Sarah dropped this into the Suggestion Box:
I’ve seen snippets of your cat (cats?) in your photos, and I’d like to see a post discussing fashion tips in regards to having pets, like how to handle pet hair on your dressy (or even everyday) items, what problems pets pose to one’s wardrobe (my cats love to paw at my legs to get my attention, and if I’m wearing flimsy tights, there goes the pair!), that sort of thing. Many a person dressed to leave the house gets their clothes slobbered on, covered in cat hair at the last minute, or finds pet dander on something your cat managed to sleep on. Any suggestions to help combat these common problems would be appreciated, especially in terms of having to dash out of the house for work or some other time-sensitive event.
Ahhh yes, the question of pets. My adorable cats are shedding machines, ever eager to sit in my lap when I’m wearing delicate duds, and fascinated by ANYTHING that dangles. They’ve ruined a few items – Rowan Kitty once licked a huge hole in diaphanous mohair sweater and then gave me the, “What? You love me,” face. But there’s no way in hell I’m getting rid of them, so here are a few of my work-arounds.
Roll with it
Let’s start with the obvious: Buy a lint roller for your home, one for your car, one for your office. Pet hair is the most common and obvious sign of pet ownership, and much of it can be dealt with by swiping a lint roller across your personage. Travel sizes are available, so you might even consider one for your handbag, briefcase, or bookbag. But naturally, in order for the lint roller to work you’ve got to …
I might suck at checking my rear view and I frequently leave the house before dealing with concealer and blush, but I seldom miss a fine coat of cat hairs clinging to my sweater. Why? Because a hair check is something I’ve trained myself to do every time I prepare to go outside. I also help my husband out, since his cat hair standards are a bit lower than my own. Find a way to remain vigilant so you don’t have to employ your office lint roller quite as often.
Consider barrier methods
I must give credit where credit is due: YEARS ago, Husband Mike realized that we were spending more time and energy laundering our blankets and sheets than was strictly necessary. So we started putting a spare flat sheet on top of our comforter, and dubbed it The Filth Sheet. The Filth Sheet can be washed whenever, the comforter beneath stays relatively filth-free. (Our cats do burrow, but they tend to go into the actual bed instead of a single layer down, for whatever reason.) We use a Filth Sheet on our sofa as well, and as a self-employed gal who works at home, I now employ a Filth Pillowcase when either cat demands lap time. It’s a king-sized pillowcase purchased for this very reason and I just place it in my lap, and plop the cat on top. Saves tights, skirts, and everything beneath from fur AND claws.
Utilize durable lower levels
If you’ve got a pawsy pooch or feline, or any animal at all that cannot resist giving your legs some lovin’, make sure that you do pants, tall boots, maxi skirts, and other durable goods on your lower body as often as possible. When I’m visiting my parents and their cute but rambunctious dog, I pack jeans, boots, ponte pants, and leggings. If it’s summer, I’ll do lightweight boots and shorts or skirts. Never tights, never silk, never anything that has a loose weave.
And that’s great and it works for me, but what if you live with a pet that can’t resist sinking its claws into your calves AND you enjoy wearing tights and pumps? Honestly, the only work-arounds that I can think of is to wear pants or jeans over your tights until you get out of the house, or enlist the help of someone else to distract the pet as you exit. Wearing delicate legwear – or really, delicate anything – when you’re planning to be in the house with the pet for long periods of time is probably a bad play.
Distract and dash
Last-ditch option? Before you put on your delicates, grab a toy. Get dressed, enter the pet-occupied room, pitch the toy, and dash out of the house. Hey, I said it was last-ditch! But it does work for most common house pets.
A final note: It can be absolutely infuriating when a pet swipes you and ruins a beloved or expensive blouse, dress, or pair of tights. But try to remember that our pets adore us. I mean, they adore us in a way that few other living beings ever will. They bear us and our wardrobes no ill will, and if they had any money at all they’d spring for replacement garments. Hug, forgive, and move on.