How to shop for your Pug when you're looking for that Pawfect Shirt

How to shop for your Pug when you're looking for that Pawfect Shirt

Haylo Puggies,

If you hadn’t guessed by now, I love dressing Charles and Rosie because not only do their outfits make them feel special, but their outfits also put a smile on other people’s faces whenever they see them; instantly brightening the day of a complete stranger is one of the many inherent talents (or dare I say “super-powers”) our Pugs have.

Both Charles and Rosie have Shirts in their wardrobes because of how cute, trendy and/or smart they look in them, and because they are a great basis to an outfit if you have a big day of activities planned and don’t want to have to take multiple outfits with you. I can start with a Hawaiian Pug Shirt for a day at the beach and then pop on a Cut-out Bamboo Pug Bowtie for an early dinner or start with a Striped Saloon Pug Shirt for play group and then add a Three Row of Pearls Pug Necklace for brunch.

Whatever the occasion, a Shirt is a light weight colourful and versatile addition to a Pug wardrobe that needs to fit well to ensure that your Pug Supermodel looks and feels fabulous whenever they’re out meeting their adoring fans who just have to give them a pat and take a photo of them to share with their friends.

So, to make sure that you find the pawfect Shirt that will deliver maximum comfort and cuteness, I have a few basic criteria that I use when shopping for one of my fur-babies personal wardrobe; size chart measurements, materials, design, and colour options.

Handy Hint: Make sure to confirm the measurements of your little Supermodel, so you have as accurate a guide as possible when choosing your next purchase. If you’re unsure about measuring your Pug correctly, check out our guide; and if you’re shopping with us, then please take advantage of the SIZE MY PUGGIE tool on all of our clothing pages.

Typically, when I am shopping for Charles and Rosie and our other Pug Supermodels, I look for a snug fit at the torso without causing undue discomfort around the chest and neck on dressing or wearing; I find that too loose a fit will trip them up or get in the way when going to the toilet.

To be honest, I’ve found that it takes a dash of guesswork mixed in with a little know-how on what to look for on the product page to purchase with any level of confidence:

Shopping for that Pawfect Shirt graphic

Graphic: Questions to ask yourself when shopping for the Pawfect Shirt

Size Chart Measurements – when looking at size charts, a Pug’s guiding size is its chest, then neck and finally length (“typical dog breed” sizing uses the (back) length as the primary guiding size). I have found that if the only measurement available on the product page is the length, the Shirt will not fit your Pug’s chest (even with a couple of buttons/press-studs open).

This may mean that to get the right fit around your Pug’s chest, the back length of the Shirt tail will cover their tail. I have found that an average Pug’s length is 35cm, so I look for fit at the chest with this corresponding length or shorter; this also generally ensures that the front of the Shirt does not get in the way when the Pug is going to the toilet as the Shirt front is proportional to the back length.

Materials – Shirts generally come in materials/fabrics that have minimal to no stretch across the body, such as cotton or cotton blends.

These materials are typically soft on the body, don’t cause irritation for a Pug with sensitive skin, and can be washed in a washing machine with the rest of your household clothes.

Handy Hint: The important thing to remember is that if the material has any give, or stretch, it will typically have the stretch across the chest.

Design (neck and sleeve holes) – Be wary of neck holes that are extra wide and don’t button all the way to the top as they can slide down the shoulders of your Pug and become uncomfortable; check the product photos that have the Shirt on a dog/model and see where it sits to determine if it’s going to be a problem for your Pug.

*Note that Shirts with sleeves can be a problem if your Pug has shorter than average legs because the sleeve will get in the way when walking. It is difficult to determine if that is going to be a problem for your Pug but look at the product photos and see how far down the leg the sleeve goes to make a judgement call, you may be able to hand sew the rolled-up sleeve to make sure that it doesn’t unravel.

Design (hem) – Generally Shirts will not have an elastic hem which will hold the shirt front against the body better. However, if it does, the best way to judge this is to look at the product photos to see how it sits on the model and make a judgement call; you know your Pug best.

Max, Oscar and Charles dressed in Hawaiian Pug Shirts sitting and lying on an outdoor lounge

Picture: Max, Oscar and Charles in their Hawaiian Pug Shirts

Product Model - Do the product photos have the Shirt on a Pug or even a Frenchie so you can judge how it fits and sits on the body? If it is a small dog (i.e. Chihuahua) or a large dog (i.e. Golden Retriever) there is a chance that the Shirt won’t fit your Pug properly because it has been designed and manufactured to fit the “typical” dog size; it may require you to make a judgement call when purchasing.

Handy hint: Don't forget to check the return policy on the website to be sure that you can return the Shirt if you find the fit is wrong, and what you have to do to be eligible for another size to be delivered.

At Pug Parties we understand your frustration when you realise that you ordered the wrong size which is why we’re always happy to sort it out with you; check out our return policy here.

Other questions I ask myself as I am browsing -

  • Does the title description of the product include a size description of ‘medium sized dog’? Small dog description usually means Chihuahua sized

  • Does the product description tell you about the material and its give?

  • Is it harness friendly? Can I put a harness over the top and still be comfortable for your Pug, or is there a collar hole or harness hole that allows you to put the Shirt over the top?

Charles dressed in a Shirt and Vest with a Bamboo Bowtie standing on a door step

Picture: Charles in his Shirt and Vest Pug Suit and Pop Culture Bamboo Pug Bowtie

Even with all of the above shopping tips, I still find at times that the pawsome Shirt I have found will fit at the chest and neck but is a little long down the back covering their Puggie tails.

In this instance, I use the following options to make the Shirt look like I always intended on styling it that way:

  • Hair clip – if the Shirt tail is too short for a knot but you’d like to tighten it up a little, grab a hair clip in a complimentary and tie up the bottom

  • Scarf slide – similar to the hair clip, and you want the gathering material to lie flat down your Pugs back, use a large scarf slide in a complimentary colour 

  • Sewing (hand or machine) – create a couple of darts, preferably on the underside, to remove the excess around the chest/length evenly

But don’t forget if all else fails and the Shirt just doesn’t fit properly and it can’t be returned, consider giving it to a fellow dog at play group or to a Rescue Organisation who can add it to their care packages when they find their fur-ever home.

Sometimes trial and error is the only way to find the right outfit for your little Supermodel, but hopefully our tips and tricks make that process less hit and miss. Plus, if you’ve missed our other shopping guides, I’ve provided the links below to make it easy to find them.

I’d love to hear from other Pug-parents on their shopping experiences, tell us a tip or trick that you use to shop for your Pug that has or hasn’t worked.

Until next time Puggies, have a wonderful week and we look forward to snuffling with you again soon. 

From Donna, Charles and Rosie
Founder of Pug Parties and Pug Supermodel 

P.S. wanna browse our collection? Then CLICK HERE!

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Being a PAWTY PUG gets you access to one-time offers, advanced notice of new collections and sales, as well as shopping and dressing guides to name a few treats reserved exclusively for our friends.

Other articles in the Pug Shopping series:

  • Nothing beats the feeling of a fresh new T-shirt - Read it  HERE

  • How to shop for your Puggie when you're looking for that pawfect Dress - Read it HERE

  • How to shop for your Pug when you’re looking for that pawfect Jacket - Read it HERE

  • How to shop for your Pug when you’re looking for that pawfect Jumper - Read it HERE

  • How to shop for your Pug when you’re looking for that pawfect Shirt -Read it HERE

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