How to shop for your Puggie when you're looking for that pawfect dress

How to shop for your Puggie when you're looking for that pawfect dress

Haylo Hooman’s and Puggies,

Following on from our blog post about how to shop for t-shirts for your Puggie, this week’s post is focused on dresses for the Puggie Princess in your life.

Not having adopted a girl Puggie yet, I found shopping for our female Pug Super-models a little daunting to start with as I wasn’t 100% sure if what I was sourcing would look good on them when I saw them in natural light, would they be comfortable and most importantly, would they fit in all the right places!

So today I am going to share what I look for when buying dress samples for our Pug Super-models to test out prior to making them available in our store. Plus, I’ll also share a couple of ways to make a dress that is slightly too big but could still be wearable with a little adjustment or accoutrement that doesn’t require a too much sewing or fiddling around.

As eluded to previously, when I am shopping for new products to add to the store, I have a few basic criteria that I am interested when considering them for testing on one of our Puggies; design, material, measurements, and colour options.

But before I even start looking at products, I confirm the measurements of all of our Pug Super-models, so I have as accurate a guide as possible for choosing and matching products to specific Puggies. If you’re not sure how to do that, have a look at this video.

With the measurements on hand, I then look for the following features at a glance to short list, and then to return to, to look at in more depth when I am ready to purchase. I am typically looking for a snug fit at the torso without causing undue discomfort to the Puggie around the chest and neck on dressing or wearing.

Material – Unlike t-shirts, dresses can come in a number of different fabrics depending on what the designer/manufacturer is trying to achieve with the bodice and skirt, including denim, satin, cotton, polyester, corduroy, damask or a blend

    The important thing to remember is that the material give, or stretch, will differ between different material types, but will typically have the stretch across the bodice or chest.

    Potential stretch – If the product description does not describe the material/fabric stretch or it is not in the product title, such as ‘stretch denim’, then assume there is little to no give in the bodice fabric to be conservative. This is important when you’re looking at size charts wondering if you should get the L or the XL; my advice is to go with the larger size if your Puggies measurement is 2-3 cm less than the chest size advertised as there are ways to make a dress that is sightly too big fit and still look adora(pug)able (see further down).

      We have provided a guide on the different types of fabric used in dog clothing below and their typical stretch profile to help you when reading product descriptions;this is a guide only, fabric has many different varieties and each has their own characteristics, I’m calling out the commonly used.

        Neck and sleeve holes – The neck and sleeve holes should either use the same material as the body or it is elastic material which has a similar stretch to cotton. If the dress has buttons or press-studs at the neck, even better for dressing and accommodating Puggie necks. Be wary of neck holes that are extra wide, they can slide down the shoulders of your Puggie and become uncomfortable, so check the product photos that have the dress on a dog and see where it sits to determine if it’s going to be a problem for your Puggie.

        Waist band – Because dresses have a bodice and a skirt that can be a different fabric, the waist band could be either the bodice material hemmed for a loose fit or it could be hemmed with elastic to make it a snug fit to the belly. One design is no better than the other, it is more personal preference on the fit around the bodice and at the belly and both can be fixed if you find that your Puggie doesn’t like it on wearing (see below for more details)

        Measurement – When looking at size charts for clothing for Puggies, unlike “typical dog breed” sizing that uses the length as the primary guiding size, a Puggie guiding size is chest, and then neck and length.

        Unlike t-shirts, shirts, jumpers or jackets, length measurements for dresses include the skirt and may not necessarily be as big a problem as it can be with t-shirts etc. because the skirt will fall either side of their tail and can be modified to fit if necessary (see below for more details)

        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
        • Look at the waist band design in photos; does it have elastic or press-studs/buttons on the belly which might make minor adjustments for fit easy or a nightmare
        • Is the bodice full-bodied or is it held in place by straps? Could it be adjusted easily or not?
        • Does the product description tell you about the material and its give?
        • Do the product photos have the dress on a Puggie or even a Frenchie so you can judge how it fits and falls?
        • Does the dress have sleeves or not? Would that irritate your Puggie? If they’re a Puggie who is a little squirmy when getting dressed, sleeves can make it even more difficult
        • How high is the neck? A dress with a high or halter-neck style neck hole can be too small for your Puggies neck, double check the size chart and product description
        • What material is the skirt made of? Could you shorten it easily if you think it is a little too long or wide?

                      Even with all of the above shopping tips, I still find at times that the Pugtastic dress I have found will fit at the chest and neck but is a little long in the skirt and it irritates our Lady Pug Super-models. In this instance, I use the following fitting ‘hacks’ to make the dress look like I always intended on styling it that way.

                        Skirt too long – Tulle fabric – grab a pair of sharp scissors and trim the bottom of the skirt a cm at a time and try it on your Puggie between each trim until you have achieved the length you want.

                        All fabrics - If you are handy with a needle and thread or have access to a sewing machine or Seamstress, you can unpick the skirt from the hem and shorten from the top or create ruffles/pleats to shorten without the need to remove fabric all together

                          Bodice is slightly baggy – At the waist band – shorten waist band elastic or insert/thread elastic into a waist band that does not have elastic in it currently to synch in the excess material without needing to cut fabric

                          At the chest – create a couple of darts down the length of the bodice, preferably on the underside, to remove the excess evenly

                          Tack (via few hand sewn stitches) a length of ribbon to the bodice or waist that matches the dress bodice and tie off with a bow to synch in the excess fabric

                            And, if all else fails and the dress doesn’t fit or no longer fits and it can’t be returned (we take returns up to 30 days after delivery),consider giving the Jacket to a fellow dog at play group or to a Rescue Organisation who can add it to their care packages when a 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. 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.

                            Share with the rest of the Grumble below we'd love to chat with you and we always respond.

                            So, until next week Puggies have a wonderful week and look forward to seeing your adventures and photos on our Facebook and Instagram.


                            From Donna

                            Proud Pug-mum to Winston and Charles

                            Founder of Pug Parties

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

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                            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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