You know how in some activities there is a sort of unofficial uniform? Not things that require actual uniforms like… water polo, but more like, let’s say, golf. No one decreed on the first day of golfdom “All men shall wear argyle and ridiculous hats, this is my will. Let it be so.”
Anyway, what we were getting to before things got all “Legend of Bagger Vance”…. people that do the same activity tend to have a certain code of dress, style, or even brand that they are dedicated to…. and Dog Sports are no different. Today we are here to give you a handy guide to guessing what people are doing at a dog show… based purely on their clothing. So basically… stereotyping. Our favorite activity!
We’ll start with an easy one. Pastel suits and sensible shoes. Awkwardly fitting skirt suits in any color generally are an indicator that a woman is involved in conformation. Men can be a little trickier, as they range from crisply pleated khakis to impeccably fitted black suits. Sequins are generally reserved for judges, but occasionally a young (read: under 60) upstart will dare to wear them as well.
Once upon a time, If you saw someone wearing Vibram shoes and yoga pants, there was a good chance that person was involved with agility. Nowadays, it’s easier to spot Vibrams and yoga pants at your nearest college campus, but if you have a foot fetish and a hankering for leggings worn as pants… an agility trial is still a good place to go. While there, it is also highly likely to see people wearing tie-dye shirts (bonus points if it’s a the Best Q is a ResQ shirt), athletic shorts, and even ill-fitting sweatpants. A solid guide. The more intense the person is about the sport, the more intense their clothing gets. (Either that or they’re a giant newb with a mastercard.) See someone in running tights and shoes that cost more than your first car? It’s a solid bet they are heading back to their crate to grab their Border Collie, strap him into his y front harness and tug lead and have him drag them all the way back to the starting line.
If someone is roaming about wearing copious amounts of glitter and sequins or dressed up as some type of septuagenarian cowgirl or urban matador, it’s a pretty sure bet that they are involved in canine freestyle. If the dog on the end of their leash is also dressed in costume then it’s a guarantee. We aren’t sure who started the match your dog craze in freestyle… but we would like to meet them. Possibly go through their closet. There’s guaranteed to be a lifetime’s worth of sparkle in there. We like sparkle.
Reflective windbreaker. Check. Boots. Check. What are you looking at ladies and gentleman is someone involved in tracking. Can we really mock this? Utilitarian is the name of the game in tracking, apparently. Needs more creepy toe shoes.
More yoga pants? Yep. They’re pretty much a dog sport staple. Get used to it. In terms of flyball-specific gear, look out for groups of people wearing color coordinated t-shirts with ball-related sayings (heheh…balls). Although not technically a fashion accessory, they are also easily identifiable by their hordes of screaming dogs hanging from the end of brightly colored fleece tugs.
See that person wearing camo, Carhart pants, and waders? No, you don’t see them? (Camo joke. Please excuse us.) They aren’t Duck Dynasty rejects, they’re people doing Hunt Tests with their dogs. People that ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead in camo may just don it to title their dogs… and we’re pretty sure that’s the only acceptable time to do so. (That and… you know… actual hunting… You can wear camo when you hunt.)
When dockdiving folks aren’t parading around in spandex, it’s much more likely to see them in shirts with Team names, or even sponsors. When not wearing team shirts, it can be difficult to tell your average dock diving enthusiast from your average college football tailgater. Tie-Dye is not uncommon on the dock.
**Surely we missed something. Tell us in the comments. Or show us your own fashion stylings. Just be prepared to be mocked. It’s what we do.**