Ivy League Classics Tailored Dog Jackets | oxforddogma.com

The Tailored Dog Jacket from the Ivy League Classics collection

Every time I finish making a Tailored Dog Jacket, I feel a rush. Both because finishing one is a big milestone (in case you missed it, you can read more about what goes into the designing and the making of the jacket) and because I can picture how cute it would be on a little dog :)

Feeling nostalgic

Do you ever get nostalgic about the things we lose as a society as we progress? I’ve been suffering from that feeling. Over the years, as manufacturing has become fast and cheap, the things we bring into our lives have shifted toward mass-produced, generic, forgettable experiences. I’m not talking about big things, like the decline in starvation around the world and the advancement of civil rights, but the little things, cultural details that once were standard and now they’re becoming lost. It makes me long for slow experiences when I think about how fast everything moves now.

I think it’s really important to preserve some traditions, like slowing down to savor moments with family. For me, family has always included pets. And to appreciate the care and attention to detail something was made with. That is, assuming it was made with care and attention to detail. Wouldn’t something that’s special and meaningful be so much better?

enjoying the moment with Pipsqueak | oxforddogma.com

It’s the slow, intentional process — the combination of good design and good craftsmanship, which both take longer — that makes things feel special to use. I love to pay attention to the details so whoever is using the things I make have an enjoyable experience. Like they say: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. That’s kinda one of my mantras. (Another is “make hay while the sun shines”.)

In praise of timeless style

The main reason I prefer a timeless or classic style is this idea of intention. If something takes longer to design and make, then it costs more. If it costs more, you don’t want to replace it as often. And if you’re going to use it longer, you don’t want it to be something trendy or of-the-moment because after a few months of use you’ll be sick of it.

And I know this from many years of buying cheaply-made, ubiquitous, trendy mall clothes that I never wore because when I got them home I couldn’t figure out how they fit my wardrobe, then eventually I was just so tired of seeing them that they went into the Goodwill pile.

Finally I understood that the right fit for me was classic style. And by classic I mean a style that continues to be relevant, doesn’t look out of place or out of date, and doesn’t scream for attention. (If you’ve seen Robert Redford’s wardrobe in Three Days of the Condor or photos of Jackie O you know what I mean — that’s my idea of perfect clothing.)

The ultimate timeless-style piece in my own wardrobe is my Burberry trench coat. Every time I put it on I stand up straighter, feel more confident, and am reassured by its lasting qualities. That’s how I want it to feel when you put the Tailored Jacket on your dog.

happy Pipsqueak in jacket | oxforddogma.com

If you’re someone who …

  • cares about details
  • wants to participate in the shift from anonymous, mass-produced, low-quality products and avoid the big box stores
  • wants to fill a need with something special instead of just something
  • appreciates a slower and more intentional experience
  • wants to express your own classic personal style
  • is crazy in love with your dog (of course you are!)

… my work might be a good fit for you. Check out my shop to see the one-of-a-kind Tailored Dog Jackets for sale or the other items available (currently 100% cotton leashes that feel really good to use, and leash pouches that dispense a roll of waste bags for doggie clean-up).

Custom projects

Do you have an old tweed jacket in your closet that you’d like to turn into a jacket for your dog? Get in touch with me about how we can breath new life into an old classic.

Ivy League Classics swatch detail | oxforddogma.com

A study in tweed

The story behind my Ivy League Classics collection

I find the timelessness of tweedy, practical, refined-yet-casual, and time-honored menswear to be comforting. Like the mac and cheese of clothing. But, you know, classy mac and cheese. In our fast-paced, trend-focused world, it’s nice to be able to count on some things sticking around year after year.

I remember my grandpa wearing tweed sport jackets around the house, not for any special occasion, but just because that was his style — solid, traditional, dependable, consistent. He smoked a pipe, and while I hated the smoke, whenever I catch the scent of that sweet, cherry tobacco it transports me back to happy memories. Every once in awhile as I worked on this line of accessories, I thought about good times with my grandpa. This sense of history and connection to the past is woven into the things I design and make.

Smart + Heritage = Ivy League Classics

Many of our options as pet owners are for accessories that are trendy, flashy, pink or baby blue, and dog-bone/paw-print-embellished. This is the opposite of my style.

So I created a collection of tailored dog jackets, leashes, and leash pouches that speaks to those of us with classic style, who’d rather not replace our wardrobe every year, who prefer time-worn khakis and canvas sneakers that bear the mark of our wear to the brand new and pristine. Those of us who are likely to be found absorbed in a good book at the library, watching a classic film, or savoring a quiet Fall stroll with our favorite little pooch.

Ivy League Classics inspiration board | oxforddogma.com

My inspiration for this collection

  • the East Coast
  • crisp Fall and Winter
  • preppy and collegiate themes
  • Robert Redford’s perfect wardrobe in Three Days of the Condor
  • time-worn wood
  • brick & ivy
  • big, old libraries
  • the style and wit of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore
  • classic English menswear and textiles, like the Norfolk jacket

The mood & design values that guided me

  • heritage, tradition
  • intellectual, bookish
  • purposeful
  • quiet
  • refined
  • crisp
  • tailored

Ivy League Classics fabric swatches | oxforddogma.com

Ivy League Classics color palette | oxforddogma.com

The patterns & Textiles

  • cotton
  • wool
  • tweed
  • gingham
  • plaid
  • chambray

This collection really puts me in the mood for a walk around my college campus on a crisp Fall day, under a canopy of bright orange maple trees and my little dog trotting along by my side.

If you’d like to buy any of the handmade dog jackets, leashes, and leash pouches I created for this collection, visit my Etsy shop.