At the 138th anniversary Westminster Dog Show, which starts Monday, 2,845 beautiful, altogether clean-cut blood pups will array about the arena at Madison Square Garden. Their handlers will be addition story.
The bodies at the added end of the bridle accept continued been the base of jokes for their actualization choices and appearance. The dog-show circuit’s affection for sequins and rhinestones, antiquated hemlines and rubber-soled flats has continued been lampooned in accepted culture, from the 2000 Christopher Guest blur “Best in Show” to a noteworthy YouTube video advantaged “Westminster: White-Women-in-Knee-Length-Suits Group,” featuring clips of back-number changeable handlers at the acclaimed show.
But dog-show assembly say their bad rap isn’t warranted: It’s not accessible bathrobe for a admirable event, like Westminster, that requires an awkward aggregate of alive shoes and sequins.
“The criticism is unfair,” says longtime Westminster co-host David Frei, acquainted that bodies don’t accept all that a abettor charge be able to do in their appearance clothes. “They accept to run about the ring, accept allurement in their abridged and get bottomward on the arena with their dog.”
Frei singles out Erin Roberts, 56, of Oklahoma City, as actuality one of the best-dressed handlers on the circuit. To an outsider, her appearance is hardly striking.
“The apparel I wear, if I were a banker, I’d fit adapted in,” Roberts says, acquainted she shops frequently at Ann Taylor and White House|Black Market. If she makes it to the final annular of Westminster, she says she ability about-face to article flashier, like a atramentous sequined anorak to add a little “glitz.”
Other handlers are determined that the focus be on the dogs. “It shouldn’t be about the clothes, it should be about the affection of the animal,” says Anna Stromberg, a abettor from South Salem, NY who will be aggressive at Westminster for the 23rd time this year.
“It’s the abode to shine, so you ability go for blatant and cottony and satin,” she says. While there’s no official dress cipher for the show, it’s accepted that Westminster is admirable brawl of the circuit.
As with abounding things, men assume to accept it easier. Armando Angelbello, 59, of Fort Lauderdale, whose miniature pinscher, Classie, won best in brand aftermost year, says accepting dressed for the appearance arena isn’t that adamantine for him. “When you go up to Westminster, you abrasion business suits.”
But some in the appearance arena readily accept that there are abounding appearance “don’ts” on the circuit.
Two months ago, Adrienne Owen, 28 and a able abettor based in California, started a blog alleged “Dress 4 Best in Show” afterwards watching the 2013 AKC Eukanuba National Championship and not affection what she saw.
“There were too abounding things jiggling and bouncing to not do article to try to help,” says Owen. “I started the blog because handlers and exhibitors should enhance the account back they’re assuming their dog.”
Her blog, and its Facebook page, singles out well-dressed handlers and offers tips such as “knits appearance everything” and “to bead balloon bristles canicule afore a big event, break abroad from dairy and accomplished grains.”
She’s edgeless with her advice, abnormally back it comes to televised contest like Westminster. “Your base is activity to be on TV. Don’t accept panty lines,” she says. “Don’t let it jiggle. Abrasion Spanx. If you’re well-endowed, abrasion an adapted bra.”
This year will be Owen’s 11th time assuming at Westminster. While she says she understands it can be “hard” to be chichi with a bridle in your hand, she believes it is possible. “You can be fashionable after actuality fuddy-duddy,” she says.
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