, as is camouflage, but surprizingly, no blaze orange. See Stacy & Clinton? We know what not to wear.

No comments: