Is your dog after a new couture look, a costume for special occasions, a helpful accessory, or a weather necessity? Whether you're trying to fulfill a practical need or dress your dog up in something silly, there's an apparel brand ready to outfit your pooch.
“We get our half of customers looking for practical items—bowls, shoes during the summer because the ground is hot—and then our other half of the spectrum, who are looking for dresses, tutus, and hair clips simply so they can post pictures of their dogs in high fashion outfits,” Maryssa Sayabath, of the Sacramento-centered doggie apparel superstore Posh Puppy Boutique, told The Spruce Pets.
We’ve curated a collection of larger brands and up-and-coming boutique designers so that you can complete your dog’s wardrobe, including both practical and whimsical products. Our favorite dog apparel brands not only offer awesome outfits for your dog, but also take into account sustainability practices throughout their supply chain.
Our favorite brand overall is Canine Styles, a time-tested New York City institution that now ships internationally. They're known for up-to-date apparel and superior manufacturing processes. But there are a lot of other great dog apparel brands out there that might have just the right outfit for your dog.
Respected brand for decades
New product lines twice a year
High price tag on some items
Canine Styles is a high-end dog clothes boutique that has been around since 1959, operates out of three NYC brick-and-mortar stores, and has been featured in Vogue, the New York Times Style Section and more. Canine Styles carries sweaters, coats, snow suits, and even doggie t-shirts. If you’re willing to shell out a little bit more than you might on fast fashion doggie clothes you won’t be disappointed.
With looks ranging from kitschy to dignified, and rugged to comfy, Canine Styles has something to suit your dog. Their hefty catalog includes harnesses, collars, leashes, bowls, and even some treats—all with the high-end tastefulness and fun that the brand applies to its clothing.
Some highlights in the catalog include their celebrated cashmere sweater and hoodie selection, designer nesting beds, rain boots, and their French-import ‘H’ line of collars. They also release two streetwear collections every year.
But while Canine Styles offers some upscale apparel, there are also a wide variety of affordable items, including their line of doggie tees, which range from "I Love New York City" shirts to Batman Halloween apparel.
You can even get your dog a haircut or bath at the Canine Styles stores in New York, which is home to the oldest dog grooming business in Manhattan.
Products for all major outdoor sports and activities
Supports eco-conscious and dog rescue organizations
Not as much variety in design as other brands
Based in the scenic and mountainous Oregon town of Bend, Ruffwear began in 1994 as the passion project of an outdoor athlete, Patrick Kruse, who wanted to equip his dogs to deal with the elements. Today, the company’s durable and high-quality dog athletic products are available in 53 countries, including custom apparel, harnesses, leashes, collars, life jackets, and more—basically any kind of product one might need to set their canine up for protection outdoors in any season or region.
In creating this formidable selection of durable gear for rugged canines, the company uses an eco-conscious supply chain. This includes using Bluesign certified textiles, which audits textile manufacturers for sustainability practices. They also provide a lot of transparency into their practices via their recently announced Climate Action Plan.
In addition to sustainable practices in the manufacturing of their products, Ruffwear is widely supportive of a variety of dog rescue and environmental non-profits. They support Conservation Canines—a dog rescue non-profit that finds dogs to help with environmental science and resource management—and launched their own dog adoption program in conjunction with the Best Friends Animal Society.
Ruffwear is hard to beat when it comes to sustainable and ethical practices, while also providing durable and functional apparel for your dog.
Supreme Dog Garage
Playful and eye-catching looks
Great accessories as well as clothing
Donations to dog shelters
Lack of transparency about manufacturing practices
As a brand that really keeps up with modern fashion and adjusts to trends, Supreme Dog Garage offers just about the finest options in e-commerce for your canine hypebeast. Outside of the preppy sweaters, oversize hoodies, svelte tracksuits, and hipster button-downs, they also offer a wide variety of accessories and toys, including gold chains and designer harnesses.
Some of their products parody existing luxury brands, like their Mercedes-esque "Benzie" dog race car bed, or Coco Chanel inspired dog bowl. This is the stuff that will turn heads at the dog park or make your dog's Instagram account unforgettable.
Plus, a dollar from every sale on Supreme Dog Garage is donated to dog shelters.
Commitment to use of organic fabrics
Use natural and recycled materials
Packaging footprint is low
Commitment to recycling and sustainability in their offices
Donations to charitable causes
Not as fashion-conscious or diverse in their offerings as other brands
Founded in 2008 by Susanne Postill, Eco-Pup began as a one-woman operation attempting to manufacture affordable pet clothing using organic materials. Today, it’s grown into an international franchise, with its products available both online and in-stores. All of their products are made using premium natural and recycled materials, mixing certified organic fabrics with eco-friendly bamboo and Repreve recycled polyester.
Something among Eco-Pup’s attractive collection of apparel and toys is guaranteed to fit your desired style profile for your dog. And in addition to not having to be worried about what unsavory practices might have been involved with the making of the clothes, you don’t have to worry about the footprint of the company’s packaging. The company reuses packing boxes, high-quality plastic and cellophane bags for packaging, and recycles everything that can’t be used again. They also practice sustainable practices in their office.
The company is also involved with charitable causes, donating to SAINTS (Senior Animals in Need Today Society), a local animal rescue which houses senior, palliative and special needs animals. If ethics are a principal concern in your pet shopping, then Eco-Pup is an excellent choice when you’re looking for new items for your pup’s wardrobe.
Best for Cold Weather
Made in an ethical partnership with skilled artisans
Distinctive look and area of expertise
Green business using natural materials
No matching sweaters for humans
This Philadelphia-based company built its reputation on their exceptional hand-knit wool sweaters. Their offerings include everything from the practical to novelty items, like sweaters emblazoned with pirate skulls, or knitted with built-in bowties. No matter what your style preference, Chilly Dogs makes it easy to find a sweater to fit your pooch, offering eight different size options, with guidelines based on your dog's length, width, and weight.
While best known for their sweaters, Chilly Dog offers a wide variety of winter staples, including hoodies, coats, and scarves. They even carry knitted dog ornaments. (They also produce some great seasonal cat toys.)
Chilly Dog also employs ethical labor and sustainable manufacturing practices, with their all-wool sweaters colored with plant-based dyes. Sweaters are knitted in South America according to Fair Trade practices.
Best for Small Dogs
Excellent quality products
Distinct identity, selectively minded
Female and BIPOC-designers highlighted
Partnerships with non-profits
Only suitable for a certain subset of dog owners
Started in 2016, Sir Dogwood was inspired by the company founder Chaz Olajide’s love for her mini-schnauzer, which led to the Chicago boutique’s specialization in clothes for small pups. Today, the company sources its products—which include toys and accessories as well as the best in puppy fashion—from around the world. The company is always on the hunt for the latest looks from up-and-coming puppy designers and makes highlighting female and BIPOC-owned designers a priority for their business.
Sir Dogwood also partners with non-profits, donating a portion of their monthly profits, and maintains a strong relationship with their community in Chicago. Their partners include One Tail At a Time, which is working to prevent pet homelessness in the city and help pet owners in underserved communities get the resources they need to care for their dogs and cats. They also work with CARE, which is working to expand diversity among pet welfare professionals and volunteers.
For overall quality, selection, and a time-tested excellent reputation, NYC’s Canine Styles is our pick for top brand. They are the best example on the market of a company that is hungry to stay at the vanguard of the industry and provide clothes that will serve your animal in the long term, in addition to making them look fabulous. For a company with excellent ethical practices who has a long track record of excellence in their field of specialty, we’d also highly recommend Ruffwear for both sporty owners and their canines.
What to Look for in Dog Apparel Brands
It’s important to check the materials of the item you’re investing in. If you want an evergreen piece that will last your dog years, you’ll want to look for the same kind of resilient and high-quality manufacturing materials you would in your own clothes. Maryssa Sayabath notes, though, that much of the dog apparel industry is based around fast fashion, so it’s wise to not invest in cheaply made, non-organic materials in your doggie apparel unless you really want the look or you don’t mind it having a short shelf life.
Unfortunately, sustainability is not a major priority in the pet apparel industry in the same way as it is in dog and cat food, for instance. Therefore, you’ll probably have to seek our brands who specialize in this area. They’re rare even in the human apparel world, so as you can imagine, they are more scarce in the animal market. Of the above list, we recommend Ruffwear, Chilly Dog, and obviously Eco-wear as brands whose mission statement includes a commitment to environmentally-conscious practices in terms of manufacturing and shipping.
As with anything else you purchase for your dog, make sure it’s commensurate with their behavior profile. Many pups can’t handle clothing on their bodies, and if you have a bigger dog, you should be particularly careful that it’s not constricting for them, and that they won’t tear it apart to deal with their discomfort, or during play. (There’s a reason mostly small-dog owners invest in clothing.) Either way, look at the fabrics the products you are eyeing are made out of—or better yet, customer reviews—to make sure it can put up a good fight against both the elements and the caprices of your animal’s moods.
How do you measure dog apparel?
For something like a coat or sweater, you should get a top line measurement for your dog—from neck to tail, the area that the garment will cover, essentially. Then measure from front legs to rib cage, and the circumference of your dog’s chest. For scarves and hoods, respectively, you can measure for their neck or head-to-neck. Take these measurements and reference sizing charts with the retailer to figure out what size of garment or accessory is ideal for your dog.
Do dogs need winter apparel?
Unless you live in an extreme climate, the answer is no. It’s largely an aesthetic item, though it can certainly increase comfort if your special pup isn’t averse to being dressed up in the first place (check this before throwing too much money at a designer doggie peacoat or something along those lines). But it can be a help for certain shorter-haired breeds, elderly dogs, puppies, and pups with serious medical conditions. If you’re thinking about a practical rather than a fashionable coat buy, check in with your vet to talk through the benefits for your animal.
What are the benefits of dog apparel?
As Sayabath explains, there are plenty of items on the market that can increase your dog’s comfort level—for cold weather she cites down fur snowsuits as a particular hot item. If you have money to spend, there’s no harm in experimenting with ways to make your dog feel more comfortable as well as look great, or at least funny.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This article was written by Winston Cook-Wilson, a freelance writer and reporter for the Spruce Pets. While his investigation into the finest dog clothing and accessories began from a fashion vantage, he also aimed to consider the preferences of different consumers, including those interested in organic and recycled materials and brands’ wider ethical priorities. He consulted experts in the industry, studied customer testimonials, and vetted major products in each company’s catalog to find the best dog apparel brands.