American Eagle pet clothing line is doggone bizarre

This week, American Eagle Outfitters unveiled its plans for a dog clothing line, cleverly titled “American Beagle Outfitters.” The line is focused around matching outfits for dogs and their owners.

If this sounds completely bizarre to you, it’s because it is. So bizarre, in fact, that I have a suspicion that the line is this year’s attempt of an April Fools’ Day prank by AEO.

Last year, the company introduced “Skinny Skinny Jeans” a line of jeans for people who thought that the normal fit of skinny jeans just wasn’t skinny enough. American Eagle released a video promoting the jeans that was so risible — combining subpar acting, an outlandish concept and tawdry catchphrases — it was obviously a prank.

 

 

AEO sees the ridiculousness and superfluous behavior our society loves and incorporates it into its pranks. That’s what makes American Beagle Outfitters so brilliant. (In addition to all of the “pawesome” dog puns used for outfit names.) The video, or “dogumentary,” as they’re calling it, mirrors the Skinny Skinny Jeans promo with the added incorporation of a few miserable-looking dogs in human clothing.

When it’s revealed to be AEO’s big joke, the most disappointing part will be the lack of actual beagles on the clothing line’s page and all those puns going to waste.

The more important issue the company is addressing, and what I agree with entirely, is just how plain idiotic it is to dress up our pets. One of the first lines in the dogumentary is “Imagine walking into a store, and all they have for you is Halloween costumes.”

As a dog owner myself, I can say that it is completely true. There is a limited amount of animal fashion at your local pet store, but, I can also say that dogs just don’t like to be dressed up.

Through trial and error, I learned that dogs want to play fetch, not dress up. I have two shredded dinosaur costumes, an ASU shirt and an AS Roma soccer jersey to prove it.

Of course, we can’t leave cats out either. They have their own set of absurd clothing, including cat hoodies and, my personal favorite, Kitty Wigs. A line of wigs designed specifically for cats to feel glamorous and fashionable. Unfortunately, this one isn’t a prank, and there are probably hundreds of seriously displeased felines forced into monstrous wigs every week.

We need to realize that although we love our pets, and we’ve learned to think of them as our children, they’re animals; not mannequins for us to dress up. They won’t be excited about a new outfit you’ve picked up for them. Actually, they’ll probably wonder why the person they love the most is torturing them with discomfort and humiliating them for their own amusement.

Life’s “ruff” enough for pets, and there’s no reason we should be shoving them in clothing for the sake of few Instagram likes or some geriatrics cooing and making a ruckus over a dog or cat in human clothing.

If there’s ever a moment where you’re feeling the strong urge to slip your labradoodle into a hoodie, go home, stop the insanity, pick up a tennis ball and head to your local dog park instead. Your dog, and society, will thank you.

Reach the columnist at mjrodr11@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @mikayrodr